INTERVIEW: Chloe Caroline
Hi Chloe, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Ahh thank you for having me! It’s pretty cool to be able to say you guys are the first that I get to chat with about this release now that it’s actually in full swing! Not going to lie, I am exhausted from wearing a million different hats lately for this launch but i think the excitement is keeping me awake right now (that and LOTS of tea and black coffee!) ! I am so ready for this music to makes it entrance.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Gypsy Daughter”?
I’ve been waiting for this moment for a loooong time to be able to share this song because it feels like a real introduction of who I am as an artist and a woman. The first time I’ve been able to release something that just felt like poetically and melodically was a song written from my soul. I didn’t need to categorize it because it just felt like yep thats a Chloé sound. HECK YES. I kind of threw away my restraints and was like this is what i wanna say and this is how i wanna do it—if people like it awesome if they don’t well, I am proud to say this is who i am and if I’m putting out more music I don’t want to ever have any hesitation that they didn’t like it because it felt ingenuine or done before—i would at least be able to say, well thanks for listening and be secure that what they were listening to was all me and still be proud of it. I’d never really felt like that security before because I hadn’t given myself the ability to unleash that girl to the world completely. It’s the title track to the record and I immediately knew when I wrote it that even if it wasn’t my first single (which it ended up being!) it needed to be the name of my record. It just felt like it summed up the debut of this new music not just because of the personal meaning it has to me but because of the universal message behind what i think “gypsy daughter” means that i feel applies to this super intentionally eclectic mix of songs. They each have their own identity—different than whats been out there right now on the market but all come together and shine in such a beautiful way. It’s like together they are comfortable being that odd yet super intriguing kid that sits alone at that lunch table yet you really wanna be friends with for some reason. I think they attract the listener who likes a lot of different things and just wants someone to relate to. Honesty, integrity, vulnerability, energy—all that.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
Well, I originally started writing this song by myself in my little music room in Nashville. I was feeling super nostalgic one night and starting thinking about how I had gotten to where I was now, how I had become me and that thought really stemmed from me missing home. My parents live on the other side of the country in Los Angeles and sometimes that feels like Mars. I’ve also had to be really introspective while writing this record and making it. I had always felt like I knew who I was until like three people asked me it in one week trying to figure out where I was going musically. I had to take a step back and ask myself first how i became who i was. That started with where I came from—California. Manhattan Beach, California to be exact—a small sleepy little beach town we refer to as the Bubble in the midst of chaotic LA. The more i thought about it California seemed to me like a motherlike figure it—very feminine very comforting. Although you have the city and bazillion people, you have all of this nature. That’s when i started thinking of myself as this daughter metaphorically speaking and looking at how California kind of raised me. That’s where this song started at least. But it was really hard for me to finish because i kept overanalyzing it and wasn’t sure how other people who didn’t feel the same about their hometowns could relate. That’s where my co-writers came in. I tried to finish it during four other writing sessions with different writers and finally brought it to my first write ever with Sam Ashworth and Chris Roberts. For whatever reason, they nailed the vibe immediately and helped me poetically make the message universal like I wanted as well as personal. We listened back to the work tape with our harmonies and it felt magical. I had this line about sunsets originally and how i learned how fast time went by because of how quickly a sunset disappears into darkness and ultimately felt like that was a lesson on how to make the most out of my time here on Earth. I analyzed how because I grew up somewhere where there was so much culture, so much to do, so much changing landscape in one place that that’s part of why I am such a blend of so many things. I always felt like I just walked my own road, I floated along with like a bunch of different groups of friends from the cheerleaders (I was one of them) to the choir kids to the funny outcasts, etc. and was always curious about who I would meet next, where I would go and liked that I could hang with all these different weirdos. I’m an insomniac ever since i was little because Id so much rather be awake letting my mind wander and living life that I never wanted to sleep. I also got really sick as an 11 year old and because of that mentally learned pretty quickly that life was precious. There was only one me. I wanted to explore, wander, become a better version of me every day—live life outside of the box and be ok with it. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people change their personality around other people and I never wanted to be that person, i just wanted to be Chloé comfy in my own skin. That’s where Gypsy Daughter came from though, this want for people to let out their inner free spirit because none of us fit in a box and none of us are done moving and growing and learning from different people, places, things.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Yes! I really got to dream up the concept. I wanted it to be simple yet tell a story of development and send a message symbolically without a lot of moving parts or a whole storyline. I don’t want to give it away! Shout out to my sister and DP who sat in the trunk of the car with it wide open! We lost service on the cliff and couldn’t use the huge bluetooth speaker so we had the playback going off of my sister’s iPhone. But hey, it did the job! May 18th it’ll be ready for the world to see.
