Charlotte Sands: This Is My Version

To say the last, Charlotte Sands is a force to be reckoned with. Raised on the pop-punk bands of the early 2000s and the Gen Z ‘go-getter’ attitude, she stands firm and headstrong on what kind of artist she works towards being.

Sands’ upcoming album ‘can we start over?’ is a by-product of breaking down outside pressures and people’s expectations. Fuelled by love and passion rather than fear, Sands turns feelings of not being enough into letting go and self-acceptance.

Her self-reflective lyricism exquisitely connects her personal identity with her professional demeanor, excelling at creating upbeat, arena-worthy brawling records seeking respect and rendering comfort.

Once enough was enough, Charlotte Sands transformed her frustration into her latest single, ‘use me,’ which fights against conforming to a version of her artistic expression demanded by others. Similar to her forthcoming album, ‘can we start over?’ Sands builds on portraying real, honest experiences with the hopeful intention of an exhilarating live performance culmination.

As Noctis speaks to Charlotte Sands to learn more about her journey, challenges, and ambitions, she is currently on the road supporting The Band Camino and the mega group 5 Seconds Of Summer on their UK Arena Tour, with stops in Glasgow, Manchester, and London this October.

‘can we start over?’ is out on January 24th. Pre-order now.

What was the last song that really inspired you? 

I’ve been listening to a band called Little Image a lot recently and am inspired by every song on their new album “SELF TITLED”. It reminds me a lot of PVRIS who I also love, and this really interesting mix of pop / rock / alternative music that they seem to pull off effortlessly. I would recommend that album to anybody and especially the songs “ballet”, “makeup”, and “out of my mind”. 

Have you ever had any reservations about becoming a musician, or was it a case of ‘nothing can stop me”? 

I’ve definitely given my dream of being a musician 100% for as long as I can remember. I think there will always be reservations but most of them come from a place of “how do I make this a successful career without losing my love for it” instead of from a place of fear that it won’t happen. There have been moments and challenges that are harder than others but I can honestly say there hasn’t been a single time in my entire life where I questioned if this was what I was supposed to be doing. I’m going to continue making these dreams come true whether that takes another 10 years or 50, I’m positive I will make it happen. 

What were some crucial moments of your journey that got you where you are today, personally and professionally? 

I remember a really specific moment where I decided to start releasing music under my real name in 2018 and that was a really big moment for me. It made me want to make music that represented my actual life and emotions instead of releasing music that I thought other people wanted me to make. When I made that decision I ultimately made the decision to connect my personal identity to my professional one which was extremely scary but also extremely motivating and liberating. 

What is the underlying messaging of your new single ‘use me’? 

We wrote “use me” at a time where I was constantly trying to please everyone around me and felt like I was continuously coming up short of their expectations. No matter how hard I tried or how much I gave, it never felt like I was good enough. This song is about finally letting go of that pressure and accepting myself for who I actually am instead of the version that other people want me to be. Creating this song was a really therapeutic experience and I felt a million times lighter afterwards. I hope it makes you feel powerful and reminds you to not put too much weight on other people’s opinions of you. Only you truly know who you are. 

How did the concept for your debut album ‘can we start over’ come about? Could you tell us more about the LA recording sessions that changed everything?

The inspiration behind the title ‘can we start over?’ came while writing a song for the album about the idea of restarting a relationship, and the idea of beginning again or reintroducing yourself to someone. I’ve changed so much over the last few years personally and in my career and I love the concept of starting over as who I am now with the information and knowledge I’ve gained. It’s not about forgetting the past or regretting our choices but more so letting go of the previous version of ourselves and meeting each other where we are at this moment in the phases that we’re currently in. I think this album for me represents exactly that, standing firmly where I am as the person I am today. 

Creating this album was an incredible experience and I am so grateful for all of the people that helped me bring it to life. A few months ago I had no intention of releasing a full length project. I had three back to back sessions in May with Jutes, Alex Nice, and Keith Sorrels and every night that I left I remember thinking to myself “That’s my favorite song I’ve ever written and there’s no way we will be able to top it tomorrow” and then the next day we would write my next favorite song until the three days were over and I ended up with three of my favorite songs I’ve ever been a part of. At that moment I knew they all had to come out and they had to come out together and that was when I made the decision to start working on an album. Those three songs are now the first three singles off the album in the same order we wrote them those days. They’re all so different from each other but represent me in a way that I am so equally proud of. 

How did you learn to block out other people’s voices and opinions when you’re working and writing new music?

I don’t think I will ever fully be able to block out other people’s opinions when working on music because a lot of the time thinking about the way it will be received by my audience can be really helpful while writing the song. I like to think about how they will experience the songs and the story and how they will feel when they hear it live for the first time, it makes me so excited. I definitely feel like there is a healthy balance of considering other people’s voices and opinions while creating but making sure at the end of the day that it is representative of me and that I am proud of it. It’s always important to listen to other people and to take their thoughts into consideration as long as you don’t allow it to hold too much weight.

You’re heading on the road again supporting 5 Second Of Summer across UK, what is the most important factor when planning a show/live set?

The most important thing to me is to create an opening set that represents my artistry but also allows the audience to have fun and get excited for the incredible headliners. For these tours in particular I chose really specific songs that I felt like both audiences would like, people who have heard my music and people who are just hearing it for the first time through the other acts. I also included some new songs which I’m very excited about and have had so much fun performing them. 

Going into the final quarter of the year, what are you going to focus on?

I’m going to focus on letting myself be excited about these future releases and enjoying the shows that I’m playing. I’ve been waiting for these tours all year and I really want to get to experience them fully without spending so much time working on a million other things at once. I am so excited for this album to come out in January and am counting down the days until it will be yours!

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Words: Karolina Kramplova