After having only released her debut single “Tough Love” towards the end of last year CXLOE has toured the country supporting the likes of Alison Wonderland, MOZA and George Maple and has raked up 292,000 Spotify streams on the fiery lead single. The Sydney songstress has relocated to Los Angeles and reflected on her experience of trying to fit into the LA lifestyle with a dark and moody new track. “Monster” is a continuation of the dark electronic pop that “Tough Love” introduced but is a lot more grittier in it’s delivery. It’s less polished and is instead more DIY and angsty. It has already clocked 466,000 streams on Spotify and is continually growing. She has cemented herself as an artist that you NEED to see an eye one because after witnessing her live set she has a lot of incredible unreleased music that you are going to FREAK over. Recently I chatted to CXLOE about why Los Angeles is so toxic for new artists, how surrounding herself with the right people has changed her perspective on things and why she’s decided to stay an independent artist at the moment. Check out the very candid chat here;
TB: Your new single “Monster” has a darker and grittier sound to it compared to your pop polished debut single. What was inspiring you sonically while you were in the studio this time around?
C: I was working with different producers this time around so I think that always affects the feel and darkness of the song. But I think the content I was writing was a lot darker and the word monster kind of already determines that sound and vibe. But the content was a lot darker than “Tough Love” and so I used that to guide the producers to the world I wanted it to sit in. “Monster” is about looking at yourself and not being happy with what your staring back at. So it is essentially very dark.
TB: You’ve also said that “Monster” reflects on your move to LA and trying to fit into the toxic scene over there. What do you think about LA that makes it so toxic?
C: There are so many things. The hungriness of everyone around you, like no one cares and it’s just every man for themselves. And I think coming from Australia where everyone is so supportive it’s a bit of a shock because that’s not the way it is here. So you’re thrown into this world of dog eat dog and it kind of slaps you in the face being an Aussie. So essentially that’s how I felt because I didn’t know how I was meant to talk to people and who I was meant to talk to and maybe I was meant to go out every night or I was meant to stay with these people or say this. And I think it was just me trying to figure out what to do.
TB: LA really is so different because it can be so cut throat compared to Australia where we are so much more laid back. But I find there to be such a big difference between East Coast and West Coast. Like New York seems to be a lot more supportive and more about the art compared to LA.
C: LA is a lot of talk and is more of a scene where as I find people in New York actually get shit done. In New York they are up at 8 and they’ve done their run before they’ve got to work and in LA they are up at 1 and then starting working at 3. It’s very different.
TB: Your debut single “Tough Love” explores letting your guard down. So how did you approach your songwriting for this project to allow yourself to be so intimate?
C: Honestly I think because it broke me down so much coming over here that there was nothing left of me to care anymore. I’m vulnerable and I want to write about what I want to write about and I don’t care what anything thinks. If I hadn’t of come over here I think I would’ve been so hung up on what this person would think or what this person would say where as now I just don’t really care. After being here I think being intimate in a song didn’t seem like a big deal to me because when you do come over here you are bare you are literally naked because everyone sees how lonely it is and everyone is in the same boat. There really is no point hiding any part of you.
TB: You’ve also said that this song is about finding the strength in yourself in an industry which can be quite patronizing to females at times. So what would you like to say to females who are scared to be themselves or are confused with the current state of the world?
C: It is so patronizing, I could speak about this for hours *laughs*. I remember my first sessions where I was constantly spoken down to and I was made to believe that I was so young and immature so my direction wasn’t taken seriously. Like if I was in a session and I would say I want to do this then my idea was immediately shut down and I would have to listen to whatever the producer wanted. You can say no but it doesn’t matter to them, its pretty intense.
TB: And what would you like to stay to females who are scared to be themselves or confused with the current state of the world?
C: That it’s okay to be scared, it’s totally fine and it’s totally understandable. Just surround yourself with good people. Like no matter where you are in the world or what the industry is like that you’re in as long as you surround yourself with good people that make you feel safe then you will be okay.
TB: Since releasing “Tough Love” and going on tour with Alison Wonderland and George Maple. Have you found that your song writing or musical influences has changed at all?
C: A little bit. I guess now I have a clearer vision of what I want to do live. Because performing live is a whole new dimension from song writing. After doing a couple of shows I started seeing what would look cool to perform and what people really get into. Like even if it’s just a chanty styled delivery that people can easily sing along too. It’s definitely influenced my writing but more in the sense of the instrumentation and production as you just get to see what people vibe off.
TB: And as mentioned before you’ve already toured with some massive Australian dance heavyweights. How have you found these touring experiences have been so far?
C: Really good! They’ve definitely opened up my eyes to another side of the music industry. I think for me the hardest thing about touring is everything but the performance. The waking up at 5 to get your flight at six, the being in a different city every day and managing how to make sure your voice is okay. Like, everything else but the performance is really hard. It’s been so cool though because I now have a clear vision of how I want to do my live show moving forward. Like my team and I are currently working on a cool live set up and I’ve been able to draw inspiration from people I’ve seen live and people I’ve toured with. So I’m just really excited now to do my own headline show as I have some really cool ideas that we are workshopping.
TB: What has been your favourite or funniest touring moment so far?
C: I remember one night when I was playing with MOZA that I didn’t realise my microphone pack had been turned on and I was having a panic to one of the guys and I was going “omg what if I can’t remember anything”. And then he’s like “your microphone is on you idiot” and I was like “oh shit” and then I was like oh no I swore “Oh fuck” and then I’m like “god dammit” *laughs*. It just kept getting worse. And then one morning we nearly missed our flight because we had to carry all of our gear with us in these massive pelican boxes and we are running through the terminal trying to make our flight. Actually that’s not even a funny experience, that was hell *laughs*. We made that flight by 1 minute. The MOZA boys were the best to tour with as they always had me laughing Again, you just have to surround yourself with good people cause they will make the experience fun no matter what.
TB: You have a lot of unreleased material that you perform during your live show so I have to ask, when are we going to hear more of these tracks?
C: There’s a lot going on right now, so hopefully soon. At the moment we are just doing single by single release but there’s a lot going on over here currently so hopefully I might be releasing a lot more at once so stay tuned. But I remember when we just released “Monster” someone asked me “so when is your next one coming out?” and I was like “WHAT, we just finished this, I’m still out of breath” *laughs*.
TB: When starting this project you decided to not sign to a record label and stayed independent. What do you find is the best thing about being an independent artist?
C: There’s a lot of pro’s and cons but I really enjoy the freedom as an artist to release music when I want and I don’t really have to go through a million people to get it out. I can also explore my sound as I wish without a label which is cool. I think I see my project as quite universal and I want it to be bigger and for that to happen a label is something I do need to consider. But at the moment I’m enjoying exploring my sound and taking my time.
TB: Lets play a little game when you answer these questions with the first thing that comes to mind.
C: Oh goodness that sounds super easy but watch me forget words *laughs*.
TB: If I could have any superpower it would be…
C: To be invisible.
TB: Most mornings I..
TB: Do you actually?
C: No *laughs* I’m just really tired today so thats the first thing that came to my head *laughs*.
TB: My guilty pleasure song is…
C: “Every Breath You Take” by The Police comes to mind straight away but it’s not really a guilty pleasure song because it’s The Police and they are the best. So umm…. I would say “Uh-Huh” from Julia Michaels because thats a song I like to lose myself to.
TB: If I was a rapper my rap name would be…
TB: Most people think I…
C: Am greek but I am actually Italian!
You can listen to “Monster” and “Tough Love” on Spotify now