Multi-Platinum Songwriter Charlotte Wilson: Behind the Hits and Her Inspirational Journey in the K-pop Scene!
Meet Charlotte Wilson, an accomplished multi-platinum songwriter who has been killing the game recently. Her impressive portfolio includes writing for K-pop artists like ITZY, ENHYPEN, ATEEZ, NMIXX, KEP1ER, Highlight, and numerous others! Today, we had the opportunity to chat with Charlotte about her career, the inspiration behind her choice to become a songwriter, and much more!
Can you give our readers a brief introduction to who “Charlotte Wilson” is?
Charlotte Wilson: I’m a singer/songwriter born in the UK but I grew up in Trinidad & Tobago. As a young person, I was able to travel a lot and was fortunate enough to be introduced to different cultures which I loved. Growing up I originally wanted to be a veterinarian, but as I got older I realised I loved music more!
How did you first get interested in songwriting? What was the inspiration behind your first song?
Charlotte Wilson: I’ve had a love for music ever since I could remember (around the age of 6), but as I got older I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in the music industry. I didn’t quite feel like I wanted to be an artist and have the potential of being in the spotlight so when I was about 10 or 11 I played with the idea of writing songs. When I listened to a song I always felt like I knew a better melody to go in place of what was originally there lol. Or I would add my own adlibs. I realised I enjoyed it and started writing my own songs while playing piano.
When I wrote my first song the inspiration behind it was simply life. I was a young teenager at the time and wanted to explore more and everything was exciting. The title was “Come Around” and the song basically described my friends coming around to my house and talking and having fun!
You’ve written a plethora of hit songs for a variety of artists, from NMIXX to Kep1er. What’s your songwriting process like?
Charlotte Wilson: My process for writing songs varies.
My process for writing on my own is slightly different. I freestyle on the instrumental provided to get the right melodies but I take longer to do this, as each part has to sound like a fresh idea, I try to make sure that the ideas and melodies are unique. When collaborating you automatically get different ideas because you’re guaranteed to have different approaches to one song. When writing on your own you can usually tell one person has written it from the style of writing etc. So when writing on my own I take extra care in making each section different.
Can you describe your creative process for collaborating with other songwriters or musicians? How do you navigate differing creative perspectives?
Charlotte Wilson: If I’m co-writing the song I’ll listen to the instrumental that’s been provided and I’ll just start freestyling melodically and lyrically. Once I’ve done that I’ll choose which takes I like and share them with my co-writer. In turn, my co-writer will do the same and then we mix and match our ideas. The arrangement of the topline is something I consider very important.
When listening to a song I must feel like I’ve been taken on a journey. Sometimes there’s a difference in the creative direction of a song, and that’s where compromise is key. For example, if I like how one idea of a chorus sounds and my co-write prefers another edit of the chorus, the compromise would be to have an extended (double) chorus at the end of the song where the chorus that was not chosen could at least be heard by the A&R or artist.
What were some of the challenges you faced as a foreign songwriter breaking into the K-pop industry?
Charlotte Wilson: At the time I started writing kpop, things like Instagram/TikTok, etc were not around, so the biggest challenge for me was acquiring the contacts to the labels, A&R, and publishers. Additionally, even if I did gain access to these contacts, the next hurdle was getting people to listen to my demos as well as pitch them to companies.
Can you tell us about a particularly memorable experience or collaboration you’ve had with a K-pop artist or group?
I’ve been very fortunate to have quite a couple of memorable moments which I will always cherish. One that I will never forget is getting to write for and vocal direct the group “Highlight” (originally BEAST). As a young kpop fan, they were one of my favorite groups and I never thought I’d see the day when I’d be able to meet them, let alone work with them.
How do you handle creative blocks or moments of self-doubt in your songwriting? Are there any techniques or strategies that you find particularly helpful?
Charlotte Wilson: Collaboration is key in terms of creative blocks. Even if I’m struggling I can draw inspiration from a co-writer who may not be having a difficult time. ALWAYS reach out to friends in the industry for help. They’re human and will help.
Self-doubt is something I experience daily. I usually don’t feel good enough or feel like I’m not where I should be. It’s difficult to navigate, however, I try not to get into my own head. I talk to friends in the industry a lot. You’d be surprised how many other people have the same feeling. I think that it’s important to share your feelings with people you trust because it makes you realise you’re human! There are some well-established writers out there who experience self-doubt also, and being able to relate on a deeper level with people makes you understand it’s ok to feel like that sometimes BUT don’t let it consume you or stop you from at least trying!
If I’m feeling low or burnt out I take some time out, maybe a week or some days to really think about why I’m doing what I’m doing. I also look back on what I’ve done to remind myself I’m capable, and that I’ve come a lot further than I thought.
What are your future goals and aspirations within the music industry?
Charlotte Wilson: I’d really like to work with companies behind the scenes and train trainees in terms of singing, songwriting, and performance. I love what I do now, however, I’ve always loved being more hands-on!
I’d also like to add a thank you to everyone that has helped me in my journey and to all the fans that support my work and kpop in general. Without fans none of what we do is possible!
We’d like to give a special thanks to Charlotte Wilson for interviewing with us and sharing her story! Check her out on social media.