Her music makes you feel at home, and her lyrics touch your heart. Always a pleasure to interview artists like Charlotte Qvale, who created her own magic universe with her second album.
Enjoy the interview, and if you like her music, please remember to support her.
Hello Charlotte Qvale! Thank you so much for doing this Q&A, and congratulations on the release of your second album Easy ’Cause It Hurts (November 4th, 2022). Could you please describe yourself to everyone discovering you through this interview?
Thank you! I’m a Norwegian/Icelandic pop artist who’s been releasing music for about 10 years, as a solo artist and also in different collaborations. Music is what I am, and my mission as an artist is to make whatever kind of music I feel like making, trying to avoid considering what would be the smart thing to do. I write from my heart, and I would love it if someone felt at home in my universe.
Before going into your second album, let´s talk about your album debut, Fire Dance With Me (2014) and the eight years gap between this record and your second one. Does this time interval intimidate you ahead of the release of your second album? Any significant changes as an artist that you experienced during that time?
I have released quite a lot of music in various collaborations during these eight years, and I started to release solo singles again in 2018, so it doesn’t really feel like a gap to me, these years have been filled with music. I honestly don’t feel intimidated at all. I have been true to myself during the process of creating this album, and it has become an album I would put on myself if I discovered it somewhere. This all makes me feel less vulnerable. Somewhere between 2018 and 2021, I almost forgot why my love for making music is so strong, I had become a strategic, writing songs to please the audience. Realising this was a serious wake-up call, and this last year I’ve been seeking freedom as a songwriter, making whatever I’ve felt like making in the moment. Fearlessness is the key.
Your second studio album Easy ’Cause It Hurts, started to be created during the pandemic on long train rides. Was it challenging to find the strength again to start working on a new solo record? What did inspire you the most during those times?
The covid restriction period was an excellent opportunity for me to evaluate my life as an artist. I had kind of lost a little bit of my spark, and suddenly I realised making music had become somewhat of a habit. I had to shake it off and remind myself why I was doing this in the first place. And suddenly, music came pouring out of me, just like it used to. I´m inspired by everything fragile in life, how things can turn in a second. Unbearable thoughts. I push this away in my everyday life, it’s just too much, but in my writing, I indulge in it. I like writing about the things that scare me the most.
When you listen to the tracks of Easy ’Cause It Hurts, it´s easy to perceive the rawness of your songwriting style for this record. Subjects that are always difficult to open up about like roots, loss and alienation, are present on the album. Did you feel a certain relief when taking this new approach to your songwriting?
I guess I’m older now, I’ve been around too long to pretend. I’m trying to be honest, whatever that means. It feels good.
Any upcoming dates to see you performing these new tracks?
We’re doing a release concert at Pigalle in Oslo on November 23rd.! The band is fantastic. I’m extremely nervous, it’s been a year since I did a solo gig. But it’s gonna be so much fun. Just have to let go.
If you could highlight a lyric from the new record, which one would it be? Which one of those songs was the most difficult to write?
Maybe “Bones”. That’s my life in those lyrics. Songwriting is always a little difficult, trying to connect the dots and gather all the bits and pieces, but somehow it usually comes together in the end. And to me, everything is easier when I don’t try too hard.
One dream collaboration? And one song that you would have loved to write?
I would love to work with Sígur Rós. They make this kind of atmospheric music that takes my breath away. There are so many songs I would like to have written. Maybe Lover, You Should Have Come Over by Jeff Buckley.
If you could only listen to one album or artist for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
Haha, I’ve thought of this so many times. It’s impossible. Maybe David Bowie. You can find all you need there, I think.
And the last question and please feel free to open up about anything. What’s the most important thing you want to tell people about yourself and your music?
Music to me is somewhere to feel home, something that has room for every single feeling, a place you go to find comfort, and sometimes hope – something that sooths your pain, something wide open and without borders. There is a song for every mood. That’s mind-blowing. I would like to offer some of this through my music. Familiarity, maybe.
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