You’ll be hearing her name more and more. FLETCHER has been a pop rising artist since the release of her single Undrunk. Opening acts, headlining tours, new EP, TV appearances, 2019 was a busy year for her. We talked with the New Jersey singer about her music and most specifically her latest EP you ruined new york city for me.
With the way the tracks of your EP you ruined new york city for me are ordered, we feel like you are telling a story. Did you put the songs in that order on purpose?
FLETCHER : I did! It was on purpose because If You Gonna Lie was sort of the prequel to Undrunk. If You Gonna Lie is the song about being in the denial phase of a relationship, when you’re hanging on for longer than you should, when you should really let it go, and it was about being cheated on. Undrunk is about those moments of being so alone in the back of a taxi cab after a party ends and there’s nothing left to distract you and you end up thinking about that person again. Even with the way the EP ends with Strangers, « we started out as strangers and now we’re strangers again », it’s being on the outside of the relationship and still looking back on it. So it really does tell a story, it’s subtle but I tried to put them in the order of the emotions that I experienced throughout the course of that ending of a relationship and to being few years out of it now.
Is Strangers a closure for you?
Yes, Strangers is actually about how after my ex and I broke up, we had no communication. The lyrics in the verse are pulled from the Facebook message, the only message we exchanged back and forth with one another and I took words from that and put them as lyrics. It’s honestly the craziest thing to me that we can go from spending so much time and so much of our lives and intimate time with somebody, when they know you inside and out and you talk all the time to literally nothing. It’s like a death in a way. So it was my way to rationalize what that feeling was.
Does the person you wrote those songs about know about it?
They definitely know. The songs have been on radio in America, it’s like some good revenge (laugh). But yes they know, we’ve communicated and being on the outside of it now, you get so much more perspective and I’ve grown so much. I got over it. I got over that heartbreak but it definitely took a minute.
Is NYC really ruined for you?
Honestly, it really was for a very long time. It was really weird going back to a city after you experienced so many things and made so many memories. Now I’m having to go back again and create new memories. I have a love hate relationship with NYC, I found myself there, I lost myself, I lost myself again, I found myself again. I think being in any big city has a way of really boilling you down to nothing and poiting out your flaws and making everything so obvious and apparent. So I’m grateful for it because I’m a better person now, I spent many of nights crying on my bathroom floor in NYC but it’s good, it builds character (laugh).
Your lyrics are personal and unfiltered. But do you put yourself some limits in your writing and what you want to say?
Not really. I think a big part of it is me being from New Jersey. In Jersey, we have no filter and we curse like sailors, there’s no limit to what we say and don’t say and sometimes it’s for better and for worse. Sometimes I get worried I get myself into a sticky situation with how honest I am but at the end of a day there’s no point in bullshiting anybody or not telling my truth and what my experiences have been. So no I haven’t really experienced any case of feeling I need to limit what I talk about.
You are very honest and outspoken in your songs (i.e. I Believe You) and on your social media. Is there a specific group of people you want to reach or inspire through your music?
I think the most beautiful thing about music is that it’s for anybody and for everybody. There’s no really any specific person I’m trying to target. Having your heart broken is the most universal thing and feeling in the entire world, no matter what country you live in, no matter what language you speak. You’re lucky if you haven’t experienced any sort of hearbreak, not necessarily from a romantic relationship. But I also think it’s really necessary to go through that stuff to understand struggle, to understand what it feels like to be hurt, to have compassion or empathy or be able to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes. I think that’s what makes us all be connected to one another as humans. Writing about that, my honest experience, I did it for myself because it was my therapy and my closure. I want people to like me, obviously everyone wants to be liked but the fact that people are connecting with the music and that it’s even helping just one person that’s what success feels like to me. That’s how I measure it.
As you said, this EP was a closure. For your next music project, will you keep talking about heartbreaks or will you approach another theme?
It’s hard to say because I write in real time. Being outside of that relationship now and being with new people and experiencing new things, I’ve written about those things too. As I experience more and my life changes, I change as a person and so does the music and I think it’s very reflective of where I’m at at that point of my life. So whatever the next body of work is, it’ll just be a compilation of feelings that I felt as a 20 something girl growing up in the world, trying to figure out and naviguate this fucking difficult life.
Speaking of your next body of work, you released 2 EPs, will you continue on this format or do you want to release an album?
I definitely want to release an album! I’ve been wanting to give people glimpses into my world with these EPs and there’s such a difference between the two because I’ve been through and experienced new things. I feel like my whole life has been writing for my album, so I can’t wait to release one.
In 2019, you’ve had a great success with Undrunk, you’ve toured with LANY in the USA, you’ve performed at festivals, etc… What have you learned from these experiences?
I think being in the music industry is a scary place, it’s really easy to question your worth and your talent and if you belong and deserve to be somewhere, that’s something I struggled with. I have performance anxiety, I’m really nervous before I go on stage which is so ironic because I’m a performer for a living and I am willingly putting myself through that. But because you are scared of something, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it or that you are not worthy of doing it, I keep reminding myself of that, that I do deserve to be here. It has such a way of making you question a lot of things about yourself and I think that probably happens in every single work field. It’s just been learning to trust my inner guts instinct and knowing the power of the word « no » and being able to turn down things that I don’t feel are right for me. And just being myself! I think being myself is the most revolutionnary thing that I could do, so I’m gonna keep doing that.
You should! Especially when you’re an artist, it’s noticable when you’re not yourself.
People see through bullshit, people aren’t stupid. Growing up, I didn’t feel I had enough representation in female pop, everybody fitted into this box, they were really good dancers and sort of have this stereotypical perception and I didn’t feel represented in music. Especially as a queer woman, I didn’t see that happening. I just made it a mission a really long time ago to be the artist I needed to see when I was growing up.
What teenage Cari would think of FLETCHER the artist?
I think she’d be so proud. I’ve always wanted to be an artist, I’ve just never thought that I’d have what it takes. Now I see that you don’t have to have what it takes, the only thing that it takes is to be yourself, that’s the only thing that you can do. She’d be really really really proud and excited and geeking out that I’m in Paris talking about my music and gonna play my first show there. It’s really special.
To finish, we have a few « this or that » questions. Acting or singing?
Writing or singing?
Music or tequila?
Oh my God! That’s one is so hard! How can you do that to me?! Music or tequila? They both go hand in hand, I need the tequila to write music and to get on stage and perform it. But I’m gonna have to ditch tequila on this one and go for music.