Musical artist Charlotte Bash discusses her new album and her fears as a singer as she joins Disney’s “Dreams Come True” concert tour in Taiwan.
There’s an airy lightness and welcoming feeling of ease that comes with speaking to Charlotte Bash. Her blatant honesty and perfectly-timed humor offers an insight into just who the singer behind the music is.
When one listens to her music, they will be enthralled by her voice. Almost reminiscent of the low huskiness that Lana Del Ray has made famous in the verses of ‘Princess Game’, she shows the tip of her vocal prowess throughout the song, especially during the chorus. This title track of the album gives listeners the best of both worlds. They can either enter Charlotte’s world of fun, electro-pop or take the route of “Who’s laughing now?” and explore a darker meaning to the song.
Describing the song as such, the singer explains of the track, “I just kind of got really tired of hearing people use the term ‘Princess’ in a negative way, implying, ‘Oh, you’re such a princess! You’re lazy!’” Charlotte goes on to say that she’s using ‘Princess’ in that sarcastic way but also positively. “It tells a story of really strong women, standing their ground and doing what they believe in. There’s two sides of that word.”
Is this thing ever going to get finished!?
Hearing the word in multiple connotations is something that Charlotte is familiar with. Inspired by her life in general, she says that she was also inspired by women not helping other women and fighting, too. “I was really involved with feminist organizations in college and I was just kind of trying to make sense of the whole thing so it was my attempt at that,” reveals the singer. She also credits some of the song to the fact she would get called a princess a lot.
“I’m like, ‘Why? Because I like glitter?’” she would ask, laughing as she tells Teenplicity this. “I’m fine with that. I’ve always worn that title really proudly. I just got so tired of having it be used in a negative way because I’m like, ‘I don’t know if I should take this as a compliment or if you’re insulting me.’ I used to take it as a compliment because you’re right, I say I am a princess.”
However, that isn’t why she gave her album the same name. Instead, it comes from her attachment to such a cool title. ‘Princess Game’, along with fellow album track ‘Back Again’ was one of the first songs she wrote for the album and she fell in love with the title. “I was like, ‘This is so great!’ I had to name the name “Princess Game” and I decided really early on before everything was even finished being written.” Charlotte admits to thinking, “‘Even if it doesn’t make any sense, it’s going to be called this because it’s the coolest album title ever! And I don’t think anymore else has an album called this.’ So I was just really proud of that.”
When it came to creating the album, it was no fairytale. Laughing as she describes the process to be long, Charlotte details the conflicting schedules between producers when it came to developing her music, including one situation in particular that left both participants in a twist.
After writing her initial songs, Charlotte wrote ‘Scars’ next. “I had written a few other things that hadn’t made it onto the album. At that point, I had reached out to Chris Price to help me produce the album. He’s also a gifted songwriter so he insisted that he write a couple songs with me,” she gushes. She reveals that they cowrote ‘Leave’, ‘Down’, and ‘Siren’ together. “At that point, I don’t even know if I was planning on releasing an album or an EP; I didn’t know what was going to happen because I just wanted to release really strong material,” she confesses. “I think I then got to that magic number of seven songs and I realized, ‘Oh wow, that’s more than an EP!’ I wanted to make an entire album.”
With that thought in her mind, Charlotte wrote the rest of her album. Her original producer, Chris, had gone on tour with The Who and she brought Sonnemm – his real name is Emmanuel Mendives, according to the singer – as well as Brendan Lee to help her finish the songs. “Emmanuel is Peruvian, he’s living here now – he has an artist visa – but at the time, his visa was expiring and he had to go back to Peru,” describes Charlotte of the next bump in the road for her album, and her friend. Though all is good now on both ends, she recalls with a laugh what she thought to herself. “Is this thing ever going to get finished!?”
