Interview: Charlotte Church

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Dubbed The Voice of an Angel, Charlotte Church began her career aged just eleven years old, going on to sell more than 10 million records around the world with her stunning classical opera albums and of course her transition into Crazy Chick pop.

Charlotte’s talents are not just constrained to music; the star fronted Channel 4’s The Charlotte Church Show which won the starlet a British Comedy Award in 2006. Church has also made cameo appearances in The Catherine Tate Show and Touched by an Angel to name but a few, and was a judge on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s talent contest Over the Rainbow.

Now Charlotte is back with a brand new sound, self-releasing a series of extended plays online featuring experimental sounds created by her and her bandmates. Sitting comfortably at number six on Sunday Times’ Rich List with a fortune of £8m, it’s fair to say she’s no longer in it for the money. caught up with Charlotte to talk fame, future and music. Check it out…

What made you decide to release a series of EPs rather than the traditional full LP?
Releasing this way is great because we’re always writing and developing new material. With EPs you have the freedom to release what feels best when it feels right rather than having to work on the longer time-scale that an album demands.

You’re self-releasing the EPs… is this a risky move? Do you care about the commercial success of the project?
There are risks involved, but there are also major benefits. Having the level of creative control that I have through self-releasing is priceless, and would be really hard to get from a normal label. Obviously it would be great if people bought the records, but for me it’s more about people enjoying the music rather than aiming for sales figures.

What can fans expect from the third EP, THREE?
THREE will be a development of what we’ve been doing for the last two records, developing more and more of what we enjoy playing and listening to with no fear. There are always new inspirations and influences coming in for me and for the other guys in the band, so it’s hard to say absolutely what the next step will sound like.

How Not To Be Surprised When You’re A Ghost is a beautiful track; can you tell us the inspiration behind it?
How Not To Be Surprised When You’re A Ghost is inspired by this idea about the afterlife that’s an alternative to the traditional version where you’re absolved and you are freed of all responsibility. It’s is based on the thought that maybe heaven or hell is up to the individual; everyone you ever knew is there because in eternity there’s no time, so it’s up to you to make amends and absolve yourself. Take responsibility when you’re dead!

How do you think your fans have reacted to the change in your musical style?
It’s been very interesting. A vast majority of people have been surprisingly cool with it, though the thing that defined me through all my previous work (my voice) is still very present, so anyone who liked that would still find a lot to enjoy. Naturally, anyone who was a fan more of the songs I sang rather than the singer I am will potentially be a bit put off! Generally, though, people have been very positive.

You’ve been over in the US gigging recently… what has the reaction been like?
The reaction in the US has been great. We’ve played at a variety of venues with different audiences, and on very varied bills and got really good responses every time which has been very encouraging. There is definitely a good attitude to new music in the US.

The way your style has evolved suggests you’re no longer into pop music… What sort of people are you listening to lately?
I’ve been listening to a vast amount of different things. Everyone in the band brings their own set of awesome influences which all filter in because we spend a lot of time together sharing music. It’s a pretty wide range from Messiaen to The Fatty Acids by way of things like Pomegranates, who were a Persian psych band in the 1960s. Everything is worth having a listen to.

You were a judge on Over The Rainbow; would a role on The Voice UK or The X Factor ever appeal to you?
I don’t think so. Over The Rainbow was an experience, but I’m more interested in creating for myself.

What’s next for Charlotte? Do you have any plans following the EP releases?
Only time will tell; we’ve got another three to do and then we’ll see.

Find out more about Charlotte and purchase her new EPs ONE and TWO from her official website.