Why naming the album after this particular in particular?
Well back to what I said earlier, I never really second guessed myself with this one, its given with gypsy in the name. It just fit perfectly. This album is a journey in itself, it takes the listener on a journey. It’s been a personal journey for me-finally getting to debut the realist Chloé Caroline, without any limits. And its also a journey with my supporters. I wanted to wait until i felt ready to do a pre-order launch on a crowdfunding platform-until the music was there and i felt like I had developed a personal relationship with my fans so that I could give them a really exciting one of a kind ride with this album. They are helping me to create something special and that is just unreal to me. How cool?
How was the recording and writing process?
Its the most hands on and like i said before -intentional recording and writing process i’ve ever had. Joseph Magee produced and mixed my single Gypsy Daughter and he and i worked backwards a bit. We got a basic acoustic track and decided to get the final vocal before anything. I had never felt like anyone had gotten my vocal right/took the time to figure out how to do that or knew how to guide me in getting the most natural best recording and that was key for me in this new music. I’m not Aretha and I’m not Kelly Clarkson in regards to the powerhouse vocal gymnastics that those gals do, I just do my thing and try to capture the emotion and uniqueness by the infections and sincerity in the vocal. Sometimes a vocal like mine gets covered up super easily when you drown it out with effects and all that, it takes away what make me in the rawest sense. We stripped the song down to the bare bones because we knew if it didn’t sound amazing like that, then what were we doing. At the end of the day it comes down to the a guitar vocal to determine if it’s a great song and you build from there. He (Joseph Magee) helped me find my inner Aretha (in my own way) and let loose. There may have been lots of hot tea and whiskey involved too. We then analyzed how we could incorporate some of my favorite influences—past and current and focused on making the rhythm section come to life. Our goal was to make the listener feel like they were in a dream like trance and transport them to Pacific Coast Highway even if they had never been. Feel freedom. Take the listener on a surfboard and feel the waves as the song moved on. I also wanted it to start stripped and end stripped again taking off a layer each time to symbolize how we are comprised of these layers as life moves on but you can always strip us back to the core and to our roots.
What made you want to seek for a new direction?
I was ready for the world to see all my colors, all my influences, but most importantly, my soul. I have been writing since i was 11, I never thought twice back then about if it what i was writing was too simple or too complicated or not one genre or another i just wrote what i felt. But after five years of living in nashville writing every single day with people with various sounds, its hard to not overthink what you’re writing, you can lose yourself especially if you try to follow the trend. It becomes less about creativity and more about how can we get a song done quickly and i hate that. I wanted to bring back 11 year old Chloé who just instinctively wrote what she felt. Now i’m doing that and getting to involve production that I chose and that incorporates all those parts of me, the influences from Stevie Nicks and the Stones to Avril…etc. I’ve gotten to be involved in every single aspect picking what I wanted and being vocal about what I didn’t and that was important for me in making this record true.
What aspect of the gypsy culture did you get to explore on this record?
I’ve been a gypsy since i was 2 i swear. The only way my parents could get me to sleep was sticking me in the back seat of our Volvo and driving around. I’m curious about life and hope i never stop asking questions. I think it’s a continuous exploration. Gypsy’s also have this mystic mystery about them which is kind of sexy in my opinion haha I define gypsy daughter like this, partially using a line from the song: Literally this is going on my jewelry line box— Gypsy daughter (n):A free spirit, a wanderer, born to get somewhere someday, her own way. She is the maker of her own dreams, she is the captain of her sea.
Any plans to hit the road?
YES! I’ll be going on tour in August in select cities as well as throughout the holiday season. Planning that out as we speak! Trying to get people to tag their city and fave venues so I can come to them! I’m so excited this will be the first time ever. And I’ll have merch and thats just crazy cool.
What else is happening next in Chloe Caroline’s world?
Well the plan is to keep blowing people’s minds (hopefully) with singles and then drop the record! Really trying to get people on board with my Pledge Music pre-order as well. It’s just so interactive which is really cool and something I’ll remember forever. They get to Skype with me, write songs with me, wear exclusive merch i designed! Then tour! I’m also always writing so trying to stay ahead of the game with that. I really am stoked t to tour though so I have some new experiences to write about. Right now though I might just need to let this all soak in a bit and take one step at a time.
Gypsy Daughter comes out on May 11th!