Soaking In The Moment; An Interview with Charlie Collins

With a distinct blend of gleam and grit, Charlie Collins has quickly established herself as one of the most promising indie artists in Australia. In just less than a year, she has sold out her first Australian tour, secured coveted slots at BIGSOUND and Laneway Festival, toured extensively with Gang of Youths, been featured across Spotify’s New Music Friday, and received enthused radio support from triple j, KCRW, KCSN, The Current and more.

This past Friday, Collins released her debut album Snowpine, along with the single “Please Let Me Go.”  Talking about the track, Charlie reveals “Please Let Me Go” is a personal account of self-reflection and a sense of hopelessness during a difficult period in her life. “This is somewhat of a self-pity song,” she says. “I was feeling sorry for myself when I wrote this, as I just felt like I couldn’t win in a sense. I felt tired and didn’t feel like I had the strength to keep going, constantly comparing myself to others around me and feeling like somewhere along the lines, I had failed.”

We recently caught up with Collins to talk more about her musical journey and about the new album.

Besides the love for it, what ultimately led you towards wanting to play music?

Growing up in Tamworth I was always surrounded by music. Mum and dad constantly playing and singing country songs then going out to see live music was my life. When I was 10 I picked up the microphone at home and started singing along to my favourite songs. I got this overwhelming feeling and knew then that’s what I wanted to do.

I read that you pushed your way onto the stage at a pub at the age of eleven.  What was that moment like for you?

It felt like the start of my journey in a sense. Everything became so clear, even at such a young age that I knew this was where I belonged.

You learned to play the classics from the likes of Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline and Emmy Lou Harris.  What was it about these artists that spoke to you so deeply?

It was there honesty, heart and soul that touched me. I could feel there pain even back then through there words and voices.

Was there a time when you thought that playing music wasn’t going to be in your future?

Absolutely.. well for a bout a week and then I realised I didn’t leave room in my life to do anything else. It’s been a long hard road and as much as I would challenge myself and feel like I should just give up, well that’s just not an option for me.

You have been in a variety of bands, but have decided to go about it solo.  What was it that going into this direction made more sense for you?

It’s just who I am. I got really good at faking it for so long and almost acting on stage, pretending to be this other woman. After you do that for a while it starts to take a toll and I knew I couldn’t go on doing that. I remember the moment when I picked up my guitar and just started writing in my lounge unravelling so much suppressed emotion and knowing that this is where I belong. Just being honest, raw, real and me.

How long did it take for you to write Snowpine?

Took me a little over a week! Like I said I had a lot building up a lot to say.

What do you want to convey in your music when you are writing lyrics?

I want to be honest with people. Have them understand me a little better and also relate to my pain,love and life and maybe help them overcome battles too.

Over the past year, you have sold a tour, played in big festivals, and being getting support from the radio stations around you.  Have you allowed yourself to take a moment to relish in the moment?

I think when I’m at home alone with a guitar and glass on wine is when I soak it all in. So yes I guess I have.

Are there any aspirations to come over to the States and tour?

For sure! Nashville is definitely on the cards for me. Ever since I’ve started it’s been a dream of mine so going to make that little girls dreams come true.

You will be supporting Kasey Chambers during her 20th Anniversary tour of The Captain, launching September 12 in Melbourne.  Being a key player in your career, what does this upcoming stint on the road mean to you?

When I got the call to do this, I was so overwhelmed with excitement and just so honoured. The Chambers family have played a huge part in my musical journey. Bill would always get me up to sing on his shows and mentored me growing up. Kasey was always so encouraging, and I’ve always looked up to her, still do. There’s nothing more I would rather do right now then join her on this milestone tour.

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