If you haven’t heard of Be Charlotte already (HOW, where have you been!?), then fear not – once you’ve read this, and heard her new single in the link below, you’ll have a full understanding of the absolute force of nature that is Charlotte Brimner.
Dundee born, but now living in Berlin, Be Charlotte has been a well known name in the Scottish music scene for a number of years now, picking up awards at both the Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMAs), and the Scottish Music Awards.
Her new single, Rumours Don’t Work is, in Charlotte’s words, a “statement of intent” and combines honest, heartfelt lyrics with a catchy hook. “You don’t even have the muscle to stretch your imagination,” and “Disregard my face cos it didn’t fit your frame” were the lyrics that jumped out at me on first listen, and the second, and the fortieth. It’s a track that you’re going to want to listen to obsessively, and have on a loop for a good while.
I listened to this on my walk to work and it definitely put an extra spring in my step. It’s a sassy, dreamy, pop song with the ability to spin what would normally be a negative storyline about rumours being spread, into an optimistic sounding, honest response. It combines a bubbly melody with kick you in the teeth lyrics; a thing that seems to resound in all of Be Charlotte’s recent releases. Big fan.
I caught up with Charlotte yesterday to find out a bit more about it all…
Jen: The new single’s released tonight at midnight – tell me about Rumours Don’t Work – what’s the story behind the track?
Charlotte: Ahh I’m so excited for this song to be out in the world. Rumours Don’t Work is a song I wrote two years ago. I lived in a flat in Dennistoun, Glasgow at the time and made a wee home made studio set up there so this song is part of a collection that I wrote at that time more than likely in my pyjamas. The opening line ‘Rumours don’t work if the lies still hurt’ was the catalyst for the whole song and then the rest of it just sort of flowed from there. The first idea for the song came from finding myself in the middle of a web of rumours being spun about myself and people I know. I wanted to create this little fairytale world where just for a moment we could imagine that sort of negativity doesn’t exist. Rumours Don’t Work is a statement of intent – we won’t let other people’s opinions define us.
J: How long was the writing process? Did you work with anyone on the single?
C: I wrote this song on guitar in January 2018 and then produced it myself on Ableton around the same time. . I’d been revisiting the song and tweaking the production since writing it and last year I worked with Berlin based producer Alexander Hauer to add some magical finishing touches to it.
J: Your last few singles have been a whole new sound (and look!) for you – why the change?
C: For me I always just try and write songs that are telling a real story. My songwriting style has definitely improved over the years but I think sometimes its just the way you dress a song up. It’s never really felt like a sudden change for me more like an evolution.
J: How would you describe your sound to someone who hadn’t listened to your music before?
C: Pop music for people who like Scottish accents
J: Who are your biggest influences in music?
C: I love to take influence from lots of different things but some of my favourite artists of all time are Lauryn Hill, Tracy Chapman, Kendrick Lamar, Pink, Taylor Swift & Milky Chance. My absolute fave at the moment has got to be Lizzo, she inspires me so much and I really can’t remember life without Lizzo.
J: You’re very vocal about being proud of coming from Dundee, but also that you live in Berlin now – how do you balance your time between the two? Are you more likely to be creative in one city more than the other?
C: I feel lucky enough to get to write in lots of different places but sometimes there is no place like home. I’ve always found inspiration from my surroundings. I’ve really enjoyed experiencing the Berlin lifestyle . I loved the city from the first time I visited. I always follow my heart and trust my instinct and that’s what lead me to Berlin. The only issue is due to the nature of my job I’m travelling a lot, so I can’t get a dog in Berlin in yet.
J: You’ve been gifting guitars to schools in Dundee to encourage kids to get into music; where did you get the idea? How did it come about?
C: Last year I started to curate my own Schools Tours in Scotland , it was something I had wanted to do for ages. I had heard that one of the schools I visited had started guitar lessons but couldn’t afford to get guitars for the kids to learn with. I had been planning to sell my old guitar for a while (as I discovered I preferred to play smaller guitars due to having the tiniest hands ever) and decided to use the money from that to buy some guitars and ukuleles for the school. This is a project that I’m really passionate about and hopefully something I can help some more schools in the future. I am doing another schools tour in February as well.
J: What’s next in the world of Be Charlotte?
C: Lots more new music!!!! , Gigs , Schools Tours and some other secret projects that I’m working on that I can’t wait to reveal soon. The next single is coming pretty soon after rumours don’t work too.
You can stream Rumours Don’t Work on all your usual platforms, and keep up to date with Be Charlotte on twitter and insta – @iambecharlotte.