Next Wave #1171: Charlotte Plank

The 22-year-old talks to us about blending unexpected genres and pushing boundaries with her music...

Charlotte Plank is in the studio when we speak to her, via Zoom. It is only 9am and she has a busy yet “exciting” day ahead of her. Fresh off a UK tour supporting Kenya Grace, Plank says: “She actually just reached out to me on Tik Tok. I have known of her…We followed each other and connected online. [The tour] was really, really fun.”

Plank’s new single ‘Nightshift’ samples Groove Armada’s 2001 anthem ‘Superstylin’’ and features MC M.A.D who is the MC on the original track and has reworked the lyrics to reference Charlotte specifically. She was a huge fan of the original tune, but thought it needed a “drum and bass flip” on it. She speaks about being “grateful” that Groove Armada gave her the go ahead to use their “iconic” track.

Plank is fully aware that sometimes the use of samples can feel disingenuous. She says: “I’ve always been a bit dubious about using samples in dance music, because I just feel like it’s done so often. Obviously, I think it’s important to pay homage to rave classics and inspirations. I just feel like sometimes it can be done in a bad way, but I really felt like this was done in a tasteful [way].” 

The refreshing ‘Nightshift’ follows ‘Rage’ which has been Plank’s only other single release of the year, so far. When promoting ‘Rage’ on social media, Plank asked her followers: “What if Pendulum, Sugababes and The Prodigy birthed a new genre?”

“I’d say [my sound] is like drum ‘n’ bass-infused indie-pop, nostalgic yet new – a unique sound; bridging underground sounds to the mainstream,” she says. Her musical influences vary quite a lot and, dare we say, quite chaotically. But Plank has used the “broad” influences to her advantage. In fact, she wasn’t even sure how she could pull off so many crossovers. Plank wanted to find a way to take her favourite genres – dance, indie and R&B – and “mush it all together and hope for the best.” 

In the early days, anyway, this was the approach she took. “It’s such a blend of stuff. When I first started out in music, I was really into soul music and then I started going to raves and really got into my dance music. At the same time, more indie stuff, I guess, when I first started producing and experimenting at home on my laptop, I was like, ‘How can I blend this all together in a new way?’”

Now, Charlotte has some hits of her own under her belt. For example, her collab with Rudimental last year ‘Dancing Is Healing’ peaked at number five in the UK Official Singles Chart. Plank also released her debut EP, the five-track ‘InHer Room’ last year to introduce her fans to her world and her sound and she is planning on releasing her second EP later this year. 

Festival season for Plank kicks off this weekend and includes stints at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend (with Rudimental), Dot to Dot in Bristol and Nottingham, Glastonbury Festival, Ibiza Rocks, Boardmasters. The list is (almost) endless and so are the opportunities to see a Charlotte Plank live set! “This summer’s going to be mad… So, so gassed. To be playing Glastonbury is so surreal.” 

“Lots of new music coming,” she sings. She will be releasing a new “remix” track soon as well as more solo releases. “EP two is called ‘Comfort In The Chaos’… It’s a blend of all those genres that I have been speaking about, just pushing those boundaries a little bit more… give people the chance to see more to my sound.” 

‘Comfort In The Chaos’ will be released later this year.

Words: Narzra Ahmed

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