Goth meets Hollywood glamour in Chloe Black. We sit down with the singer to investigate her obsession with the infamous 27 Club.
Born in Australia, Chloe Black has landed in London by way of Paris and the West Coast of the US. Rising up the ranks this year, she’s already supported Maverick Sabre and Rag’N’Bone Man and is working with the brains behind Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”, Arcade. Her first release “27 Club” won her first place at the top of Hype Machine with over 100,000 plays in its first week and now, she’s the soundtrack to ITV Drama, ‘DCI Banks’.
With all the opulent doom and gloom of Lana Del Rey, Chloe’s vocal soars on her chorus juxtapose her purrs and pouts perfectly. As she sings about the lives lost to the 27 Club over the years, she bounces from name to name, matched with staccato keys, giving the song a pop rhythm beneath it’s surface drama. We find out more about Chloe and her “abnormal fixation with death” and her tendency to swear like a trooper onstage.
When did you start singing?
I moved to LA to pursue singing after high school but before that I was quite shy and used to practice into my pillow at night before falling asleep so no one would hear.
And what did you listen to growing up?
My parents listened to a lot of jazz and world music but my own tastes are very eclectic. They vary from Nine Inch Nails to Nina Simone. Kanye to Johnny Cash. The earliest person I remember loving was Madonna, but Fiona Apple was the person who really made me want to write songs.
Do you think your multicultural upbringing has had an influence on your songwriting?
Definitely! Living in Hollywood has been a big influence both emotionally and sonically. It’s a real hip-hop town and I also happen to have lived through some of my darkest days there. I’ve learnt a lot from the amazing British songwriters and love to swear my ass off and talk about gin. The French influence has been there all my life as I was raised to be bi-lingual and love a good French crooner. Edith Piaf is a heroine of mine.
What about the infamous 27 Club, why did you choose to write about that?
I’m probably abnormally fixated with death so “27 Club” wouldn’t come as a surprise to those who know me well. I greatly admire a lot of the 27 club members and there was a time in my life where I was certain I would never be worth a damn if I didn’t seriously suffer for my art. That song is both a tribute to my heroes and my wondering if greatness and pain are intrinsically linked.
It’s amazing, what was the inspiration behind the video?
The video is a sort of surreal black and white dream world. Imagine French Vogue doing an editorial on witchcraft. The director and I shared a lot of the same loves like Film Noir, French New Wave and David Lynch so it was very exciting to work on. We had a tattooed pigs head and my wardrobe was mostly see through, but in spite of all that it’s oddly high brow.
Do you prefer writing and recording or performing?
Performing gives me the greatest rush and instant gratification. It’s so amazing to see people enjoying what you do after years of being in the studio. That being said though, I cannot imagine a life without writing and I love doing vocals. I used to be a session singer. After a long day of writing and recording, being able to listen to your new born creation whilst walking through the London Underground is pretty incredible. If a song can make those tunnels seem exciting I know it’s special.
Agreed! When can we expect an album from you?
I probably have enough material for an album already but things seem to take a hell of a long time in this business so I’d say next year sometime is realistic.
We can’t wait. So are your live shows as dramatic as your videos and songs or do you like to keep things stripped back?
For the moment the shows are just myself, a keyboard and backing tracks so sonically it sounds like the record. Unfortunately that means that for now I’m restricted to sitting down and behaving myself – no bad dancing or crowd surfing just yet. I try to make up for it by swearing like a motherfucker and drinking straight whiskey.
See Chloe Black at Barn on the Farm Festival 3rd – 5th July.