The events that have transpired during the course of 2020 have epitomised the saying ‘expect the unexpected’. For one unassuming traveller on the London underground, the realties of that saying hit a little closer to home. 31-year-old Charlotte Awbery was on her way to meet a friend for lunch when a comedian Kevin Freshwater asked her to finish the lyrics to Lady Gaga’s “Shallow”. He, along with the 5 Million+ viewers who would eventually go on to watch the video, was immediately blown away by her voice.
The story however didn’t end there.
The viral video caught the attention of American TV host Ellen DeGeneres, who invited Charlotte onto The Ellen Show where she was interviewed and performed the track live to 11 Million+ viewers.
Fresh off the release of her latest video, Charlotte Awbery sits down with IndustryMe to discuss life after going viral, new music, and more.
So you go viral, decide to launch your solo career and then COVID happens. describe to me what that’s been like?
To be honest, I was quite overwhelmed by the success of the video, and the attention I received from fans and the media, I was on a real high, and it took me a little time to realise what the COVID lockdown really represented for me. Of course, I was upset as basically every opportunity for live singing or media appearances evaporated overnight.
However I used the time as best I could to turn a negative into a positive, and just like many other musicians and performers who were in the same situation, I spent time working on new material so I would use that time in a positive way.
Your latest video is a cover of Lady Gaga’s “Shallow” of all songs you could have launched your career with, why this one?
This was the song that finally got me recognition as a singer, and in a totally unexpected way, after years of singing in bars and clubs. I had mixed feelings about whether I should release it, but there was so much support and so many requests for Shallow that I felt I owed it to my new fans. Also I love the song!
After spending 15 years chasing this dream, do you feel like your viral moment gave you a second chance?
I don’t really feel like it is a second chance, more of a once in a lifetime opportunity.
What were you trying to communicate with the video?
I’m sure people will interpret this video in different ways, and to some degree, I’m going to leave people guessing for now about any hidden meanings. Lady Gaga’s version of the song held a deeper meaning, and this song is special to me for many reasons. Obviously, it is the song that brought me to the World’s attention, but it is also a beautiful song and I wanted the video to reflect that, as well as give a nod to the past, present, and future in my life and career.
After the video went viral you went out to LA to perform on the Ellen Show. What was going through your mind at that point?
I was terrified of being on the show. It was all so new to me, but they made me feel like a princess, so it ended up being a wonderful experience
Where do we go from here, are you in talks with any labels at the moment?
I’ve recorded several songs which I will start releasing in the coming months. I had some talks with major labels before lockdown started, but there haven’t been any real developments since lockdown ended, so we’ll have to wait and see how that goes. It’s not difficult to release your own material these days, so that’s where I will be focusing my energy for now.
The world may know you as the singer who sang Shallow on the underground. but who is Charlotte Awbery the artist?
Just a normal girl, who loves singing, loves her friends and family, and would love to make a career out of performing and writing music.
Are you working on any original material at the moment?
Yes, I have probably enough material for an album, but there are three songs that are being mixed and could be released at any time
If you could describe your sound in three words what would they be?
Powerful, soulful, versatile
Finally, what can we expect from you for the remainder of 2020?
You can definitely expect another release this year, and I’m writing new material all the time. I’d love to be out there singing live, but I just can’t see that happening this year. Watch this space, there’s a lot more to come 🙂