Any average young singer performing at a major Los Angeles venue for the first time would reasonably be aflutter with nerves and uncertainty—not Charlotte Lawrence. She takes the stage at Zebulon on LA’s East side with the kind of quiet confidence and self-possession that penetrates the entire room. She embodies a grace and wisdom far beyond her 18 years.
With each song, more people pour into the bar, and the crowd’s volume expectedly increases; but Charlotte, who spends her free time with the likes of Kaia Gerber and Kendall Jenner, can’t be bothered. Her exquisite, clear voice—simultaneously delicate and powerful—floats above it all like clouds.
“I’d be a musician for the rest of my life even if I didn’t get paid a dime,” she tells us with a palpable passion for her craft. “Everything I write about is personal, authentic, special, and real to me. Whether I write an entire memory into one song, or write 50 songs about the same person, every lyric I put on paper means a lot to me.”
Describing her sound as “left-of-center pop,” the Los Angeles native—daughter to actor Christa Miller and powerhouse producer Bill Lawrence, the creator of Scrubs—dropped her first EP Young in June 2018; her prolific nature leads her to write, sing, and record constantly, and thus she’s already released her next single, “Stole Your Car.”
“My songwriting process changes and varies constantly. Sometimes I’ll be in my room on my guitar and I’ll write an entire song just like that,” she shares. “Then sometimes I’ll be on a plane writing lyrics and recording voice memos, and sometimes I’ll be in a studio with two other people for hours and hours just creating.” (She’s particularly fond of The Beehive recording studio, where we shot her in our Fall 2018 collection.)
The modern landscape of the music industry is, by various accounts, at times tough and even brutal—certainly not for the faint of heart. Genuine talent is not always a prerequisite for success, which makes Charlotte stand out even more. In layperson’s terms: the girl can sing.
“Really I just write songs I love and let others define it. I grew up singing and wanting to be in music, but took it more seriously around age 14-15 when I started recording the songs I wrote,” she tells us, adding that her most formative musical inspirations were Joni Mitchell, Damien Rice, The Killers, and Bon Iver. “I’ll be creating music for the rest of my life.”
Not for nothing, Charlotte also has a few significant modeling gigs under her belt; she was just announced as the new face of Balmain, and has appeared in the pages of both Teen Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. So where music is her obsession, fashion might be called her side gig—although by her own account, she personally prefers a look that’s more casual.
“I literally jump at the opportunity to wear PJs all day. My desert island fashion piece would be my fluffy robe,” she admits. “Unless the island was super-hot… then it would have to be my vintage David Bowie tee from 1978.”
She describes her stage style as “edgy, grungy, chill,” and in the next breath calls J BRAND “edgy, versatile, unique.” This crossover is what makes our partnership with the musician so perfect. (It doesn’t hurt, of course, that she just looks so damn good in our jeans.)
Charlotte’s next EP Reckless is due out this fall, and she’s soon to embark on her first major tour of Europe and the US. Her debut full-length album drops at the beginning of 2019.
“I am deeply, deeply grateful for all the incredible opportunities I’ve gotten, not only in my music but in my everyday life,” she gushes. “I feel so insanely lucky every single day from the moment I wake up ‘till when I fall asleep. I have the most amazing family and friends who are my biggest supporters and who I love more than anything in this world.”
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