Charlotte Board is probably known as one of the friendliest supporters of Country Music in the UK – but you may not know her as a Songwriter! Hidden away in the delights of Stoke, Charlotte has spent the last year co-writing with some of UKCM’s finest, and in just six months time will be releasing an album featuring her favourite songs from the years collection. I caught up with Charlotte to bring you guys all the news, from artists to producers, favourite songs and biggest surprises!
What made you decide to create an album?
I have been on the country scene for just under 2 years now and have always been amazed by the talent that we have here in the UK. Country music for me is about taking the listener on a journey and telling your stories through honest lyrics and I really felt that I had a story to tell. However, I cannot sing – at all – and I am not a musician either but I am fortunate enough to know some incredible artists. I was talking to a group of artists about a year ago and someone said “You don’t sing and you don’t play, so there is no way of releasing an album” and that stayed with me and gave me the ammunition to do just that!
There are 2 main reasons for wanting to release an album.
The first one is to get my story out there to people. I have had some difficult experiences in my life and none more so than having my own battle with cancer and living with the after effects of that and I really wanted to write about it but in a positive way so I am hoping when people hear the song, if they have the same battle, that it may help them to draw some strength.
The second reason and really important to me, is that UK Country music is promoted. I want as many people as possible to hear all of the artists that are on this album and to know that they are some of the finest talent we have. I want people to go out and support these artists at their live show and continue to support the genre over here.
How did you choose which acts to collaborate with?
I knew instantly that there would be certain artists I would approach for this. I have made some amazing friendships over the past two years so my first decisions were incredibly easy.
If people have followed me from the beginning then they will not be surprised to hear that I approached Ash Cooper (of The Ash Cooper Band) and Emma Moore first. Both of these artists are incredibly important people to me.
I have worked with Ash for nearly 2 years and he is a fantastic songwriter so when I asked him to look at a song called ‘Love on the Edge’, I was really nervous because I knew how high his standards were! Luckily, we worked really well together and he recorded the song!
Emma Moore is a wonderful friend of mine and we have both supported each other in our endeavors for the past year. I approached her with the most personal song on the album called ‘Survive’. This is the song about my cancer battle and was also the very first song that I wrote. To put something so personal
out there was terrifying but to hear Emma sing it and to hear her connect with the song and the emotion that is portrayed is incredible and I couldn’t have asked anyone else to do that song.
I got to a point where I was writing a song every day, going to a gig every week, hosting a songwriters night every month and I could imagine certain artists singing the songs that I had written. I received messages from some artists who had seen my project on Facebook and they asked if they could be involved and other artists that I approached and was sure would say no, actually amazed me and said yes!
I can’t even begin to describe how humbled I am by the support I have been given with this album. The artists are absolutely outstanding. The album now features BCMA nominated artists Samantha Lloyd and Thorne Hill. I have also got tracks on there from Stanford Road, Steph Lott, Mike Cass from BigWing, The Kerr Donnelly Band and Angels with dirty faces with a few more artists to be announced, plus I am still writing so maybe I ‘ll make plans for album 2 after this one!!
Do you have a favourite song, if so why?
This is a really difficult question because every song is so special to me for completely different reasons but if I had to choose one right one I would say it is ‘Shatter Like Glass’ which is a song I have co-written with Stuart Landon O’Hanlon and performed by his band Angels with Dirty Faces.
This song has received such fantastic feedback already as it has been performed live the most! Stuart sang it on Jim Duncan’s country music show, again at Wolvestock with the full band and most recently at FSA Fest and people seem to really like it which is just the best feeling.
I wrote this song in a day and emailed it to Stuart and said “See if you can do anything with this”, he came back to me that evening with a demo and I loved it!! He is an absolutely incredible musician and songwriter.
Stuart has been in the music industry for such a long time so he has been a great help to me and I am sure I have drove him crazy with all the questions I have asked him but we have worked well together and we have decided to release this song as the very first single from the album which I am so excited about. We are going to release the single in October and we’re currently on a radio tour together!
Is this your first time in a studio? What’s the experience like?
Working with lots of artists over the past 2 years I’ve been in the recording studio quite a lot and each time it has been really different. It really interests me to see how each artist, musician and producer works but of course the experience this time around is very different and very personal as I have had so much input.
The album is being produced by Matt Bishop who most people will know as the guitarist from UK Country group Honey Ryder. I am really lucky to be working with Matt and honestly can’t imagine working with anyone else now. He is really relaxed and creates a great environment to work in. I have thrown so many ideas at him and literally turned up to the studio on some days and said “Put a melody to this because I don’t have one” and he has come up with incredible stuff!! I’m sure I’m the most
difficult person he has worked with but we have a great laugh while we are working which is really important and he listens to my ideas and somehow makes it all come together! He’s a musical genius!
Has anything surprised you during the process?
How much I want it to be a success!
When I first started the recording process, it was a pipe dream. Just a little project that I would feel proud of. I wanted to prove that anybody can do anything they want if they work hard and put their mind to it and to never let anybody tell you that you can’t do something just because you don’t necessarily have all the tools yourself!
That is still the case but this has become more than just a project. This has become an ambition to be taken seriously as a songwriter. It has become a mission to ensure that all these artists that have given up their time and worked so hard with me are recognised. I want country music in the UK to continue to grow, I want more people to accept the genre and to get out there and listen to live music and I want every person who ever thought they couldn’t fulfil a dream to get out there and find a way because if I can do it anyone can.
Can you tell us about the launch night?
I am SO excited!! I want the launch night to be more than just a gig. I want it to be an event and a celebration. The album is due for release on Friday 3rd February 2017 and fingers crossed all the artists will come along and perform their tracks from the album.
I have a live band, which is actually another band that Matt plays guitar in and they are fabulous so I am really excited to have them there!
Quite a few surprises are already lined up for the evening. I don’t want to give any of that away but it definitely isn’t something that people would expect but after all I am an event planner by trade so if I didn’t do something a little different I wouldn’t be doing my job properly!
Tickets will be going on sale at the beginning of December and will make perfect Christmas presents for all those country fans out there!! Ha ha!!!
You can find out more about Charlotte/CEI Events at; facebook.com/ceievents // twitter.com/ceievents. Be sure to follow to be in the know first about the album and where you can hear the songs first!