- Words Solly Warner
Emerging artist Chloe Rodgers returns with her dynamic and uplifting alt-pop single "Coins For Charon". We hear about her musical firsts.
Born and raised in Nottingham, Chloe Rodgers first stepped into the limelight after accidentally winning Notts X Factor. It all started when Chloe was interning at a local record label and was put up for an audition by her boss, which resulted in a series of local gigs and a presence on YouTube. This brought her to the attention of music producer and composer, Anders Källmark, where she was included as the main vocal component of his project ‘Twenty Committee’. The rest, as they say, is history.
With influences that stretch from PJ Harvey to Billie Eilish, Chloe notes Radiohead frontman, Thom Yorke, as her biggest inspiration. “You know immediately that his lyrics have hidden depths”, she explains, “but the deeper you dig, the further you are from getting to what they might mean”.
Following up an impressive 2020, which saw her release the singles “A Delphian Lullaby”, “Faces”, and “The Algea”, new tune “Coins For Charon” sees Chloe return to the vibrant alt-pop aesthetic, delivering a message about losing someone you love. The track uses a mix of atmospheric piano-led soundscapes and thunderous percussion to deliver a grand return that accompanies her delicate voice.
With a string of future releases at the ready, Chloe Rodgers looks to have a bright solo career on the horizon. We caught up with her about her musical firsts. Dive in!
First song you ever made?
I can’t actually remember the first as I’ve got notebooks from as young as 4 where I had written songs. The oldest one that I can remember writing was one called “My Heart Made A Promise” when I was about 8 or 9, for a silly girl band I started at school called ‘The Giggly Girls’. Not gonna lie, it was actually quite sick for something I wrote so young; like I can imagine it being sung by Carly Rae Jepson or someone of that ilk. Not to toot my own horn or anything but I’m proud of tiny Chloe, she wrote better than I can now in some ways. I always used to write songs for the band and then the next day the other girls would come back to me and present my own song to me as if they had written it and I’d just get kicked out if I tried to protest that it was mine 😂 Playground drama!
First song you released officially?
“A Delphian Lullaby” was my first release, and still my favourite to date. It was originally part of a project I was working on with my friend Mollie Ralph, which we both got side-tracked from but will hopefully come back to one day.
First CD or record you owned?
Probably ‘Complicated’ by Avril Lavigne. I had such a crush on her when I was little and I lived and breathed that album. I used to play it on a stereo under my bed when I stayed at my Dad’s, and Mum would always play it in the car when we went on road trips too.
First time you realised you wanted to be a musician?
I think I have always wanted to be one, I never really had a back-up plan in place because I always figured it doesn’t really matter what I’m doing if I’m not doing music. It’s only since actually becoming a musician that I’ve had second thoughts about it 😂 It’s a lot harder than I expected it to be in a number of ways.
First gig you went to?
I think that will have been an All Time Low gig at Rock City in Notts with my friend Simran. I was 14 and going through a bit of an emo phase which was really just to make friends. I still like a lot of the music I listened to then but it’s not something I’m passionate about for the most part. I think I only started listening to music for myself properly when I got out of school and started sixth form. Before that I always just listened to what the people I wanted to be around liked.
First festival you went to and the first one you performed at?
I think the first festival I played at was Deerstock in 2017. I played in a little hippie tent called the Guerilla stage – it was vibey. I left only an hour or so after playing though; at that point I was still going to all my gigs with my mum and hadn’t discovered how fun festivals could really be. The first festival I properly camped out at was a little one called Mofest with some new-ish friends I had made, most of which are still the most important people in my life. It’s a lovely little festival with a campfire and a small trailer for a stage and there is always a wooden sculpture of something that gets burned down each year. The last time I went in 2019 there was a man who played “Boom Boom Boom” by Vengaboys on repeat on his speaker from before the sun set until it rose again and I still feel a little scarred from it. He was very very rude to anyone that asked him to change the song, and in the end even his clan that found it hilarious at first got fed up with him.
First instrument you owned?
I got one of those crappy little pink guitars with a heart-shaped sound hole for my 9th birthday when I decided to start learning to play. I must’ve gotten on everyone’s nerves so much before I actually learned to play chords. Just used to strum the open strings and write songs to it which is just an awful sound. I was very keen.
First time you felt like giving up?
It was only recently actually – when I saw footage from my first music video. I usually hate being in front of a camera, and seeing such clear video footage of myself usually always reminds me why. I feel like I have two different faces; a decent one and a hideous one and it tends to be the hideous one that gets caught on camera and sometimes I just feel so intensely self-conscious that the thought of having to do that again just makes me want to quit.
First time you felt starstruck?
Again this was only fairly recently. I went to a fancy Greek restaurant in Primrose Hill with my producer’s family the last time the lockdown restrictions were eased a little, and Matt Smith from Dr Who walked in. He even did jazz hands as he entered before he walked over to his date. I couldn’t believe my eyes for a second and I sort of pointed and looked at Anders to ask if it was really him and he was kicking me under the table and telling me to stop being rude. Whoops.
First time you heard your song playing somewhere?
I heard my 3rd single (“The Algea”) on Notts TV a couple of months ago after they contacted me and asked me if it was okay to play it. Was a great feeling that they asked me rather than me asking them!