Interview: Colette Carr
Tue, 08 Jan 2013 11:00:37
Colette Carr breaks all kinds of ground with her SKITSZO EP series.
First off she's releasing a series of four EPs comprising her full-length debut in two month-intervals until this June. The first two are available now. [at iTunes: Part 1 - Part 2] However, that's not the only trail she's blazing. Musically, Carr defies any and all categorization and claws her way into a stratosphere all her own. Merging together airtight rapping, hypnotic singing, and a sly groove, she's crafted a style that's both vulnerable and vivacious. She's ready to change the world, and she's got the talent and power to do so.
In this exclusive with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Colette Carr talks SKITSZO and more.
What's your vision for SKITSZO as a whole?
I got frustrated with releasing singles because so much emphasis is focused on one song. The way I record is very on the spot, natural, and organic. It's a moment. When something is so zeroed in on, it frustrates me. I feel like everything is being picked apart like there are thousands of reasons behind my lyrics when really I just get in the studio, block out my thoughts, and write. Before I know it, a page is filled up. I think there's something really cool about that. I felt like if I were to pick some of my favorite songs, I foresaw all the bullshit to follow. For instance, on "Killswitch", I'm not really rapping so I could hear, "She's gone a different direction. She doesn't rap anymore". Lo and beheld, when I release "F16" two months later, it's like, "She's rapping again!" I called Martin Kierszenbaum, and I said, "We should light a fire under my ass and put some pressure under me. Let's start releasing tracks". He said, "How do you want to do that?" We thought it would be cool to release tracks as part of this EP series with two months in between and all new songs. I've made tons of songs so if I get my vocal cords cut in half by a machete, people will still get music. It's exciting to think I don't even know what I'll be releasing on the next EP. This idea came about, and we went into the studio and recorded. Everybody loved the idea.
Is there a thematic thread?
There is, but I don't think I thought about it. I just knew. In my head, the songs are like Pokemon. I know which ones work well together. They all have personalities, and I have different sides to me, which works with the title SKITSZO. So, I wouldn't release just sweet pop tracks. There's a taste of each entrée on every EP. There's some fast ass rapping, some free life living rap, some singing, and some pop tracks. It feels like that fits me.
What's the story behind "Delusional"?
I was really angry when I wrote that. I was upset. I needed to just get it out on to a song, but I didn't want to talk about it. Once I started, I literally wrote eight verses about the situation. I took my favorite lines, and it felt so much funkier to me, which is what I wanted. The guy I was writing about it was delusional. I kept saying that, "He's fucking delusional". It's hard. You can't just remove humans from your life. Sometimes, circles are small. I needed to deal with that anger in a healthy way. Thank God I did. Now, the situation doesn't even bother me. It's done. Now, I know why Taylor Swift does what she does. It's because it feels really good to talk about it. It's even better to hear people singing about it.
What's your favorite from the first EP?
If I had to pick one, it'd be "F16". That's why I shot the video for it. "Killswitch" means so much to me though. I get choked up because I listen to it, and it means a lot. When I wrote it, it was very emotional. It says exactly what I want it to say. "Delusional" and "F16" have that badass aspect, which is basically me keeping my walls up. There's no harm in doing that because we can't cry about everything. "Killswitch" is more vulnerable though, and I'm proud of that. It's very dear to my heart.
What artists shaped you?
I love Suzanne Vega. She was a huge influence on me. She's so honest when she writes. I don't think she cares about what people think. She tells her stories. She doesn't care about her album sales. She's just honest. That's a big deal. It doesn't feel manufactured, which is rare. I love Eminem. He was the first dude who rapped and lit up my life with his rap.
What other art forms inspire you?
I used to read a lot. Now when I get home at 4am from a long day, it's the last thing I want to do. I love my classic movies. When I do watch movies, I always want to watch the same ones over and over again like The Godfather, Pulp Fiction, Scarface, Gold Member, and any of the "Brat Pack" '80s movies. I think most of the influences for my songs come from my life experiences. I try to fill up my inspiration bucket of life with having fun, being young, getting my heart broken, and all of that good stuff [Laughs].
If you were to compare SKITSZO to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
This is such a hard question, but I'm going to nail it [Laughs]. If my EP Part 1 were a movie, maybe it'd be Home Alone! It's funny and scary at the same time.
Have you heard Colette Carr?