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Interview With 'Charlotte Leigh'

Charlotte Leigh has been a 2020 discovery for me. I recently reviewed her collected singles in a piece here to help spread the work as I latched onto her music so immediately that I wanted to shout it from the roof tops. Currently, she is releasing a new song every month with her most recent one ‘Coffee Black’ arriving at the end of April.

Thank you Charlotte for taking the time to answer some questions for us during this crazy moment in the world. I originally learned about you through a sponsored Facebook post and was immediately blown away by your beautiful voice. I immediately started listening to as many songs as I could find on YouTube and was soon buying every song off of iTunes. Your sound stretches across several genres. How would you describe your music?

I would describe my music as soulful/singer-songwriter. I put meaning and story-telling with my soulful background.

The review of your singles I wrote and this story will likely be your first exposure to the majority of our readers. Please tell us a little bit about your background as I know you have been working very hard to get where you are today.

Well, to start off I moved from Arkansas, where I’m from, to Nashville 3 years ago because I felt like this is where the Lord was calling me so I dropped everything and moved here! Growing up, I loved music more than most and really fell in love with songwriting when I was in high school. When I got here, I was 19 and basically just had to figure it all out for myself. It has been a crazy journey of figuring out exactly what I want to do but my love for music and the power it has to connect to people has only grown.

When did music first grab you?

Music really first grabbed me when I was in high school. I have loved music and it has been a huge part of my life since my first memories, but in high school I really started to understand how much I loved it and how much it was a part of who I was created to be.

What artists influenced your musical direction and in what way?

I always love this question because I feel like my answers always catch people off guard. Coldplay was actually the first band I really fell in love with and realized the depth of songwriting. I remember being in high school and experiencing the power of lyric and how it can define how you’re feeling and can take you to another world. But I have influences from every genre including The Rolling Stones, Adele, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, Johnnyswim, Etta James and many more.

You have challenged yourself to release a new single every month this year. Have you already recorded all of the songs, or has Covid 19 affected that plan? What can you tell us about the upcoming songs?

I actually have not recorded all of the songs. Coming into 2020, I had the first few months finished because it can sneak up on you and it’s good to be prepared, but I wanted to leave most of the second half of the year open since I’m writing so much you never know what can come and I didn’t want to be tied down to anything! It’s been really exciting and I can’t wait for the rest of the songs. Covid has affected it in the sense that I haven’t been able to get in the studio but it has been an incredible challenge and experience to do everything remote.

Please tell us a little bit about your songwriting process.

This is a hard one! It’s truly different for every song because every song has a life of its’ own. Sometimes I have an idea for the overall song and it spirals into that or sometimes I just get a melody idea and then it comes to life that way!

I have never listened to Coldplay but was familiar with the song ‘Fix You’ as that song is very meaningful to someone close to me. What made you cover that song?

I covered that song because it was actually the first song that I remember listening to and realizing that songwriting isn’t just some words we listen to in a song but that they can be the voice that explains your feelings and make you feel seen and understood.

You have two recent videos in ‘If Sorry Won’t Cut It’ and ‘Glimpse of Heaven.’ What can you tell us about the thoughts that went into those video concepts and the songs?

I had so much fun shooting these videos and am incredibly pleased with how they came out. In 'Glimpse of Heaven', I really wanted to portray what it feels like when you are so in love with someone that you become the best version of yourself and you see a heavenly love in them. In 'If Sorry Won’t Cut It', I really wanted to portray this vulnerable and intimate pain that comes with the struggles of hurting someone in a relationship. I wanted to take the exposed performance and match it with a somewhat flashback of the relationship portrayed through the actors.

If you were stuck on a desert island, what five albums would you want with you? What is it about them that you love?

Wow, this is so hard… Okay I would say for sure Mylo Xyloto by Coldplay, Cold Heart by Thirdstory, Live at Rockwood Music Hall by Johnnyswim and honestly there’s so many more I don’t think I could pick just two more, haha.

I know your faith is also very important to you. How does that influence your music and you as a person?

My faith is the backbone and the reason I do everything I do. I feel like the Lord has allowed me to go through everything I go through so that I can write it down, put it into a song and hopefully serve the people who listen. I do my best to make sure every step I take and every decision I make is obedient to God. He is my lifeline and my backbone.

I know you are also a certified personal trainer and have been running your own business for a while. Tell us a little bit about it and how that came to be.

When I was in college was when I fell in love with health and fitness. I’ve always been enthralled with how our bodies work and how much of a blessing they are. Through overcoming insecurities and also realizing the mental benefits of nutrition and exercise, I wanted to become certified in exercise and nutrition in order to help others in any way that I can.

What do you want our readers to know about you?

I want your readers to know that I hope and pray by doing the things God has called me to do, they feel seen, understood, loved and known. I hope that maybe my lyrics and music can relate to you on a deep level and make you know as well that you have a purpose and so many gifts to share with the world.

Glimpe Of Heaven

If Sorry Won't Cut It

Interview - Gerald Stansbury

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