If you’ve scrolled through TikTok recently then there’s a very high chance that you’ve heard the song ‘Violent’ by Carolesdaughter. With over 20 million views on the app, and 303k uses of the track, the Californian singer-songwriter has hit viral status. With the song translating incredibly well over to streaming, she’s clocked in 36 million streams globally and the number just keeps growing.
Building a fanbase on Soundcloud, she was uploading regularly as a therapeutic release of emotions following time in rehab for a battle with addiction. Never shying away from being vulnerable and transparent with her listeners, she just gave it directly to them without any set agenda. Building that community from the grass roots, she then uploaded ‘Violent’ which she created very quickly over a beat she found on YouTube. With the song not really doing anything for a few months, it all of a sudden started to blow up which led her to being signed with Arista Records/Sony Music.
With the song being officially released on streaming services on her 18th birthday in November 2020, it signalled the beginning of a brand new chapter for the rising star. With the streaming and viewing numbers significantly growing daily, it’s safe to say that Caroesdaughter is going to be one of 2021’s biggest breakout acts. With her goth aesthetic really resonating with an audience that feels under-represented in mainstream media, she is waving that flag proudly and being unapologetically herself on a global stage.
I recently chatted to Carolesdaughter about the contrast of the light production and heavy lyrics behind ‘Violent’, we explore the viral success of the song through TikTok, and find out some easter eggs to look out for in the music video. Check it out BELOW;
THOMAS BLEACH: ’Violent’ has already had a very interesting life span as it was originally released on Soundcloud and then blew up on TikTok a few months later but couldn’t be released on other platforms due to copyrighting as you wrote it over a YouTube beat. So what was it about that beat that you were drawn to as it was a lighter production and vocal take to what we had heard previously with ‘Porcelain Jesus’ and ‘Brat’?
CAROLESDAUGHTER: It was just really catchy, and the hook kinda just came to me as soon as I heard it. I don’t know what it is but sometimes when a beat comes in, my brain will just write the song right then and there. I’m not sure if that’s “my thing” but it just happens. So the “don’t make me violent” part came up out of nowhere, and I was like “that’s fire, I have to finish this”.
TB: How quick was the whole creative process after you got that first line?
C: I would say I wrote and recorded the song in 30 minutes. It was probably the quickest song I’ve ever written. It was really easy to write as every line just kept coming to me, and the story just kept writing itself.
TB: It’s crazy to think that sometimes if you just don’t overthink something and keep revisiting it that you could write your biggest song to date.
C: Yeah, that’s why I never force myself to write a song if it’s not coming easy. Like if it’s not coming to me easily then it’s just not meant to be. I actually have this book of lyrics and song ideas, and I don’t have any recordings of them so the only way I can remember the melody is by playing the chords on my guitar and just remembering it in my head. So basically it’s kinda like survival of the fittest, in the way that the catchiest melody will be the one I remember and turn into a song *laughs*.
TB: “Don’t make me get violent. I want my ring back, baby that’s a diamond” is a lyric in the chorus that immediately stands out. Can you explain the story behind this lyric?
C: I’m going to be honest, no one has ever given me a ring before. But I just feel like it represented the classic fight of two lovers. I’ve had so many messages of people saying “oh my god, this reminds me of my parents relationship”, and I think that’s really cool because the listener doesn’t always have to be the one that relates to it.
TB: Well I mean, if no one has ever bought yourself a ring before you can just go by yourself a ring now, right!
C: Exactly! I actually bought myself a ring from this really cool goth store in Fullerton, and it’s this little voodoo doll and he has this little chain and wooden stake that you can remove and put it into his heart. It’s literally the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. So that’s my favourite ring that I bought myself recently.
TB: The accompanying music video is very dark and plays up to the lyrics over the lighter production. What or who were some of the visual references for the music video edit?
C: One of my favourite artists is Junji Ito, and he does really cool horror and Manga art like that. He has this piece where it’s this girl floating in this bathtub full of black water with doll heads around her. So that was the inspiration for that scene.
In the other scenes I had stab wounds on my chest and that was meant to represent me getting stabbed in the heart basically. I also like it because it shows a contrast from the sweet song. My style is very dark and different to that, so I really wanted it to be a great representation of who I was and what I like.
TB: Have you put any easter eggs in there that fans can look out for?
C: There’s a few things hidden in the scenes like an ashtray that a listener made for me that says “Violent” on it. I’ve also included some of my personal rings in it too.
One of the biggest things was when ‘Violent’ was just on Soundcloud, the artwork was of this little bear holding a knife. That really inspired the lyric video, and from there we took those bears and used them in the music video, so look out for them. Those bears are like my fucking thing now *laughs*.
TB: ’Violent’ has had a complete life of its own on TikTok. So what has been one of your favourite or most original videos you’ve seen to the song?
C: Oh my god, there is this video of someone dressed up as Peppa Pig dancing to ‘Violent’ and it’s just really funny *laughs*. There are so many other great ones where they’ve gone viral because the people look other worldly and incredible, and I obviously love that cause it’s just so aesthetically pleasing.
TB: A lot of people are discovering your music through TikTok, so who are some artists you’ve discovered through TikTok that you’ve been loving?
C: Oh my god, that is another good question! There are so many friends of mine on it who are doing really cool things, and Sable is someone who makes new generation metal. He’s just super talented. He actually did a metal cover of ‘Violent’ which was my favourite thing ever. He’s super neat!
TB: You’ve been very open about your battle with addiction, and your journey through rehab and how that steered you onto the path of focusing on music. What’s the biggest thing that you want people to take away from hearing your story, and seeing where you are now?
C: I would say there is just no shame in getting help, and you don’t need to be at rock bottom to do so. I was however honestly at rock bottom for a long time, and I just figured out how to love life regardless of all the struggles and anxieties that I deal with everyday. I love to express myself, and I love to make art. So you just need to find what you love and are passionate about and make it worth it to keep fighting everyday.
TB: Lets play a quick game of rapid fire question. You ready?
C: Ahhh yes!
TB: The emoji that best describes my single ‘Violent’ is…
C: A combination of the bear emoji and the knife emoji.
TB: A hobby or weird obsession I’ve picked up during lockdown has been…
C: Selling clothes online! Online shopping though, it’s a killer.
TB: The colour of my toothbrush at the moment is…
TB: When I think of Australia I think of…
C: Kangaroos, and I’m really scared of them.
TB: Pineapple on pizza is…
C: No! Stop doing that!
‘Violent’ is out now!