Nottingham's Chloe Rodgers is an artist growing from strength to strength throughout 2021. Already tipped by many major tastemakers, the rising alt-pop star's vibrant yet atmospheric sound is set to see her soar.
Following the release of new single 'Coins for Charon', we caught up with Chloe to find out about the inspiration behind the track, the best parts of the Nottingham music scene and taking up a new job while awaiting the return of live music.
Hi! How are you doing?
Ayup! I’m not too bad thanks.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your musical career to date?
Errm well I have always been singing and performing since I was a tot, but didn’t start doing proper gigs on my own until I was about 17. Started out doing busking slots for ‘I’m Not From London’ when I was interning for them, then they entered me into Notts Factor in 2016 when someone dropped out, which I ended up winning. Then that helped me to start getting loads of gigs around notts, including a couple of residencies I had for a while. Then my label found me on YouTube 2 or 3 years ago and we worked on stuff for aaages til we finally started releasing my tunes in September. No idea how they ended up finding me to be honest, I barely even posted anything on YouTube. Just got lucky I suppose!
You’ve got a brand new single out, ‘Coins For Charon’ - tell us a bit about it & how it compares to your earlier releases?
So this song is quite different to the other three in that I didn’t actually write this one, and I wrote the other three. It was co written by Nick Van Hofwegan (aka Young & Sick) and my producer, Anders Källmark. I was reluctant to release a song that I didn’t write but the Greek mythology reference won me over. Charon is the ferryman that is paid to transport damned souls across the River Styx & down to the underworld. I love stuff like that so much. It’s a clever link to the theme of the song, which I believe is about losing someone you love to drugs. I guess it’s a metaphor about paying dealers to ruin your life. Soooo clever. I think the vibe is quite different too, especially in the chorus. The drums are a bit D&Bish, except they are played live (by Giovanni Velez). Edoardo Bombace played some double bass in there too.
You’re born and raised in Nottingham, tell us a bit about the music scene in Notts & how you’ve found launching yourself outside of the ‘big’ musical cities?
I completely adore the music scene in Notts. Massively prefer it to London. In London everything is so far apart and awkward to get to. In Notts there is one big city centre and you can get from a jazz night, to a heavy metal night, to a hip-hop night, to a folk night, to a ska night just by walking around the block. And you stumble across some absolutely amazing acts. As my label are based in London, I’ve managed to gig a bit down there too as I travel there a lot too record and they have contacts, so starting out in a smaller city was just really beneficial for me really. I wouldn’t have wanted it to happen any other way.
How are you coping with life minus live music? Picked up any new hobbies to fill the time?
Ooooh I miss it soooo much. I’ve been struggling with my voice for a while due to illness so it’s been a good break and chance to try and work on it but I can’t wait to have a proper boogie with my friends at a good gig again. Remember festivals? Really hope we get some lil fests back this year! I’ve still been really busy though. I got a new job as a Carer and have been doing lots of online training in conjunction with that, as well as training to be a volunteer mentor for Imara (which is a brilliant charity that supports victims of sexual abuse) and starting an online course for a diploma in mental health awareness too. I’ve also been recording nursery rhymes for a bit of extra cash, which makes me so jolly!
Where’s the best place in Nottingham to catch upcoming artists?
I would’ve said the Maze before, which was my favourite venue ever, but it sadly closed down a couple years ago. Now I’d say either the Jam café (which is an indie venue too so it gets extra points for that) or The Bodega, which has amazing sound quality and always showcases top-tier acts.
Any favourites you’ve been listening to in the past few months?
I have been loving Matilda Mann and Arlo Parks lately. Two quite different but equally gorgeous female singers. Matilda channels Laura Marling/Joni Mitchell vibes, while Arlo has a more modern sound.
What would you say is the ‘bucket list’ goal for you as an artist?
I’d love to have one my songs used in a fairly well known TV show or film. Or earn enough in royalties to be able to have my own place without a second job. But that’s doubtful.
And what’s the plan for the remainder of the year? Anything in the works?
I have loads of stuff lined up to release. It’s all jumbled up at the minute and I need to set out the order but it’s there, waiting to be finished and chucked out there. Still writing too. I’m really hoping I might be able to play a few gigs in the summer as well, but I don’t want to jinx it.