INTERVIEW: Chloe Castro | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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From a childhood spent hopping between France, Brazil and the UK, to reaching the quarter finals of The Voice in 2016, Brazilian-British songwriter Chloe Castro isn’t one for standing idle. Having now settled in Durham, she’s been writing songs since she was 11 and consistently wowing audiences with her incredible voice from a much younger age.

Chloe’s talent has been recognised far and wide, graduating from BBC Introducing in the North East to Huw Stephens’ Radio 1 show with her debut single Drunk in 2019. Her 2020 self-released debut EP, Amid, has garnered even more acclaim and shows off her striking vocal range, which athletically vaults from husky rumble to Amy Winehouse-esque jazzy lounge vibes.

Recent single Don’t Answer is a lo-fi trapsoul banger, calling on influences from the likes of PARTYNEXTDOOR, Bryson Tiller and Frank Ocean. “Don’t Answer was written after an argument that left me feeling like my relationship might be coming to an end.” She explains about the track. “That worry of things might be turning sour and wondering if it’s too late to save it. Knowing that your relationship can’t continue if they’re not committed but not wanting to let go.” Choosing a different approach from the usual break-up song, Don’t Answer is evocative of a moment in relationships that will resonate with many, and Chloe explains that writing the track was a cathartic experience. “I usually go for the angry break-up vibe, but Don’t Answer is a little softer in the way it approaches it. It’s always cathartic to use my own experience to write, it’s the only way really!

It’s always cathartic to use my own experience to write, it’s the only way really!

Chloe’s partnership with producer and co-writer Jake Karno has helped to develop her sound into a contemporary mash-up of R&B, soul and trap. “Most of my songs start with what I call scats on my phone. Generally the bulk of my ideas lyrically and melodically will come out in a voice note I then take to Jake to develop into a full song, we build the beat and arrange and refine parts until we get to a place we like. For this one the lyrics kinda just came out of me so we didn’t have to do much work on those, it all came together quite easily. It was recorded in my bedroom and produced by myself and Jake in his home studio.”

Chloe enthuses about the collaborative nature of working with Jake. “I love the ideas that can come from a bunch of bad ideas! Often Jake and I will go through a whole bunch of terrible ideas before we get to the right one. Knowing how to take criticism and have a joke whilst making music is so good. A huge challenge for us is when we’re both set on a different lyric, and neither will budge ‘cos we think it’s so great!”

Having been tipped as an artist to watch in 2021 by BBC Introducing, Chloe’s star is certainly in the ascendency; an artist with a commendable work ethic, undeniable passion and the talent to match.

Chloe Castro plays her first headline show at Bobik’s, Newcastle on Saturday 29th January


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