JOB TITLE || Singer-Songwriter
START DATE || 13 years old
YEARS LIVING IN NEW YORK || 2
SOCIAL HANDLES || IG/TW, @charmor17; Facebook, Spotify
COMPANY WEBSITE || Charlotte morris music
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Oh, I had a million. I wanted to be a chef for a little bit, I wanted to be a forensic anthropologist because of Bones. But, I mean theater and music were always at the forefront of that so I went to school for theater. When I moved here I was like I am going to try and do theater and it just ended up I went more into the music.
What’s the best piece of advice you've been given since starting out?
I think especially with the music industry with the arts or any kind of performing, there is so much rejection and you hear no a lot. So you have to know within yourself, I am good enough to do this because it could just be that it wasn't this persons day or it wasn't exactly what they were looking for. So just being told to pick yourself back up and know your own self worth and know how to push yourself forward because others aren't going to do it for you.
What is the most important thing you've learned since starting out?
Kind of the same as what I just said, but I think also I felt, and nobody put pressure on me, but I put a lot of inner pressure on a few months into really putting all my energy into this. I needed to pick a path and I either needed to do theater or music. Then within music am I a folk artist or am I a pop artist? In reality I fall kind of in the middle of everything and so figuring out that I don't have to put myself in a box and I can kind of make my own box. I don't have to change what I am doing to fit the path of somebody else.
How would you define success?
I think for me it would be, in no world would I turn it down, but a successful career in music for me wouldn't be becoming the biggest pop star in the world. All of my music is autobiographical and super personal and the best feeling is for someone to come up to me after a show and be like I completely related to that song and I am feeling exactly that same way because of X,Y and Z. So I think success for me is knowing that I have been able to reach people and connect with people through music in a way I couldn't have connected with them otherwise. I think that music has a really strong power to bring people together and to communicate in a way that isn't possible in any other way. So reaching people and making a change, whether that is just putting a smile on their face or making them kind of come to some sort of bigger realization. It’s being able to effect people life that way.
What is your go-to motivational quote?
Actually the background on my phone is "If it scares you, you're doing it right.” I have that because I am actually doing a spring tour now. I am out on the road all by myself and it's completely acoustic so it's just me. I was freaking out about it a couple months ago being like this is a dumb idea no one is going to come and whatever and all of the doubts. I was randomly on Instagram and someone had posted that quote and I think it's so right because you don't want to play it safe. If I was feeling completely content in everything that I was doing then I probably wouldn't get anywhere, so I think if you're freaking out and having doubts then you're pushing yourself and something is going to happen. Maybe you crash and burn, but at least you tried.
Do you have a personal motto?
I don't have a concise thing that comes to mind but I kind of live by, if you don't ask you'll never hear yes. I have friends who, even with the little things, say, I don't know if I should ask for that. The worst you can hear is no and that's not even that bad so if you don't ask you'll never hear yes and if you don't hear yes and you hear no then it's whatever and you move on.
Which women inspire you right now?
So many! In the music industry specifically, Brandi Carlile has been a really big inspiration for me. She's been working at her music for years and years but it hasn't been until really this year that she finally got recognition, that she finally won the Grammys that she's deserved for years. I also her music because it’s all so personal it’s about her life and you can hear her talking about people in her life. I just love that because I feel it's just close to my music as well. My favorite band is Delta Rae and the two women in that band, Liz and Brittany. They are just such strong women and Delta Rae's music reflects a lot on their views of feminism and politics and current events that are going on. They do it with grace and poise and beauty. Outside of the music industry, there is like a million people, it's really hard. But still in the arts, Brie Larson. I just saw Captain Marvel. She is such a strong woman, especially in that movie, and outspoken. That is key for me. So all of the women speaking up and speaking out, Alyssa Milano, I've always been a huge fan of hers.
How do you overcome moments of self-doubt?
Mentality wise, I think it goes back to finding the inner ummph and going within yourself so that you know you're good enough to push on and then having that self worth. Having a great group of friends that support me and inspire me and tell me, even when I am feeling so shitty, you're great, you can do it, get off the floor. Taking time for myself as well. There will be times when I am freaking out for no reason and I find that if I just take the night and watch TV and light a candle or take a bath that I wake up and find it was all just behind me. So, not to get caught up in that moment and not to make any big decisions while I am feeling that way because it will pass.
What is your creative process for writing your songs?
I'll be sitting playing though something and then all of the sudden I will just be like, why don't I write a new song. I don't always know what it is I will write but I just start playing around and come up with random chords and melody lines. But, sometimes, I'll just be walking down the street and I will think of an amazing lyric. I will put it into a note on my phone and then, when I have time, I will try to sit down and write it. I definitely don't have a structure like let me start by doing the melody and then I'll add lyrics. It kind of changes, also in terms of when things come to me. Sometime I am just like I'm going to write a new song and sometimes it just comes to me.
How do you balance work and your music?
I do still do theater and when I am not doing that or my music I nanny. I have worked at Kidville but I have been very lucky to have all of that be supplemental. I have been able to make money off of my music and theater. I also have been lucky in terms of the family I nanny for. They are really flexible and my boss at Kidville, when I have a new show she is so supportive and the family I nanny for is so excited for me. They were really just like okay, we will see when you get back. There really is no consistency in music or theater so it is nice knowing I will come back to the same family and the same job when I am here.
What has been the most rewarding moment for you so far?
I think just going back to touching people with my music and connecting with their emotions. I had a show back in the fall where I sang a song and it was kind of the turning point for me. It was the most personal I had ever gotten and I think that it really caused a huge shift in my writing overall. The first five or six times I would sing it through to myself, I would just cry. It’s really me taking my heart out and putting it on the table and it was the first time I played it for anybody. After the show a woman came up to me. She said that she cried throughout the entire song, and said, this is exactly what I am going through right now. The exact same thing happened to me and she was actually a friend of a friend who had come to the show. I actually ended up running into her a couple months later and we had a whole conversation and she was asking me for advice. So, first just her connecting with the song so much and then seeing her later and having her feel comfortable enough with me to share all of these other things and ask my advice. That meant a lot and that is what I want my music to do. I want it to cause that reaction, not necessarily the crying or the attachment, but the feelings that come with it.
What advice would you give to other women trying to break into music?
It's really had for women in everything but, especially in the music industry, there is a lot of pressure to sell. There are so many women trying to do music so there is a lot pressure to sell sex as an aspect for it or trying to become something you're not because you think it would be more marketable. I mean, we've seen it time and time again with the Me Too movement, there is just a lot of injustice in the arts community. I think that finding other women in the industry to connect with has been a huge thing for me. Know your self worth and don’t think you need to change yourself and feel pressured to be something that you're not because you are a woman and. In general, I have always felt like I am not heard because I am a woman, in terms of leadership and more like management kind of positions.
What are some of your goals moving forward as an artist?
On the closer horizon, I am hoping to finish a full album. Last June I released my debut EP and I have just been releasing singles since then. But, I am working with the most amazing producer in Nashville, who is so supportive and I am so happy with what we have done so far. I was working with him there in December and I'll be working again with him this month. My hope is to go back in the fall, when I can find the time and finish out the full album. So, hopefully that happen this year. Also, playing outside of New York and doing small music festivals and just playing for people looking to experience new music and not necessarily my music.
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.