Interview: Charlotte Sands

Charlotte Sands

This past week, I was able to catch up with Charlotte Sands for an interview about her new single called “Alright.” We also discussed who her trusted “inner circle” of people are when she wants to get feedback on her music, plus how she feels about being asked to be on so many high-profile collaborations. Charlotte Sands has major plans for this year, including an extensive headlining tour, and is ready for her moment.

Thank you so much for your time today, Charlotte. Let’s start by discussing your new single called “Alright,” which was just released on streaming services yesterday. What went into the writing recording of this great-sounding track? 

So we wrote this song in Nashville. I wrote it in a day and Danen Reed, who’s like my main collaborator, he’s an incredible writer and producer. It was kind of the day that we found out that we were going to have to go into shutdown and quarantine. I was deciding between flying back home to Boston to stay with my family. I live alone in Nashville, and I was deciding between Nashville or flying back home. We were supposed to have a session that day, and we were talking through it. I was about to buy a flight, and he started playing the chords and we started writing the song about how I felt that day and how I wanted to write a song for the future version of myself, or the version I wish I was at the time. Which was more hopeful than I was able to be. We ended up writing “Alright.” It came out of this day and it spiraled into my career in the last two years, which is really wild. So, I’m really grateful for it. 

You mentioned Nashville, and I read in your press release that you left home at the age of 18 to start your music career in Nashville. If you were to give young artists advice on following their dreams, what would you tell them? 

My advice would be to make as much content as you possibly can in music. Make really bad songs, make really bad art, and just release as much as you possibly can. I think I was so particular with what I was making for such a long time that it almost kept me from growing or being able to experiment with certain sounds and stuff, because I was so cautious of how other people would feel about it. I think that wasted a lot of time for me. I think that just having fun and just releasing whatever you want and not caring about other people’s opinions, and you can always take stuff down, you can always make better songs. But I think it’s really important to make just as much art as possible and not worry about the quality of it all the time when you’re starting out. Just have fun with it. 

That’s a great answer for young artists! You seem to be one of the main voices that bands have been targeting for guest spots on a lot of different songs lately, from the success of songs like “Loved You a Little” last year, to others from today. What is it like to get so many offers lending your vocals to different tracks? How does that feel?

It feels like a prank most of the time. It usually just feels like they sent the email to the wrong person, but I am very, very grateful that they even considered me to be a part of those songs. I grew up listening to all of those bands and so for them to have them even know my name or my music is shocking, and always, I’m so grateful for it. I genuinely have had so much fun playing those songs live since some of my favorite moments of the past year or 2022 was performing those features and being able to kind of get up on stage and be in front of those band’s bases and those audiences. I feel I’m really, really grateful that I got to do that and continue to do that. And I’m really excited for whatever features come in the future as well, so fingers crossed! But yeah, anything I can be a part of, I’m willing and excited to do it. I just love collaborating with other artists.

That’s great. I understand this year is going to feature an extensive tour for you. What can fans who have never had the opportunity to see you live expect from these performances? 

High energy! I think that’s always the most important thing. I think my hope is to always be able to kind of transport people into a new reality, and the sense of when I go to shows, is I like to lose myself. And the whole point, I guess, of live shows is that you kind of forget about your reality and what’s actually going on in your life. You’re just able to experience a different moment that you can feel whatever you need to feel at that time. And I think for me, that’s what I can do. I hope to give people a high energy show that can kind of distract you from what’s going on in your life, and hopefully make you feel like you are supported by the community of people around you. And I think the power of music is just making strangers have things in common by being at the same place at the same time for the same reason. And building a community of people that all just want to be in that one place together and are able to feel positive energy from it is my priority. 

That’s amazing to hear. And it sounds like people are really reacting positively to the new material. So let’s talk a little bit about the new music you’ve been working on. Is there going to be an EP or full length record on the horizon for 2023, or what’s kind of your ultimate goal for this year? 

