You may not recognise the name 'Charlee Remitz' now, but we guarantee you- she's one to watch!
We spoke to American singer-songwriter Charlee Remitz about her new EP (Saints Until Fridays), the songwriting process and her aspirations for the future!
AMPLIFY: Congratulations on your debut album, Saints Until Fridays! We love listening to it in the office! Tell us about it! CHARLEE REMITZ: Thank you! It's a new era. I love new eras! Saints Until Fridays was a song. And then it was two songs. Three songs. Fine--let's make it four songs. Well, no, four seems like an awkward number. Five. We'll stop at five. And we actually did. My producer, Mike, and I managed to stop at five. I'm deeply impressed with us. I didn't analyze the meaning of Saints Until Fridays until recently. And when I sat there, in the car, listening to it over and over, trying to forget I wrote it, I realized I had written an album based around something I do so terribly much of--wish time away.
A: Where does the album title 'Saints Until Fridays’ come from?
CR: There's a lyric in the title track, Saints Until Fridays, it goes like this: I swear I'm in a purple haze, where time is plastic, and we all snap back into place. Snap back to yesterday. Snap back to being saints until fridays. When the kids are never home. And nobody dies at all. At the time, it was a classier way of saying, we have to sit tight in our desks all week until we can throw down on Friday. But now, it's sort of tying into this whole idea of sitting there on Monday and wishing it was Friday. Sitting there on Friday and wishing it was the next year. Because I'm always swearing I'm gonna have it figured out by then. By that random date. By that random year. And that I'm going to be completely satisfied. But I've gotten to the years I wished for, and I've never felt satisfied. And now I guess I'm searching, one forlorn song at a time, for satisfaction--for the present moment. Because I know, through trial and error, that it doesn't exist in any future I know of.
A: We’re literally obsessed with your single, Chlorine! Is the song based on your own experiences?
CR: *Blushes* *Lowers voice*
Well, the obsession goes both ways.
It is! Sometimes a track pulls you under. This song pulled me under. What Mike and I came up with production-wise sounded like a really good part of the past. And I wrote about it. About growing up with the same cast of girls--the ones embedded in me--and being there, in a swimming pool in my grandparent's backyard, with those girls, in the present moment, where for thirty seconds I wasn't so grown up. I wasn't wondering about my future. I wasn't predicting an untimely death or mass destruction (I tend to do that). I wasn't disappointed with where I was. I was just there. Under a cotton candy sky. With a wine moustache. Watching my best friends pass around a deflated basketball. It was magical. The present moment is magical.
A: What’s the process you go through to write your own music?
CR: I wish there was a fixed process. I find the one recurring thing to be when I go into the studio with a song title already in mind. I seriously have no idea why I do this, and keep doing it, but I do. And then I get into the studio and I stare at a wall trying to write lyrics based around the fricken song title until I've gone brain dead. And then I spend the next four plus hours trying to forget I have a brain at all until everything's been wiped clean and there's no longer this huge road block of a title in the way limiting what I can do creatively. And then, when my headspace is barren, I allow the music into my veins, and from there, I swear a muse of some sort takes over.
So I guess the process would be: getting out of my head.
A: Have you always wanted to be a singer/songwriter?
CR: I had outside influences convincing me I wanted to be a lawyer or a professional golfer for a long time, so that slowed the music career down quite a bit. But I've always been a singer. Not a classically trained singer, but, like, a sing in the car and say I sound somewhat okay type of singer. Which morphed into a sing in the car and damn I'm getting good type of singer. Which morphed into a sing in the car on the way to the airport because I'm so good I should try out for The Voice type of singer. Which then morphed into avoiding that audition song forever and ever until I've passed over into the afterlife type of singer because my mom obviously lied to me and I actually suck.
I've since figured out the art that is: not taking rejections personally.
But the only other career path I seriously wondered about was meteorology. I've always had a strange obsession with tornadoes.
A: Where do you hope to see yourself in five years?
CR: I try not to see myself anywhere but right here, because the future is a scary place. I don't have the luxury of traveling there and not getting trapped in it. But I do know that I want to be the type of happy that isn't tangled in the future, or drowning in the past. But I fear that type of happy sometimes. It feels so ruinous, like I'm taking selfishly for my own. And I want to get past that. I want to find the person I am when I'm not rationing out happiness like it's something to save for a special occasion.
A: What advice would you give to aspiring performers?
CR: Don't feel pressured to take everybody's advice. Don't feel pressured to take any advice at all. Know your sound and your worth well enough to be selective. It's okay to second guess yourself, and it's okay to doubt, but it isn't okay to let it become you. And only when I've listened to somebody I shouldn't have do I find myself caught in a moment where my insecurities have become me.
Don't let somebody else's career determine the future for you. There's room enough for all of us to rise to the fullness of our beings together.
Also: Taylor Swift said it best. Get a lawyer.
A: Why should people listen to Charlee Remitz?
CR: I'm terrible at talking myself up--ask my mother. I'll sooner tell you I'm an expert in something I'm not an expert in than brag about something I'm known for being somewhat decent at.
So instead I'll say this: I'm real. I'm honest. I'm never gonna fall into line.