We caught up with the superb Jazz musician Charlotte Lansman following the excellent release of ‘The Cage’. Enjoy now!
Hi Charlotte, who or what got you into music?
My parents, I suppose. I think childhood influences so many people. I’m the youngest of 5, and when we were kids we would all squeeze into the car with our parents and sing along to country music! Garth Brooks and Dolly Parton, but mostly Garth Brooks, I know every single word to his first seven albums(!)
Who influenced your latest release ‘The Cage’?
From a sonic perspective, I really looked to the UK Jazz scene – Alfa Mist and Ezra Collective in particular. Lyrically, it’s influenced by my perspective on resentment in relationships and how that can be borne out of so many things – our parents or role models in childhood, and then ourselves in recreating those dynamics later on.
Also just being on our best behaviour or tolerating intolerable behaviour at the beginning of a relationship and then resenting it later on, even though we enabled it in the first place.
Pre-covid, what was the Jazz music scene like in London?
It was thriving, but I think it still is now and it will be post-covid. Obviously, we have a long way to go to be able to enjoy what feels very natural, getting as many people as possible into small spaces to have intimate gigs, but I think people are seeking out good music right now and really indulging in it digitally, and they will be ready to do so in-person as soon as it becomes available.
We hear there is an EP coming soon, can you tell us any more?
I’m going to put together a compilation EP first, which will include another three songs to come out. Partly, it’s because I’m using these first songs to find myself musically and so they aren’t all written as a complete body of work, more as a series of discovery stories. Once I have that completed, I want to take the time to develop my sound in a more complete way, for the next EP…which is already in the works!
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Wow – massive question. Jamie Cullum, Tom Misch, Blue Lab Beats, Yussef Dayes, Emma-Jean Thackray, Jacob Collier, Alfa Mist, Lausse the Cat, Ezra Collective, Loyle Carner, Jordan Rakei, Joe Armon-Jones, Elder Island, Nubiyan Twist. So many more!
What’s your dream venue to play?
Glastonbury! Haha. Actually, my dream is to be on ‘Later… with Jools Holland’. I’d love to play Union Chapel, Koko, Brixton Academy, Bristol Academy (if it’s still called that), Spiritual Bar in Camden. These are all places that have meant something to me over the years. Actually, I’d just love to play anywhere at the moment! Wouldn’t we all…
Joe Rodwell produced ‘The Cage’, what was that process like?
Joe is a really collaborative person to work with. I’m not always good at visualising exactly where I want something to be from the outset, so sometimes it can take some work to get to that place, but once we’re there, he is really committed to getting a beautifully finished piece of work but also wrapping his head around the nuances of the sonic that we’re looking for. He’s very considered, and he’s also very patient! Which helps.
Other than music, what are you passionate about?
Food. and Wine. Ha!
Really, I am passionate about my family, doing that best that I can with them and by them. I’m also passionate about clothes/fashion – I know that sounds fickle, but I always have been. It’s such an immediate form of self-expression, it’s so personal, and I think it’s often the first means of identifying yourself. It can also be a bit constraining of course if you feel that you have to present yourself in a particular way, but if you can use it as a means of self-expression and freedom, then I think it’s very powerful indeed.
What changes would you like to see in the music business?
More female producers, I think that’s a gap that is really apparent. I think the algorithmic goldfish bowl that is created by platforms like Spotify is a little bit stifling. For users and artists alike.
How do you feel about how the internet plays a role in the music business today?
It’s always changing and has become even more utilised and important during the pandemic. I think it can feel quite overwhelming for smaller independent artists, like myself, because the expectation to be providing content for all social platforms is quite intense. But I think that, if utilised in the right way, it’s obviously very powerful – you have to just be able to cut through the BS and harness it properly.
What is your favourite song to play live?
Blind. I can really lose myself in it. I like that it’s quite a vulnerable piece both instrumentally and lyrically, I can be a bit of a closed book!
FV Music Blog February 2021
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