Singer/Songwriter CHLOÈ CAROLINE Shows Two Sides in Single, “Gemini.” Talks Music, LA vs. Nashville, The Most Gemini Thing About Her & MORE.
As a California native – born and raised in Manhattan Beach – singer and songwriter Chloé Caroline grew up engulfed in the SoCal sun and vibrant tones that have become an apparent inspiration for her in the music she releases. That sentiment of warmth is also who she is both as a singer and outside of it with the ultimate goal of her music being for “nobody to ever feel alone.”
Although raised in California, Caroline spent a number of years in the Nashville music scene being constantly surrounded by inspiring artists and musicians which allowed her to take in a new perspective and collaborate with talent that wouldn’t have been possible staying where she grew up. Her experience there led her to ultimately make the move back to LA with a fresh outlook on songwriting and creating.
Despite her youth, she claims herself as an “old soul” that encompasses a mature mixture of determination, focused attention and empathy with a personable personality that has allowed her a multitude of accolades and partnerships as well as radio airplay, sync placements and multiple sold out shows.
Following up her summer 2021 release of her single, “Lemonade Dream” she marks her first release in nearly a year with the latest song, “GEMINI.” “GEMINI” serves as the first look for the upcoming EP that is set to drop this fall with a 2nd EP and album to come afterwards. With so much going on, All Access was lucky enough to ask Caroline some questions on the latest release, how she discovered her passion for music, the crazy story of how the “GEMINI” music video came to be and much more. Check out the full interview below and get to know your new favorite artist.
ALL ACCESS [Austin]: Let’s start from the beginning – do you remember the moment you decided you were going to pursue music as a career? What is it about music that you’re so drawn to?
CHLOÈ CAROLINE: I vividly remember being 9 years old and drawing a blonde girl with a headset mic (probably Britney Spears) when my teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always said it. BUT I remember deciding I was going to start taking the steps to go for it around the time of college apps and when I finally made the decision to go to Belmont University in Nashville,TN to study music business and surround myself with kids with the same dream. I had just gone to the studio for the first time to record some of my original songs and kept having friends tell me how much they related to them. I also had been fascinated with medicine after being sick as a kid but I realized I’d always regret it for the rest of my life if I didn’t give it my best shot. That’s where my heart was. And the fact that it was impacting other people, making them feel more understood–that’s what draws me to music. It connects universally in a magical way like nothing else.
AA: That’s so true and make sense when your bio describes that the ultimate goal for your music is for nobody to ever feel alone. Why is that such an important mission for you to focus on? What do you do when you’re alone?
CC: Everything comes into perfect harmony when we connect and work together —nature and human beings, we are all one. I believe every person is a walking embodiment of love and sadly there are so many forces that try to disrupt that. Music is the one beautiful blessing that can be created from one personal experience, interpreted and translated into someone else’s unique personal experience AND create a brand new one through that shared emotional throughline all at the same exact time. When we feel understood, we feel loved and when we feel loved we share more love. It creates better people and a better world. I’m someone who naturally avoids conformity and highly appreciates originality yet I crave to be understood at the same time.
Sometimes that can lead to feeling alone. I’m also a floater who can fit into a lot of different places with different people, but doesn’t necessarily belong to one. That also can lead to feeling alone. I always was the kid to befriend the new kids at school or the kids that got picked on and I’ve been on the opposite side too so I empathize with that. I’ve felt the impact of being left out and I’ve felt the impact of inclusion—they are both monumental. If I can help make one person feel at home through a song I write who maybe otherwise wouldn’t feel that way, that’s a win. It’s vulnerable to do but I do it anyway to understand myself better so might as well share the output of that with another who might grab on to it!
Over the years I’ve learned to embrace moments of time alone, I use it as a time to check in and deep dive when the outside world can be so distracting. I write, I go on walks, I cook. Anything to create new energy from the inside out.
AA: That’s an incredibly mature way to look at music and how it connects us. Speaking of fitting in, as someone who has lived and created music in both Los Angeles and Nashville – what’s your favorite part of making music in each? What are each cities challenges?