Yeah, honestly I’m just having so much fun releasing singles. I genuinely just enjoy being able to pick whatever song feels like a given reflection of me in the moment, and then making art and single artwork around that one song, and really being able to tell the story of songs individually right now has been really exciting and really fun for me. So I’m kind of happy to be doing that, but I definitely do think in the future…I have so many songs right now that I think the only way for me to get them all out is going to be able to release a larger project. So I definitely think in the future I will be doing that, but I don’t know how soon, because I’m just having so much fun just doing it sporadically. I definitely like to make decisions about releases at the last minute based on my current emotions in my current life, so I don’t know in that way. 

Okay, so you mentioned releasing a lot of singles and stuff like that. What people are in your “trusted circle” that you test out material with?

I usually send songs to my sister first, but she kind of always will say she likes something, so she’s not always a really good source. But, I can send stuff to her just for emotional support all the time because I know she’ll like it. And then my manager, Hannah, is incredible and I always send stuff to her because she’s very honest with me, and I know that I’m always welcoming her critiques. So she’s very, very helpful on the music side of that as well. But yeah, I usually send it to a couple friends and family most of the time. Honestly, what we’ve done recently is if we’re really excited about a song, we’ll play it live before we even release it and see how the audience feels about it. And then if it seems like it works well live, then we’ll consider releasing it. That’s what happened with “Tantrum,” and with “Alright,” we were playing those live my whole headlining tour before it was out! 

That’s a good way of definitely testing on material because yeah, if the fans are into it, you’re like, alright, maybe I got a hit on my hands! What continues to motivate you as an artist and a vocalist? 

My overall goal is to always be in front of the biggest audience I possibly can be. And hopefully to create a community of people who celebrate their differences and their diversity and are able to be supported in their challenges, and all the things that make us unique and different from each other. And so I think that the more people I can get in front of, and the larger the audience is, the larger chance I have of doing that. And so that’s kind of what motivates me. Meeting people and being able to experience these insane shows and moments and memories with strangers is a feeling that is impossible to explain, and can’t be replaced by anything else. And I think that that’s my motivation. Just to be able to experience so many of these incredible moments with people, and being able to meet people and just create a community of people that feel the same way.

Nice! And has that motivation kind of shifted or changed at all with some of the early success you found with some of these guest spots and also the attraction the singles are getting? 

Absolutely. I feel like it only makes me more excited. Especially when I get to be a part of somebody else’s project, and be able to just be a part of their audience, and be in front of their audience. It’s always nerve-racking. Even with Sleeping With Sirens, it’s nerve-racking to be in front of their audience and not know how they’re going to react to you and how they’re going to feel about you. But I think I get more motivated by that, and I get more excited about the idea of having to win people over. It’s always like a challenge for me. So I think that anything like that is definitely more motivating, and I’m very competitive. I really like a challenge and it’s exciting to me. 

So the last question I have for you today is what are some artists in today’s music scene that you admire? And are there certain attributes to these bands that make you want to collaborate with them? 

Absolutely. I mean, I think right now Fletcher is like a huge inspiration to me because she’s just like on top of the music game right now. I’m really impressed by what I think she’s doing and I love her songs, I love her music and I think she’s a great person. So, I love her and I really look up to her. Also, Yungblud is a huge inspiration for me. He’s just like such an incredible artist and he is such a rock star and it’s so cool for our generation to have somebody like that that just doesn’t care about people’s opinions of themselves. And he’s like our fearless leader and I really love and appreciate him so much and his sense of community, and standing up for people, and being a voice for people. And so those are two people that I really love, and yeah, there’s so many! I can go on forever…

So, if there is going to be one dream, or a “pie in the sky” kind of collaboration, what would it be for you? 

That’s so hard. I feel like I have so many, I have so many different genres like inspirations that every genre that I love, I feel like there’s somebody else that I want to work with. I grew up on P!nk and Kelly Clarkson, and all those women, so any collaboration in that realm would be insane for me. Katy Perry and that kind of music was huge for me, plus Miley Cyrus. She is massive, obviously, and I would love to do something Fletcher. My goal this year is to collaborate with more women in the industry. So she’d be the first one that comes to mind. 

That’s awesome! Hopefully this article gets some good traction and you can make one of those collaborations happen!

I know! It’s all on your shoulders now…<Laughter>

<Laughter> Thanks again for connecting with me today, and best wishes on tour!

Thanks, Adam. Nice meeting you!