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There are several points in the 23-year timeline of Charlotte O’Connor that you might attribute to her metamorphosing into Charlotte OC, future pop star. The first was when she used to dress up as a witch as a child, stand at the end of her driveway staring at passers-by in a long black dress. The last was in November 2012, when she was in Berlin for a co-writing session for her debut album and experienced the transformative power of Berlin’s premier club Berghain!
Considering she was born in Blackburn in the UK in the early 90’s there was perhaps something in the bloodline, the demography and geography that would connect spiritually, if not necessarily stylistically in Charlotte’s music to the collapsing edges of a dance-floor. The daughter of a half-Malawi, half-Indian mother and Irish father who was in UK band The Merseybeats for a few moonlighting months in the ‘60s, the house echoed to the strains of classic songwriting. John Martyn, James Taylor, and Joni Mitchell were complemented by the artistic nervous breakdown of Talking Heads, a family favorite.
Other options failed to present themselves. “I wasn’t academic at all. I went to a really bitchy and competitive all-girls school. Singing was all I could do and all I wanted to do.” The first artist she owned, her epiphany experience, was Alicia Keys. “Sat behind a piano, doesn’t have to take her clothes off, she became an instant idol for me.” She also proved a gateway to the soul singers she now calls to mind. When Charlotte sings there are echoes as diverse as Candi Staton and Stevie Nicks. Genre doesn’t matter to her, so long as it’s true.

Armed with an unusual education of classic songwriting at home, by 15 she had begun singing her own songs. By 16 she was posting on MySpace and quickly Picked up a management and recording contract. Fundamental changes happened in her late teens when she began writing for herself, not for other people’s ideas of what she should be. She cites an early love of Dolly Parton’s incredible ear for melodic storytelling for any country overtones to her tunes.
Charlotte OC’s debut EP, Strange has been released in September 2014 on Harvest Records. It’s a sultry composite of structured song-writing, a freewheeling vocal range and subtle electronic edge. She is ready for her close-up. “I couldn’t be prouder of it,” she says. At the finishing-touch stages of her hallucinatory 21st century soul epic, she has every right to be. Her new single “If My House Was Burning” is a fore-taste for her upcoming debut album which will be released Autumn 2015.

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