Meet the Devon-hailed singer-songwriter penning songs about the pressures of adulthood.

Wonderland interview Elle Charms jumper

Images: Alice Sanders

Wonderland interview Elle Charms jumper
Images: Alice Sanders

Growing up in the rural depths of South West England means two things: you’ll be surrounded by rolling fields and an abundance of sheep, but you’ll also probably be a bit bored. But for Elle Charms, those long, slow days spent an hour’s walk from the nearest bus stop encouraged the creativity that would go on to inspire her intimate songwriting.

Her latest track, “Lie With Me”, is a synth-pop-esque, electronic ballad, the lyrics of which she states just “fell out of [her] in probably 30 minutes”. “It’s about the internal struggle of wanting to be with someone but also wanting to be on your own”, Charms tells us. “I knew that being with this guy would make me happy but I also wanted to be independent, so I was in this massive Catch 22”.

We sat down with the singer to talk Britney, Beyoncé and relationship problems…

Wonderland interview Elle Charms shop
Wonderland interview Elle Charms shop
Images: Alice Sanders

What’s your earliest memory of music?
I remember it so clearly. I must have been about five and my two older brothers were watching one of those MTV music channels that played all the hits, and “Hit Me Baby One More Time” came on by Britney. I literally remember looking at her and being like “I’m gonna do that”.

Who were your favourite artists growing up?
My parents weren’t massively into any particular music scene. My dad loves absolutely everything, and my mum just listens to whatever’s on the radio so I was always lead by that. I was a die-hard Spice Girls and Beyoncé fan, but being from Devon I also listened to a lot of folky stuff like Bon Iver and James Vincent McMorrow.

When did you know you wanted to do this full time?
I’ve just always known. It took me a while to fully accept it and let go of any fears I had about it, because it’s quite a vulnerable place to put yourself.

How has your rural upbringing inspired your music?
It meant there were a very select few that had the same interests as me, and there were hardly any opportunities in the pop side of music in Devon. But, it gave you this unbreakable bond with people who helped you with your journey. I’m still in touch with the people who taught me and inspired me to do music. I owe them literally everything.

How would you describe your music?
Up-tempo ballads that make you wanna marry him and dump him at the same time.

If you could collaborate with one person, who would it be?
Ummmmm, Zayn.

What do you want people to feel when they listen to your music?
I want people to feel like they can own their feelings. It’s ok to be a bit of a mess and all over the place and not know what you want, or want something that people don’t expect from you. Accept that and be empowered by it.

What were the inspirations behind your new track?
I first wrote “Lie With Me” as a piano ballad (like I always do), and wanted to get the confusion across of wanting to be with someone when all your friends are like “just be single for a bit!”. And then I wanted to feel like it was a bit more of a party song. Honestly, I don’t even know how we got to where we got to with it. It just kinda happened.

What’s your favourite song of all time?
“Down To The River To Pray” – Alison Krauss version. My dad used to play it to me on the way to school.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Be a dark horse.

What’s your goal for one year from now?
Hmmm… we’ll see.

If today was the last day on earth, what would you do and where would you go?
I’d get out of the city and go to a beach with everyone I love. Quiet beaches are my favourite thing in the world.

What are you inspired by?
Definitely my friends, they’re amazing. They all have their own lives that they live and their own passions and it’s so amazing to see everyone doing their thing. Plus I’m pretty happy at the moment so it’s quite hard to write. Now, when my friends are complaining about their relationships I have to sneakily make notes on my phone, so I can use them to write about later.


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