Caitlyn Scarlett finds her soulful voice on ‘Bad Love’.
If a song can grab your attention at first listen, then chances are it’s really, really good.
Caitlyn Scarlett’s commanding presence on her debut single, Bad Love, has all the formula to fall into the higher reaches of contemporary music-making. The 18-year-old North London-based singer-songwriter and her high-octane, atmospheric single could, in a matter of time, cross over into the mainstream. “I was a very acoustic artist before I met Ayo Beatz, who produced the song,” says Caitlyn. “I mean when I first heard the beat, I knew it was something different.”
Part of Caitlyn’s artistic process involves lifting subjects from personal experiences and rendering them-complete with sincerity. The result is usually a natural meditation on love, youth and evolution, complete with an approach that keeps the soul in her sound. “I think that I have quite a good knack for putting myself in other people’s shoes and I’ve always been told that’s what makes my music relatable,” she says, laughing. Raised in a musical household, she was taught to play both the guitar and piano at a young age, not an easy task, to say the least. “My introduction to sound would have to come from my family. I grew up listening to a lot of music and from day one, I pretty much had no choice but to observe so much music that I ended up loving it.”
Playing music, she discovered, was a more therapeutic, direct form of expression. She avoids modern-day culture and aligns herself with music from the past. “I’m very much into a lot of older stuff. I don’t listen to a lot of modern music. I kind of get lost into a lot of stuff from the ‘60s and ‘70s.” Her debut EP, Jurassic Juke Box and Other Drugs, reveals her curiosity about the world at large.
“Anyone who knows me knows of my complete obsession with dinosaurs, like, I’m just really into them. Juke Box represents my fascination for the past as well as the fact that music is as old as time, which is how I feel about dinosaurs. It’s just really an accumulation of all the things I love and the things that represent my passion. I’m really into evolution. I listen to a lot of lectures by Richard Dawkins, so, I guess incorporating the dinosaur theme into the EP could be an idea that I will be evolving as an artist.”
The video for Bad Love which fits perfectly with the feel of the Indie-Pop inspired song is heavily peppered with emotional elements. It’s a video that hits the spot, while, most importantly, conveying the meaning of anti-love. “I wrote and directed the video myself. I think that’s why it’s so personal and people are able to see a lot of vulnerability, which is obviously coming from a personal perspective,” she says. There is no arguing that Caitlyn is one of 2014’s most promising rising stars. She is meticulous at writing, crafting harmonies, displaying her soulful, audacious pipes and such.
But the overall message to those who connect with her music and lyrics is about optimism. “This whole EP is just the manifestation of going through different things and learning from them,” she explains. “One of the tracks on there is written about my own brother, another is about personal problems I’ve had, and there’s also a really personal song about a friend I’ve lost.” Aside from her music, she has quite a thoughtful mind, too. If there is anything she loathes more than ignorance, it’s people with limited scope for awareness. “It’s really sad when people allow their ego to get in the way of accepting other people who are different. I’m very much in favour of people being true to themselves and true to who they are.”
Jurassic Juke Box and Other Drugs is released April 28. For more info, click here.
Words: Noel Phillips