It's not every day I run into an indie who it's easy to picture making a big leap to musical fame. Chloe Collins is a 16-year-old singer/songwriter who is an already polished gem, I listen to her songs and feel euphoric, knowing I was there before she fully explodes upon the world. More than that, her music is the kind of pure pop and country that just makes ya happy, no apologies. Her songs are energetic, her voice and delivery just shine, even while the subject matter of her songs is mature beyond her years. The current single is Forget Your Name, a tune that rocks in the same way iconic artists like Bryan Adams and Rick Springfield bring it. The hook about dancing and smiling and doing whatever it takes to forgot her beau's name is so perfect I had to wonder why I'd never heard this angle before in a song. Then there's the song I'm hoping will be the follow up, called My Goodbye. This is really the song that took Chloe over the top for me, when I heard it. It's an open air classic, it's majestic. What it must be like to be in the good graces of a young woman like this. :) Yes I think it's pretty safe to guess that she will become a heartthrob for the world. She brings a boatload of talent to the table, and I encourage all the indies and indie lovers at IMP to root with all your being for someone who clearly has the gift to become a household name with this voice and charm, and songwriting chops on top of all that! Of course she's already been added to a whole bunch of stations on the site and I'm sure the Kayak Big 25 is not far away. I was pleased to get a chance to ask Chloe some questions, but as you're reading, please click on her songs and play them loud.
Scott: ok, you are a songwriter. Do you remember the first song you wrote and how old were you when you wrote it?
Chloe: I was 8 years old when I wrote my first song, "It's Not As Far As You Think", on a tiny piece of paper in my dining room. I still have the song taped in one of my notebooks somewhere.
Scott: I saw the Beatles mentioned in your bio. What's your opinion on them?
Chloe: The Beatles are one of my favorite bands of all time. That was before my time, of course, but they set the bar very high for other recording artists. I love their songs, the melodies and their harmonies (and I also love the harmonies of The Beach Boys from that era). I really admire how The Beatles evolved musically and how they transformed the face of popular music in such a short period of time.
Scott: Are your classmates at school aware of your musical prowess? Have you run into any overt jealousy issues from others?
Chloe: I have been performing at school talent shows and concerts for as long as I have attended school, and my classmates are well aware of my music. Some of them even have my songs on their phones! From time to time there have been a few issues with peers being unsupportive of my dream, but I am very grateful for the people who do support me.
Scott: Do you have a working plan for your career, like where you expect to be when you are 20, and so on?
Chloe: One of my lifelong dreams is to perform onstage at Madison Square Garden, and to be the host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live. For now I am continuing to play live gigs every opportunity I get. Most careers start with a hit record, so I keep practicing, writing more songs and recording with that goal in mind.
Scott: If you could collaborate with one artist, who would it be?
Chloe: I would love to collaborate with Taylor Swift because I am so inspired by the way she writes her songs as if it is her diary that she is sharing with the world. She was one of my earliest inspirations as a songwriter and as an artist. Taylor is another artist that I admire because her music has evolved as her career as progressed.
Scott: Do you currently take music lessons of any kind? Do you believe you were born with the music inside of you?
Chloe: I have never taken a guitar lesson in my life. I just learned a few chords on the guitar to start and now I just learn by watching and listening. I have been taking voice lessons for as long as I can remember. Even before I started music as a career, I was always singing songs around the house and on the swings in my backyard (from even before I can remember, or so I am told).
Scott: How wide do your musical tastes branch out? Are you a fan of soul, hip hop, heavy metal?
Chloe: I am a fan of pretty much every current genre you can name. Not all the music in all the genres is for me, but I do find interesting aspects about each type of music I encounter. As a songwriter, I love to hear all types of songs so I can see how different artists interpret their compositions. However, my favorite genres currently are country and pop - that is what I listen to the most.
Scott: What was your peak musical experience of your life up to this point?
Chloe: One of the highlights of my musical experience so far had to be the time I performed at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. It was such an important moment in my life, especially because so many songwriters have been discovered there. The audience was also amazing, It is a listening audience, very attentive and supportive, which made it all the more memorable.
Scott: Do your songs start with music, or lyrics, or what? Can you describe your process?
Chloe: It varies. I guess I usually start out with a chord progression and an idea for a song. As I strum those chords, I start to think of what I'm trying to get across by writing the song. Then, I use my imagination to incorporate ideas from my personal experience, my friends' experiences, and the media.
Scott: I was just listening to your song "My Goodbye" and had the thought just how great it would be to hear a song like that on the radio these days. The open air feel, you just sing it out. Do you feel power in having a voice like that, and being able to write songs like that?
Chloe: "My Goodbye" always gets a powerful reaction from the audiences when I preform it. I think it is very important as an artist to express what you're feeling and make sure it translates to the audience even after all of the production and everything. I think there's a certain power in being able to vent through music. Then, if the listener is moved in some way I feel that it was worth the work that went into it.
Scott: This is a question we ask all Spotlight interviewees. Have you ever had any experiences of high strangeness like UFOs or ghosts?
Chloe: Nothing paranormal has happened to me per say, but I do believe that having such amazing support and so many opportunities with my music has been something of a supernatural experience.
Scott: Do you feel like you're ready to handle major success? Do you get nervous? What do you have in your life that helps to keep you grounded?
Chloe: I feel like everything will happen at the right time, and when it does, I will be ready. I have dreamed of having a career in music since I was very young, and I can't imagine doing anything else for a living. Thanks to my supportive friends and family, I have stayed grounded throughout everything, and for that I am very grateful. I am ready, bring it on!