- Words Notion Staff
- Photography Spencer Edwards
Zimbabwean-Canadian artist, Charmaine, is bringing her A-game and is pulling no punches on her addictive new single "Woo!"
Charmaine’s easy charisma is evident through her music; a dream built through years of hard work and difficult times. Now, the rapper, singer, and lyricist continues to make her mark with latest single “Woo!”
The upbeat, made-for-the-club slammer will have you shouting “Woo!” after just one chorus. Created for a time when life goes back to ‘normal’ and we can all drop it in the club, Charmaine lamented: “I haven’t gotten the chance to go out and get turnt up with my girls. So, I wanted to produce a record that still gave me the same feeling”.
In the music video, Charmaine is seen behind the wheel of a car, glammed up the nines, glittery lipstick and sunglasses shining against the city lights as she and her girls head out into town for a night of dancing. There’s a contagious feeling of fun and excitement that spreads when watching the visuals. We bet we’re not alone in thinking that Charmaine and her pals would be fantastic company on a night out.
Notion caught up with Charmaine to hear about her biggest musical influences (shout out to Missy Elliott), the lessons she’s learned over the past year, new music and more.
You faced many challenges growing up. How did these struggling times shape you to the artist you are today?
They taught me resilience. To understand that sometimes life can be really shitty but it’s how you pick yourself back up and fight that makes you strong. It’s okay to be down back…just don’t STAY down bad.
Were there any particular artists that were played whilst you were growing up and who are an artistic inspiration for you today?
Oh, I listened to A LOT of down south rap as well as old school hip hop and R&B. I’d listen to everything from Missy Elliot, Lil Kim, Da Brat, Queen Latifah to Aaliyah, 3LW, TLC, Amerie, Destiny’s Child and Beyonce. All the way to Ludacris, Crime Mob, Field Mob, Lil Scrappy, Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz, Dem Franchise Boyz, Petey Pablo, Mase and SO MUCH MORE!
I’d say overall though, Missy Elliot is my artistic inspiration. Her creativity, the visuals and the unapologetic uniqueness she displays is GOALS AF!! I’ve taken that same approach with my own career and sound.
Can you remember the moment where you realised that music was something you could pursue as a career?
In 2018, I wrote this song called “Faded.” It was the first time I really felt like I was meant to do this. Of course, it never came out but I will always hold that record close to my heart because it was the very one that got me my deal with my label.
Your debut single “BOLD” currently sits at over 1.5 million streams on Spotify. As an artist that’s debuted during a global pandemic, has it been tough to feel a real, tangible sense of achievement?
Yes and no. Although I can’t really experience the same elements that usually come with this, I still feel the excitement and pride in seeing everything translating digitally. It actually is the best for me because it’s given me time to build a solid fanbase before I do go out into the world and start experiencing the rest!
What have you learned about yourself and your environment over the past year and how has this affected your creative process, the message you want to share and your sound as a whole?
I’ve learned just how dope of a person I am and how I’ve done an amazing job reflecting that in everything I’m doing. I doubted myself for a long time so overall I’ve discovered just how capable I am of reaching the stars. The message I want to share through what I do is simply; “Women Run THIS!.” We are just as talented, just as hardworking if not more than our male counterparts and we are taking over the world. PERIODT!
What’s the backstory behind your latest song “Woo!”?
In this pandemic we’re in haha, I haven’t gotten the chance to go out and get turnt up with my girls. So, I wanted to produce a record that still gave me the same feeling that we can blast once everything goes back to “normal.” Just a night out having an amazing time while simultaneously mocking/calling the shots with these men.
Is constructing visuals something you look forward to and what are you hoping to convey in your “Woo!” music video?
Oh 100%. I love coming up with treatments and ideas that paint the picture of the vibe I want! For “Woo!”, I simply wanted to convey the imagery of a group of bad women having a blast!
If you could perform “Woo!” anywhere, real or imaginary, where would it be?
Hands down at Rolling Loud! I’ve always dreamt of performing there so fingers crossed haha.
Are live performances something you’re excited to explore in the future? What would the perfect Charmaine live show look like?
I think I’m MOST excited about live shows. The energy in my music and my presence is beyond fire and I just KNOW it’ll be iconic.
The perfect show would look like me, my DJ, some dope dancers (all women btw) on a stadium stage. Flashing neon lights, smoke, big fans so I can feel like Beyonce, filled with amazing supporters who are ready to turn up and rap along with me!
What can people expect from Charmaine in 2021?
People can expect more amazing music, visuals, groundbreaking moves, live shows (hopefully) and just an amazing experience of the growth all around.