Charlotte O’Connor is beautiful, northern, funny and bloody good at writing songs and then singing them.
Is there anything she can’t or won’t do?
Not really apart from maybe she will never be a decent fish monger. And she will never be a campaigner for renewable energy…
For a further explanation check out the chat she had with Red Rose Music before her gig in Preston, below.
So Charlotte before we properly begin are there any questions you are thoroughly sick of answering as you continue you on your torturous interview schedule?
All of them really! (Laughs) No, no I’m only joking, I don’t mind any of them really…Ask away!
Your debut album is launched in March and your already out gigging heavily, what can people expect from you and the album?
Ermm..It is basically really, really honest and romantic and just fun! It doesn’t try to be anything it isn’t and is not pretentious in any way. Just fun I guess!
You are only 21 and so have not been around that long, what experiences do you draw on when you write songs?
Well when I started writing at fifteen I used to write about my sisters relationships because I had nothing to draw on, never fallen in love before and then it was just loads of weird things like obviously Kenny and childhood stuff that happened then. As I have got older its become relationships and ‘eartbreaks and stuff like that.
You mentioned Kenny there, your album is called “For Kenny” so who is this mystery Kenny?
Kenny is an imaginary mouse I had when I was about five, I still have him now and blame stuff on him! Yeah I was like never malicious or mean but I used to break stuff and was really strange when I was younger. So I got told off a bit and invented a mouse who I blamed stuff on and thought he was real.
I mean I don’t even get how a five-year old knows the name Kenny! I still don’t now, apart from Ken Dodd maybe…
You recently posted online you had written your first song in ages, why the gap and why now?
A lot of stuff has happened to me this year, it has been a bit mad and you know when something is so big you can’t actually like put it into words…and then I had a bit of an erm tiff with my boyfriend and well I had so much to say about it…and then some one posted on twitter to channel it into something positive, so I thought right I am going to do it. And yeah I did it, it was like I had just thrown up and it felt amazing, really good.
Explain how writing a song feels like being sick for us please…
It did! I felt like I had got loads of toxins and felt wicked.
This year you have played The Quiksilver Tour and took part in the Station Sessions. How did these come about?
Well Quiksilver found me on MySpace when I was sixteen and they really loved my music and thought it fitted well with the brand and I am now a global ambassador for them. They are basically like my record label and did the videos and album covers stuff like that and they are amazing, absolutely wicked.
As for the station sessions I just heard about it and asked to do it…
How easy is it playing a gig in a massive train station?
Bit weird, I would like start and then it was like “The next train to..” and I was a bit like Whaat? Yeah good fun, not a favourite gig but an experience.
Your album contains songs you wrote very early on into your career, when was the first time you started writing and realised it was more than a hobby?
One of the early ones “One of the angels” I sang it in front of me mam and dad and some neighbours at a barbecue and when I finished they all just didn’t say anything, they were all just amazed that at fifteen I had written these quite mature lyrics about stuff I didn’t even know about. And yeah I thought from their reaction Ooh I might be quite good at this and just carried on.
Was that the first song you ever wrote?
Yes! Well actually there is one called Jodie which is absolutely horrendous and if you ever find it on the internet it’s just like horrid.
I don’t know why it is called Jodie because there was a girl at school called that and she used to bully me! I wish she had been imaginary but she was very real. Don’t know why I called it that.
Would you recommend people try to find it online?
(Red Rose tried and failed to find “Jodie” online, if anyone has it please send it us!)
The music industry is in a bit of state at the moment with illegal downloading, the internet and X Factor all conspiring to ruin it. How easy is it these days for new talent to get recognised and exposed?
I really don’t agree with the X-Factor it is horrendous. You see right away the longevity in it just isn’t there and it is like…to me it is Mc Donalds music, you have and think yeah it is amazing but then you burp and you are hungry again!
You need to start from the beginning and graft and do your own thing. Don’t do the shortcuts, you get no respect and have the X Factor label on you forever.
I think these things do ruin it but good stuff will always be spotted and seen from a mile off.
And! I think it messes with your mind you get right to the top straight away and then your told your rubbish and yeah it is weird.
And now for a rubbish question. You have a song called Treasure Island, so what would your ideal piece of treasure be? You know if you could find something and keep it what would it be?
That is a weird question! (Laughs) Err, well something nice..a rolex I guess then ha!
In the video for Treasure Island you look a bit annoyed at it all, is there a hint of reluctant pop star in that video? You look unhappy at the woman mopping your brow anyway…
Well you see I had no idea what was going on. The idea was I had no clue what was happening and so for the majority I was a bit annoyed, yeah what is going on?
Is the set behind you meaningful or did you not know what was going on?
No clue! Not at all. Like I saw them making it but there was loads of rumours what they were going to do. Like I have a phobia of fish and don’t really know why I am signed to Quiksilver becuase I am scared of going on the water. But yeah they got this massive fish for the actual last shoot and ran on with it. And I went mental! I nearly threw up. But yeah most of it has no real significance apart from the dolphin I snap in half and that is because I don’t think they are that nice.
Where does the fear of fish come from? And why are you scared of wind turbines?
I don’t know what it is about wind turbines I just think they are to do with aliens! And the second video I did there was like 40 or 50 of them near my window and I was like why have you made me do this. Honestly they are so big and so wide and the noise they make, I was like what are they doing?!?
Fish I just don’t like them. They have no emotion and they can breathe underwater which makes me think they know something I don’t, like why can they do that?
If you could be any food what would you be and why?
Ooh! If I could be aaany food I would be probably…Spagetti Bolognese because it is saucy!
Giraffe or Zebra?
Zebra! Because you don’t know whether they are black with white stripes or the other way round and they are beautiful.
If we told you that it has been proven they are white with black stripes, would that spoil them for you?
No way! No still like them, I mean giraffes are amazing but don’t have that much time for them. Still zebras just for the fact they are horses that are black and white. Ha! Leave me alone it is such a weird question!
The next single “Shine On” is due for release om January 3rd and the debut album For Kenny is scheduled for release on March 26th next year.
You can visit Charlotte on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Charlotte-OConnor/66653495409?sk=wall
Below is the video to “Treasure Island”