Of all the songs on the album, the growing musician can’t quite pick a favorite. She expresses her love for ‘Down’, a favorite of Teenplicity’s, and then goes on to call ‘Labeled’ her anthem. “If I had to describe my general mood in a song from the album, it would definitely be that one,” she explains. However, she still can’t decide on a song to claim number one. “I don’t know, I love all the songs on this album. That’s what makes it so exciting!” she gushes.
Charlotte confesses that as she looks back at her EP, there are a couple of songs now that she thinks, ‘Why is the world hearing this?!’
“I just didn’t want that feeling again,” she admits with a laugh. “When I was writing the final songs on the album, I was like, ‘What moods am I missing?’ ‘What else do I want to say?’”
Charlotte will have plenty more to write about as she experiences the joy of performing Disney songs while part of the “Dreams Come True” concert series that takes place over a month in Taiwan.
“It’s the most random story in the world,” begins the singer of how she got involved with it. The story starts with a simple Facebook group for musicians that was recommended by a composer friend in Los Angeles. “I saw this posting by this guy saying, ‘I’m hiring singers for a Disney concert tour.” She acknowledged that it was already on other casting sites but thought he may have been reaching out to a smaller audience, one he knew that the people wouldn’t be flakey and were reliable. “I saw that he was mutual friends with my composer friend so I was like, ‘Do you know him?’ He said, ‘Oh yeah! This is good stuff!’ So I applied.”
She believed she wouldn’t get it at first, citing that it was Disney and there were already hundreds of submissions, in addition to it having been a month and a half since she applied without a word. “I had honestly forgotten about it,” she recalls, a bit sheepishly before explaining, “that’s what we have to do as performers – we have to move on.” It is around this time that she got a call revealing she was in the final five and to go on video and submit a tape. “I did and I got it!” she remembers excited. “It was crazy.”
That’s my biggest fear.
Speaking of the moment she got the call, she says with a giggle, “I thought I was going to pee in my pants which would have been bad because I was at work at the time.” Her giggling turns to full on laughter as she describes the scene. “I had to go in and act really cool. I either jumped up and down or I mentally did but then it was a very quiet environment where I got this really enthralling news.”
When interviewing with the singer earlier this month, her tone gave way to the sound of shock and disbelief still, despite the fact she was getting ready to leave for Taiwan. “I just couldn’t believe it and I think that I’m still kind of in a state of shock. I mean, I’m leaving next Saturday to go to Taiwan and I just can’t believe it’s here,” she says at the time of the conversation. “I started packing yesterday and I was like, ‘Oh My God! What am I packing for? I’m not leaving? I’ve been practicing this music for fun!”
Although the start of the concert series isn’t until Saturday, November 18th, Charlotte dished that she was portraying Anna from Frozen in some of the pieces she will sing.
“I love all the music from Frozen,” she gushes. Referring to her cover of ‘Let It Go’ and the switch to Anna that she has to make for the concert series, the singer says, “I was a little nervous because I had spent so much time on ‘Let It Go’ over the past couple of years and just trying to nail that because I knew, if I could do this song, there’s so much I can do.” She calls the switch to Anna and having to sing in a more traditional musical theater way really challenging for her. Overall, she is most excited, and most nervous, to sing ‘Reflection’ from Mulan. The main point for this is that she will be singing Christina Aguilera’s version.
“I just feel like it’s so difficult,” she confesses. “But that song is so iconic. When I was a kid, I tried to sing it several times and failed miserably. I’m excited and nervous of that. I’m excited for the prospect of not destroying it,” she jokes with a laugh. “We’ll see what happens! We might get there and be like, ‘…Really?’ That’s my biggest fear.”
Also revealing that she will cover a Celine Dion rendition from Beauty and the Beast, Charlotte expands on this fear. “That’s like every singer’s biggest fear – is to cover anything by Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston. Or at least for me.” She’s confident though that others feel the same and that she hit the nail on the head with the biggest fears for singers. “But I’m honored that they are going to let me butcher these songs,” she laughs, joking. “The Beauty and the Beast one is great because Celine Dion has such a pureness to her voice that it’s more of a standard, if you’re a good, solid pop singer, you can navigate your own way versus I feel like ‘Reflection’ was written for Christina Aguilera. That’s been kind of funny.”