Even though I spent my whole life in LA, I really started my career in Nashville and spent most of my formative artist years there before moving back to LA. It was a great place for me to go right out of high school, having relatively little performance or co-writing experience (I had been writing alone since age 6), and while I was still figuring out who I was as an artist because it was small enough to not get lost in yet I was constantly surrounded by music. I could go to college, get my music business degree, intern at a label, go to my part time job, and write after class all within a few miles. No matter where I went there was music, it kept me focused when I needed it most.
There was always someone to challenge me, create with, etc. However, what I love about Nashville is also ultimately why I ended up wanting to spread my wings and spend more time in LA again once I had built a foundation for myself. I still go back and forth as some of my favorite people to create with are there and many I have yet to work with. However, I felt claustrophobic after a while, I felt limited with what I was creating, how I was creating, who I was creating with, and where I was getting to share it all. I was burning myself out because it’s very easy to get caught in the same routine spinning your wheels–it’s smaller and mainly only music driven with not as much variety genre wise. I’m someone who in order to create my best work needs a balance of everything to feel like I’m living.
The cliques are more obvious (which I have never been a fan of) and that makes the key to the industry “castle” a lot more significant and dependent on who you are working with when you get to a certain level in your career. I grew up in SoCal where there’s always a change of scenery to draw inspo from and endless opportunities and people to create in more ways than one. I can write a song for my project, work on a short film, audition for a CW role, partner with a brand I met at a random event, record vocals for an ad, and go on a walk by the ocean in a day if I wanted to. In my opinion, it allows me to create an all encompassing career and one with longevity. Downside: it’s expensive, traffic can be rough, and there isn’t a world-tour level guitar player on every corner.
AA: A massive congrats on the release of the latest single, “Gemini.” What’s the most “Gemini” thing you’ve ever done?
Thank you! So it’s funny, I’m an Aquarius (born February 12th) but my rising sign which is supposed to dictate what you initially present to the outside world is Gemini. It explains the need for variety and my extroverted nature. Both are air signs so we tend to be in the clouds a lot. I also have ADD. BUT anyways, one day in high school I had a friend on her way to pick me up. She told me she was at my house so I walked outside and outside was a car that didn’t look like hers but it was the only one out front (this was before Uber also), so I thought maybe she took her mom or dad’s. I got in the front seat. Half a second passed and I heard a man say “Wrong car.” I jumped out in full panic and to this day I will never live it down.
AA: Ha! Good thing he didn’t start driving away. So with “GEMINI” marking the first single ahead of two EPs and a full length album – how did you decide to release this song first? What can fans expect for the upcoming new music?
CC: There’s a spiritual ethos behind the entire project as a whole so I thought “GEMINI” would be a great intro to that, it really led me into diving deeper into astrology but also myself–which is the basis behind any individual’s spiritual awakening. I also loved that it’s a very fun high energy song to kick off with. It’s actually one of the oldest written songs on the project too (2019) so I’ve been wanting to get it out there for a while. Because there are songs spanning from 2019 to 2022, this new music is an almost sequential timeline of that spiritual awakening over two years as it unfolded: the thoughts, emotions, lessons, experiences of each stage all leading up to now. I hope it encourages people to find peace in taking risks, following their hearts, and ultimately trusting the unknown. Ultimately I hope it allows others to realize we are exactly where we are supposed to be when we are supposed to be there–perfect alignment is real.
AA: “GEMINI” comes along with a music video – any funny/scary/cool stories from filming? How’d the concept come along?
CC: YES. Speaking of cosmic timing… I met Mario (the director behind the video) in a wild way. I was on a walk and had been meditating and reciting affirmations to myself. One of them was asking God to align me with connections I could co-create with that would allow me to share my gifts with the world and use my creativity to my full potential. 15 mins later I was almost hit by a man driving a white car with a little boy in the back seat. He stopped, said he was sorry and I waved and walked to my car as he drove down the street. All of a sudden, he turned his car around, pulls up to my car and rolls down his window. He apologizes again saying “I’m sorry, I know this is really weird but are you an actor or a model?” I had no makeup on, was wearing sweatpants and a baseball cap still sweating from my walk so I was thoroughly confused but nodded. He said “I’m a videographer and photographer and just left my job at a studio because I am looking to create with people independently and something came over me and I felt like I needed to give you my card. If you like any of my work, I’d love to collaborate somehow.”
