Write Up By Kelly Holm
As an emerging country/pop star, 25-year-old singer-songwriter Chloe Caroline admits to wearing a lot of hats, a necessity for life as an independent artist. From creative work to social media promotion to business and scheduling arrangements, trying to make a name in the music industry can be a full-time job that doesn’t always pay well and is a matter of, as Caroline says, “trial and error.” Yet, Caroline “still [has] to pay rent like any other 25-year-old.”
Most 25-year-olds, however, have not starred in a Hallmark movie featuring six of their original songs, something that Caroline did last fall. After the team behind “Love, Of Course” came across her clips on YouTube, they invited her to audition for the film’s lead role; A bartender and singer-songwriter in her freshman year of college, also named Chloe. Naturally, she got the part, her own resume bearing some resemblance to her characters.
Caroline was a freshman at Belmont University when she played her first gig at a Nashville bar. “I was more nervous about whether or not the boy who I liked and wrote a song about on my EP would show up. He didn’t. Loser,” Caroline remarked flippantly. Thankfully, this disappointment did not determine the trajectory of Caroline’s future. She’s now fresh off the release of her latest single “Messy,” which she describes as risky compared to previous works when it comes to production and content.
“It’s a pop song, but it’s got obvious hints of the past and it’s a little funky,” Caroline said. “It’s also a lot more blunt and dark than anything I’ve put out lyrically.”
But Caroline is no stranger to taking risks. During her youth in Manhattan Beach, California, she performed in talent shows starting in second grade, and began writing songs and teaching herself guitar while recovering from a long illness. A major confidence boost occurred when she joined the cheer squad in high school.
“That got me used to being comfortable in front of lots of people,” she said. “Naturally, I’m not the type who likes to be the center of attention but I’ve never gotten stage fright. However, before I go on stage I like to be very zen.”
When the 11-year-old Chloe Caroline crafted out her first tunes, she described them as poems that were later set to music. Now, she says, it’s “whatever flows into my head.” Sometimes the words precede the melody, sometimes they come at the same time, and sometimes it’s just a brief hook that she will expand upon with the help of her friends and her producer. Out of all the songs she’s ever written, her favorite to perform is “Confetti.”
“It’s a very beautiful song that has quite a bit of imagery and metaphor twisted in,” she said. “There’s a beautiful irony to it and I find a lot of people can relate.” That relatability is a major message she hopes to carry to her fans.
“They aren’t alone in who they are, how they feel, or in this world.” Another person she’d love to reach out to? Stevie Nicks.
“[Collaborating with Stevie Nicks would be] a kickass moment,” Caroline said. “I’d want to pull Stevie up on stage.”
Until that magnificent day arrives, however, she’ll keep working on her original material. With more singles and an album recorded, the path can only lead onward.
“Do not ever let somebody else tell you who you are,” Caroline advises to other aspiring musicians joining her on that road. And she takes to heart the words of wisdom given to her before she set out as an 18-year-old for Nashville: Nothing is impossible.
“My mother gave me a ring engraved with that when I moved… and I never take it off,” she said. “It is now the quotation written on the tag of my own jewelry line I created.” Now, if that’s not Caroline’s own real-life Hallmark movie moment, then what is?
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