Continuing to ‘nerd out’ as Charlotte calls it, she gushes over the abilities that Christina possessed at such a young age.
“She is amazing and I cannot believe – I think she was 19 or 20 when she did ‘Reflection’. I’m like, ‘Who are you?!’ That is such a difficult song. I mean, her vocal prowess is absolutely incredible to me and I heard her sing it live and it sounded basically the same as it did on the recording. She’s the real deal.”
To help her get into the mindset of the big shoes she has to match up to, and no doubt will, Charlotte reveals that she likes to see the stage before a performance. “If it’s a big stage, like what I’m imagining, I’m always like, okay, let me just walk around it for a little bit without anyone being there,” she explains with a laugh. “A lot of water, vocal warmups.” With a casual tone, she says that she doesn’t have that crazy of a routine. “Sometimes I walk around a lot; I do like a shakedown with my hands and feet,” she confesses through a bout of giggles. “Just to get myself moving. There’s some singers who get really quiet before performances but for me, it’s like, ‘Please talk to me! How was your day? Tell me about that grilled cheese you just had!’” Her laughter is contagious before she pauses to gain her breath again.
“Then I like to think of getting into the character and I use different techniques to get to the right place. That’s what I keep thinking about with this concert tour.” When she does Anna from Frozen or Jasmine from Aladdin, she steps into the mindset of musical theater. When it comes to doing the Christina Aguilera or Celine Dion pop songs, she says, “I have to think before going on stage, ‘Be a 15 year old girl!’ ‘Be a 5 year old girl!’ or ‘Alright! Bring out your inner diva – let’s go!’”
I’m looking forward to working really hard and hopefully laying down more groundwork for really amazing things to happen that I will be pleasantly surprised with.
As Charlotte goes forward in her career, she has a lot to look forward to. This year, in addition to her Dreams Come True concert series, she will also be releasing a Christmas song. Arranged by her friend Jocelyn Scofield – another singer in the LA community who she dubbed to be a badass – the song is a cover of ‘Carol of the Bells’, but with a different take on it, according to the singer.
“It’s kind of like a haunting version of it,” she teases through her excitement, not wanting to give more away. “It’s weird. It’s not your typical, ‘Oh, let me be jolly! And imagine Santa’s going to visit me!’ type of Christmas song.” With a laugh, she recites, “It’s really weird. I call it ‘Moody Christmas!’”
Past that, she plans to continuing touring, claiming southern California to be the next area for her shows. “I would love to open up for some bigger artists and get some music placed in television and film,” she says of her big goals for next year. Despite being unsure if she will release another album for a little bit, Charlotte does confirm that she will be producing new singles. “I have a few songs that I have written that I’m going to get produced and start performing out next year, probably even a little bit before an official release.”
Looking even farther into the future, Charlotte can’t help but laugh loudly as Teenplicity asks what she hopes to see herself accomplishing in five years. “Hopefully a lot… Oh man, is that bad if I don’t know?” she responds, with perfectly good reason to. “I’ll be honest, there’s some things that have happened in my life that I never could have imagine happening the way they have. Like if you asked me five years ago what I planned on doing now, I never would have said releasing my first full album. I don’t even know if I was writing songs five years ago.”
In a general sense though, she hopes she’s accomplishing all her goals that she has set for next year, but more amplified. “Opening for bigger artists, and doing more international tours, like what I’m doing now. I’d love to be a Disney princess for a Disney animated film. That would be really, really cool.”
Charlotte is leaving all doors and possibilities open towards the future.
“I’m looking forward to working really hard and hopefully laying down more groundwork for really amazing things to happen that I will be pleasantly surprised with.”
Disney’s Dreams Come True concert series will perform throughout Taiwan from November 18th through December 17th.
To get “Princess Game”, check it out on iTunes and Spotify now!