Normally, I never would allow a stranger, nevertheless a male, to walk right up to my car but considering what I just meditated out loud on my walk and being pretty intuitive about people I couldn’t help but think it was kismet. We met in person for coffee a few days later. With Gemini season fast approaching I wanted to try to release the single sometime in that time frame but was running out of time leaving me less than three weeks to prep for a video. I thought why not suggest the idea even though I had no idea if we could pull it off nor his capabilities at that point. He immediately gravitated towards the title (he’d also dated a Gemini) but he also brought up using tarot cards which is what I had been imagining in my head. We thought it would be a pretty amazing idea to tell the story (the hot and cold rise and fall of a relationship) as each tarot card was pulled and we ran with that.
AA: Wow! That’s is a crazy connection. Weird how things align like that. Going back to the beginning though, you’ve been writing music since you were 6 – do you remember the first song you ever wrote? What was it about? Any chance of releasing it?
CC: The very first song I can’t be certain of, I used to write melodies on the piano all the time and didn’t write them down until I was 11 (I still have the first songs from then on in a pink journal). But I do remember one I was obsessed with playing – I only had part of a verse and chorus. I was about 8 and never finished it. However, wildly enough I was in the studio in April recording a brand new song called “Twin Flames” on my EP when I was hit suddenly with the realization it was the exact melody from the song I had written at 8. Guess it came back to find me at the right time. Again, perfect timing (if you’re sensing a theme).
AA: How do you balance the pressure of being an artist but also having to be a content creator (ie. Social media) and balancing both as part of the career? How do you define success outside of chasing numbers and “viral” moments?
CC: Ooof. This one is too real at the moment. It’s tough and something I struggle with. The other day I stared at a computer for 8 hours straight working on the marketing/business end of my release and then had to turn around and create a reel announcing my release and be my normal peppy self while coming up with something creative after I worked all day so hard at being focused and analytical (the opposite of what comes naturally to me). My boyfriend had to go on a walk with me to get some air. The switching hats can be exciting in a way because it never allows me to be bored or burnt out on one thing but it’s not easy.
Due to the algorithm, cost of ad placement, competition, etc. there’s no rhyme or reason in your control for why a post you work tirelessly will actually reach your audience at all as opposed to a picture of my thumb. Especially as someone who refuses to create click baity content and remain authentic. I put a lot of pressure on myself to respond to each and every person while also knowing it’s not sustainable given the hours in a day. I want there to always be a personal connection between me and my fanbase and while social media gives that to me on a global scale, I look forward to the day I can tour and have that in person interaction.
It can be frustrating but when I receive a genuine message from a girl in Mexico or play a show and have someone in tears come up to me because they felt moved, it’s all worth it. If I put my all into it and have fun in the process of making it all, once I release it I have to let it go entirely. I want it to perform so it can reach people I know it would have an impact on and so my co-creators get the recognition I believe they deserve too, but I constantly remind myself it’s about the journey, not the destination.
AA: Blown away by your maturity and how you are able to be very conscience of the downfalls and traps of social media but understand its overall benefit. Now a question that I ask in every interview is if you could only listen to (5) artists for the rest of your life, who would they be?
CC: This is a tough one! I’m a melting pot when it comes to inspo. So if I only could listen to 5 I’d want to keep it interesting, something to serve various vibes.
1. Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac
2. John Mayer
3. Harry Styles
4. Frank Sinatra
5. Carole King
AA: Alright final question: what does the rest of 2022 look like for Chloe after “Gemini’s” release?
CC: Basically it’s lift-off when it comes to the next phase of my career. So much music has been in the works the last two years and “GEMINI” is the jumping off point! My first goal is to get a couple singles out consistently then release the first EP. Do the same with the second EP. Release the full album. Create a short film. Launch merch. I want to use my creativity to my full potential and am in the phase of finally grounding it in reality after a lot of building and a whole lot of manifestation.
Truly impressed by you, Chloé and your mature and focused perspective on your career and chasing your dreams while also being mindful others and how you affect them with your music. Congrats on the release of the new single, “GEMINI” and can’t wait to check out all the new music coming from you this year.
To keep up with Chloé Caroline and her journey be sure to check in on her through the links below: