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Caro Emerald - The IndieLondon interview

Caro Emerald

Interview by Rob Carnevale

CARO Emerald talks to us exclusively about her acclaimed debut album Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor and some of the inspiration behind the incredible songs.

She also talks about some of the best advice she has received in getting to this point, coping with rapidly becoming a celebrity in her native Holland and what she loves about her fans in the UK.

Q. Hi, we’re loving the new album here at IndieLondon. You must be incredibly proud of Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor?
Caro Emerald: Of course I am! Especially because my producers and I took a lot of time (2 years!) to make it, minding every detail and giving each song our fullest attention. We really believed in our music, but none of us could’ve imagined it going through the roof like this!!

Q.Why are you so passionate about the music of the ‘40s and ‘50s and which pieces of music in particular capture your imagination?
Caro Emerald: I’m passionate about music from the past in general I guess, but what appeals to me most about the 40’s and 50’s is definitely the sound of old records from that time, especially brass sounds! There’s just such a kick to it…

Q. What inspired the lyrical content of the songs on the album?
Caro Emerald: For the album, I worked together with Dutch producers Jan van Wieringen and David Schreurs, and Canadian songwriter Vince DeGiorgio. Most of the lyrics are made by Vince, who’s just an amazing word-wizard. Since both Vince and David are old movie fanatics, we decided it would be fun to inspire the lyrics of our songs on old movies. That turned out to be so much fun! The songs are all very storytelling and imaginary. While writing we would either look at old movie scenes on Youtube, or visualise a scene out of a movie, which is just a great way to get a creative direction!

Q. Can you talk a little about the song Riviera Life? What inspired it?
Caro Emerald: The inspiration for Riviera Life is a particularly nice one! It’s the scene out of Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief in which Grace Kelly is driving in a car headed for Monaco.

Q. And, similarly, The Other Woman – one of our favourites?
Caro Emerald: David made the music to this one, and then gave it to me to think of a melody. I wrote the beginning until the first chorus talking to myself as the naïve little girl that is inside every woman believing in real love. Vince took it in a totally different direction finishing the song as if talking to ‘the other woman’. I love this one!

Q. And A Night Like This?
Caro Emerald: James Bond – Casino Royale!

Q. And You Don’t Love Me, which is a real heartbreaker?
Caro Emerald: For this one, we wanted to tell a story about a woman who is holding on to a man while knowing he doesn’t love her as much as she loves him. A real tragic one!

Q. Did you ever imagine that your single Back It Up would turn into such a word of mouth phenomenon or its YouTube response!
Caro Emerald: Of course I dreamed of that, ha ha! But none of us ever expected it to be such a great success!

Q. How important is the Internet in getting new music out to the masses?
Caro Emerald: More important I think than any of us can really imagine. Without it, this wouldn’t have happened.

Q. The names Mark Ronson and Lily Allen have both been mentioned as comparisons for you stylistically – how do you feel about those?
Caro Emerald: That comparison is a great compliment J

Q. How has the perception of you in The Netherlands changed now that you’re such a success? How are you coping with celebrity?
Caro Emerald: I’m still getting used to being a celebrity! It’s unbelievable how much a life can change in such a short amount of time…

Caro Emerald

Q. When did you decide you wanted to become a singer and how easy was that dream to pursue?
Caro Emerald: Oh, I was really young when I discovered my talent! I was 11-years-old when I got to sing my first solo in a play at school, and I guess I already then decided that I wanted to become a singer. My dream was never a really big one, I just wanted to make a living out of singing. I guess that worked out!

Q. What advice would you pass on to anyone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Caro Emerald: Follow your gut feeling! And don’t wait to be discovered, nobody’s gonna do it for you!

Q. What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve been given and the biggest lesson you’ve learned in getting to this point?
Caro Emerald: Right before me and the producers decided to work together I was going through the phase of wanting more in life. Then somebody advised me to write down everything that I wanted in life… so I did. Listing everything that I wanted really made me realise that I had to pursue my own happiness. I kept the list as a memory because every single thing that was on there has happened today!

Q. What’s been the most pleasing response/review you’ve had so far to the album?
Caro Emerald: Everything has been! It’s amazing how many great responses we got on this album!

Q. Do you enjoy playing in the UK? And do you have any tour dates you’d like to promote?
Caro Emerald: I love being in the UK, so I’m definitely looking forward to play here! On the 1st of November I’ll be playing at the Smooth Radio showcase in London’s Café de Paris. Also, my team is working on more tour dates, so keep an eye on my website!

Q. What do you like about the UK? And will you be looking to conquer America?
Caro Emerald: I just immediately felt at home the first time I was here. I specifically like your sense of humour! To conquer America is right now a distant dream, we’re now focusing on Europe, which I’m quite enjoying!

Q. What are some of your favourite live memories?
Caro Emerald: A huge audience screaming before I even got on stage…. And everybody singing along!

Q. Finally, what are the 10 tracks that are never far from your iPod player at the moment?
Caro Emerald: It wouldn’t be fair to name just 10 tracks… And I change music all the time!

Caro Emerald’s debut album Deleted Scenes From the Cutting Room Floor is out now on Dramatico. Read our review