INTERVIEW: Caroline Pennell

(Credit: Shervin Lainez)

Hi Caroline, welcome to VENTS! How have you been? 

Thanks! I’m great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just turned 22 and my EP is coming out I’m feeling really great. 

Can you talk to us more about your new single “Drive Me Home”?

“Drive Me Home” is one of my favorite songs on the project. It’s the first song that defined the direction of the rest of the EP and just gives such a big, warm feel to it I think.

Did any event inspire you to write this song?

I moved to LA in 2016. I left college as a sophomore to start writing and working on my music full time, so that first year was a huge event for me in itself. It was really the start of my life as an adult (sort of) and as a young musician trying to make things in a new city with all new people and new ‘rules’. I was really homesick that first year and this song was such a stepping stone for me. It’s a love song to my family and life back in New Jersey, and my friends in New Orleans where I went to school.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

The video was so fun to make, we did some scenes where I was just singing the song and dancing and whipping my hair around it was so fun and freeing. I really wanted it to feel and look like love in a very simple way. We had different real couples cast, and shot scenes with them just being near each other, talking, kissing, etc. Everyone on set was so great, and the couples brought such a young and beautiful vibe to the video. When I watch it back, they reminded me of all the people who make me feel that way. My family, my friends, my first love. I really hope someone watched it and it made them think of someone they love too.

The single comes off your new EP Phases – what’s the story behind the title?

This is definitely a coming of age record. Making music is a way for me to turn my experiences into songs that make me feel them in a new light. I feel like this is the age that people start to transition through different phases and find out who they are or who they want to be. So I decided to call the EP Phases because the EP itself was one of the biggest phases I’ve ever gone through. It’s the first collection of work that has truly seen me transition and grow from one person to another as a young 20-something. 

 How was the recording and writing process?

It was the best experience of my life. When I started writing for this project, I had never co-written with anybody before and it just opened my eyes to a world of collaboration that I’m obsessed with now. I write also for other artists, djs, etc., and I think that I spent so much time writing music for other people that when it came time to find my own sound/ write for my own project, I knew so definitively what was me and what wasn’t. For me, my favorite part is recording the song and just listening to it in the car on the way home and feeling like I could listen to it 1000000x and never get sick of it. And that was the goal for all the songs I chose for the first EP.

Do you tend to take a different approach when you are covering someone else than when you are working in your own original material?

Not really. I think whenever I’m covering someone else’s song I don’t really like to over think it. I think naturally all singers and artists have their own way of saying certain words and phrases. I definitely tend to drag my timing a bit and go softer on certain words without really even noticing that I do that. So if I just go in and don’t think too much about it, the cover ends up coming out very ‘me’. J Same goes for when I work on my original material. I tend to over think lyrics/ melodies sometimes, but when I record I just try not to over think it. Often the first takes are always the best ones since my brain approaches it as an instinct rather than an intensely thought out thing. 

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

The lyrical inspiration for all the songs came from different events happening in my life. I left college, moved to LA, had a really hard first year…went through my first really intense heart break, and then came out on the other side and started to live my life for the first time. Every song is a little piece of where I stood in all of those moments. I also found a ton of inspiration in other artists. Jon Bellion, Lorde, Sigrid, Regina Spektor, Ben Folds (just too name a few) had a HUGE impact on my sound as I was developing it. 

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes hopefully!!!!!!  I am planning to do some more local LA shows beginning of this year and hopefully hit the road and go around the US in the near future.

What else is happening next in Caroline Pennell’s world?

I’m finishing up my second EP right now and working on the 3rd actually! I’m addicted to working and writing, and I think the music just keeps getting better and better so I’m just in the studio and collaborating as much as possible, trying to find a place for all the new songs. Also happening next in my world, but completely unrelated to music, is the British TV show ‘The Great British Bake Off’. I just found all the seasons online, so if you need me, I will be watching that religiously.

Watch here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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