While Bruce Springsteen has written many unique songs and with them written his place in music history in the almost 50 years of his career, another special talent is just about to fill the first pages of her very personal story with profound lyrics framed by beautiful melodies: Charlotte Jane.
Her mission is actually quite simple: Charlotte Jane wants to become friends with the monsters under her bed. In her opinion, this requires vulnerability and honesty. And a few good songs on top of that can’t hurt.
“Tipped to be ‘The Next Big Thing in Music'”, Ed Sheeran described her cover of ‘I Don’t Care’ as “wonderful” and Jess Glynne invited her to open for her.
Fortunately, the singer-songwriter from the English city of Hull seems to have everything it takes to accomplish her mission. Scottish singer Lewis Capaldi believes that Charlotte Jane is poised to become “one of the fucking greatest things in the world.”. And he could be right about that.
CHARLOTTE JANE ABOUT 2020
Charlotte Jane has been performing on stage since she was six years old. She performed in arenas when she was only eleven and has been writing her own songs ever since. As of last year, Charlotte feels the time has come to show the world her innermost self and face her mission. But don’t panic, it won’t be scary.
“My songs are about insights I wish I’d had earlier. It’s all about self-acceptance, about being patient with yourself and not expecting someone else to fix everything for you. You have to do that yourself,” the 21-year-old explains.
22-year-old, in fact, but the thoughtful artist insists that 2020 doesn’t count as a year. And we should all be able to subtract it from our age.
In her songs, she paints the themes of introspection and her own self in vivid colors, as they talk about insecurity, sincerity, and truth. From the open-hearted, unprotected and exposed “Down Days“ to the instruction manual for falling in love “Baby Steps”, and to an exquisitely executed reworking of the 90s R&B hit “If You Love Me”, her music is a prime example of the power of understatement.
GET IT RIGHT
Her songs are performed with a voice that definitely doesn’t have to scream to be heard. The songs on her new EP, written over a two-year period and finalized during the first lockdown, reflect the sound of someone figuring out how life and love work in real-time.
In this regard, “Get It Right” is without a doubt a highlight. It is one of the oldest among the new songs. But its stripped-down sound shines much more today than it did when it was written about two years ago. The song is a reaction to a guy who had been toying with her feelings for over a year.
“In short, I got dumped. I was insulted and humiliated. But at that moment, I came to the realization that I wasn’t going to let myself be treated like crap again.”
The next morning, she met with the two well-known songsmiths Dayyon Alexander (Ella Mai, Demi Lovato) and Jeff Shum (John Legend, Camila Cabello) for a songwriting session.
“It was our first collaboration, but I knew it wouldn’t be the last,” she says.
And she was right, as Dayyon later took on the role as the executive producer for Charlotte’s entire EP.
THE RISE OF SINGER-SONGWRITER CHARLOTTE JANE
Charlotte Jane’s earliest memories include performing with her grandparents, who toured Spain and Germany as a soul duo. At the age of three, Charlotte played tambourine with them on stage and within a couple of years she was performing complete songs.
At home, Charlotte Jane also started writing her own songs early on, but she never performed them. Her self-confidence only began to grow when she discovered the local pop choir at the age of eleven. With performances at “The O2”, “Wembley” or the “Liverpool Echo Arena” she already sang her first solos on stage.
Smirking, the singer explains, “And that was the time when I started to come out of my shell. It was insane.”
But an unforeseen event prevented Charlotte from taking off at that point. She was in shock when her parents announced that the family would have to move to Singapore for employment reasons. Charlotte Jane didn’t even have the time to process this news, because just a week after the announcement, the family moved.
“I was sad, but most of the time I was just angry at everyone,” she admits. She didn’t give up, though, and threw herself back into songwriting. “This time I had something to say,” Charlotte Jane recalls. “Before, I was writing about things I’d heard from other people or things I’d seen on TV. In Singapore, I wrote about exactly what I was feeling. The songs were my outlet.”
Two years later, things changed again, as the family returned to England. Charlotte then began performing at open mic nights in the Hull area, but she struggled to see where the music would take her. “I knew where I wanted to go. I didn’t know how to go about it, though.”
Charlotte started playing gigs in the Northeast and met a manager who helped her set up recording sessions on weekends and school vacations. Then, when she finished school, she was ready for the next step.
“I told my manager, ‘Here’s what we’re going to do: Give me three months to travel, and then I want to have a full schedule.”
Charlotte then traveled around Europe for three months via Interrail. On her trip, she visited Berlin, Budapest, Amsterdam, and Italy. Excited, she then returned to England and found a plane ticket to LA in her mail. And so she was off to California, where Charlotte Jane got to spend two weeks writing with legendary Beyoncé songwriter and pop colossus Toby Gad, among others. Things went well, and Gad offered her a publishing contract on the spot.
“I’m like, ‘Totally awesome – what’s a publishing deal?'”
So the two weeks turned into a month and a half. “It was like a whirlwind,” Charlotte Jane recalls. “It felt surreal, and was so far away from everything I was used to. For the first time, I felt like this could all be real.”
What did feel real, however, was her debut EP named “Nowhere To Hide,” released back in 2019. This four-track explosion of sentimental songs like “Nervous” and “I Tell Lies,” immediately generated millions of streams worldwide.
In the following, Charlotte Jane established herself as one of the UK’s most brilliant new voices. This opened up opportunities for her to play her own shows and perform with musicians like Jess Glynne, Dennis Lloyd, Lewis Capaldi, or Tom Odell.
CHARLOTTE JANE HAS GROWN WITH HER 2020 EP
This brings us back to 2020 and an EP whose stripped-down sound reflects Charlotte’s growing confidence.
“Instead of unnecessarily complicating the production, I’m allowing my vocals and lyrics to take center stage for the first time. These are the songs where I feel the most vulnerable, but they’re also the ones in which I’m more honest than I’ve ever been before.”.
That is felt unmistakably on “Get It Right”.
But “Baby Steps”, which documents the tentative early stages of Charlotte’s first real relationship, also reflects that honesty. We witness the same thing in “Down Days”, which is as unguarded as it is relentless.
Charlotte Jane tells us that this track is about days “when I’m so insecure that I can’t look at myself in the mirror or leave the house. Even people close to me rarely see that side of me. I’ve never felt like I could talk about it before, either.”
Her bold reworking of Brownstone’s “If You Love Me” has its roots in Charlotte’s childhood. It’s a flashback to the playlist Charlotte Jane used to listen to in the car with her mother.
“It’s the antithesis of ‘Get It Right,’ which is about looking back,” Charlotte adds. “This song says, ‘I’m evolving. If you want to be with me, these are my rules. Beyond that, you should be aware of what my expectations are.'”
The song is daring, dynamic and, as Charlotte says: “The missing piece of the EP. The song I just couldn’t have written myself.”.
THE OVERALL MESSAGE OF ACCEPTANCE
If there’s one overall message in Charlotte Jane’s rarely opulent new sound, it’s acceptance.
“It’s okay not to be a complete and perfect person,” she explains. “Don’t let that slow you down. Be self-critical and deal with how you act and process. When you understand how you really work, you can question yourself. These songs tell a really important story about my journey with love and my own evolution over the last two years of my life. I would love it if they touched people. Especially those who feel like something is holding them back from embarking on their own journey.”
With a particularly emotive voice, sensational lyrical skills, and an engaging personality, Charlotte Jane now sets off to the next chapter of her journey. She can’t promise that there won’t be challenges along the way, because her mission isn’t over yet. There could still be one or two monsters under the bed, but either way, we are invited to join Charlotte Jane on her journey.