We caught up with Charlyn after our feature on their new single ‘Marylise’ last week to get to know them a little better.
Tell us a bit about Charlyn ?
Charlyn is a Swiss singer/songwriter, born on 26th December 1991. She grew up in the French speaking part of Switzerland and had always been surrounded by music and musicians. She played the piano for seven years and then started singing lessons. In 2012 she decided to study music and moved to London to achieve her goal. She met her band members in London and found her style of music. She started to write a collection of demos and learnt the songs with the band since 2015. The sound of the band is Pop-Rock-Electronic with some 80s sounds influence.
When did you decide on the members of your band and how did you meet them?
Everything kind of happened gradually. I had to perform my songs within a band for university, therefore I had to find people to play with me. I have asked Robin Wheeler (drummer/producer) who was my flatmate at the time, to play the guitar for me, which he did.
My brother, Loric Mathez, who was studying drums one year above me became the drummer and for the rest of the musicians it varied according to people’s availabilities. In 2015 I had to find a new bass player, as the one I was playing with was too busy and wasn’t really involved in the band anyway. Therefore I looked for a bass player who would be into the same kind of music as me. I found George Price through friends and Facebook, he loved the project and was in.
Summer 2015 Loric decides to leave the band to focus on his advanced studies. Therefore we had to find a new drummer. We auditioned quite a few drummers but couldn’t find any one who was able keep up with a simple groove. Robin then decided to swap his guitar for the drum kit, which is his first instrument and we then looked for a new guitarist. I posted an ad on Facebook and Thomas Clutterbuck replied. We auditioned him and since that day he is our guitar player.
If I had to describe the band I would say we are like a family as we don’t only rehearse and play live but we meet up outside of the music world and therefore became close friends. I love my band 🙂
What inspired you to make music?
I’ve always been into music since I can remember. I would say my dad, who is an autodidact has inspired me. He was writing his own songs as well and I grew up playing or singing with him. Then around 12 I started to write my first songs. In 2011 when my brother left for London I had just finished my apprentice time in a job I didn’t like. I came to visit him in London and I didn’t know what to do at the time with my life. He said to me ‘What do you really want to do? What is your heart burning for?’ I said ‘I want to sing’ and he replied ‘Then that’s what you got to do!’. Because of that discussion music is now not only a passion but it’s my profession and I’m so glad I made that decision back then.
What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?
I’m someone who loves positivity. It’s something that I use on an everyday basis within my life, my health, my studies, etc. I often look at the world or listen to radios etc and I realise that most of what we are listening and exposed to talks about depression, death, heart breaking, or some stupidity which we don’t really care about. In my songs I like to use this positivity as well as bringing hope and happiness to people. Not all of my lyrics are always happy but the message behind them goes in that sense. I had a few people that said to me that my music makes them feel happy and motivated for their day and that is what I want to achieve.
Otherwise I also like to make stories up based on different situations I or other people have been through. I like to write songs about ordinary people’s stories because I know a lot of people can identify themselves to them.
Could you briefly describe your music making process?
I normally sit down on the piano and play around with chords, then find a melody and sing random lyrics just making sounds; I call it the ‘yoghurt singing’. Once I’m happy with my song and melody I write the lyrics with similar sounds to the ones I was using before. I then go on Logic Pro or Abletone and make my demos.
For the songs that are on the upcoming EP I brought most of them as piano and voice ideas to my drummer/producer Robin and he made them sound amazing. I like his ideas and the way he works, he always surprises me with really cool touches and colour to the songs and production.
Tell us a bit about your new single Marylise.
I wrote Marylise in my room in London like most of my other songs. I wanted to write a song after a subject that got to me. I remembered watching some models interviews on Youtube and they were saying how their life is sometimes very depressing, how they have to look pretty all the time, how they have extremely strict diets and how some of them would like to live the life of every day people. I thought that was a very interesting topic to write about. It also made me think about those extremely talented kids we see on TV or Internet, some of them are so young and already superstars. I wonder if this is really want they want to do or if it is what their parents want them to do. That was my lyrics topic for this song.
I would say the song is really summery and catchy and I like the 80s kind of vibe that Robin used for it. It goes well with the song in general and makes it fresh in a way.
I’m happy with how the song turned out I could not imagine it to be different now.
Does the theme behind the single mirror a personal experience?
No, it doesn’t. I actually had the chance to have supportive parents, that always encouraged my brother and I to follow our dreams. They may have oriented us in some ways but never forced us to do something we didn’t want to do.
What was your favourite and most difficult part to record your new single?
I would say my favourite part is the chorus because we’ve put loads of different harmonies, that make it sound fuller. The most difficult part was probably the articulation and accent. Being Swiss English is obviously not my first language therefore I do have a bit of a French accent when I speak and sing. Robin made me sing the lines over and over to get a better accent and say the words in a more correct way. This was extremely tiring but really did help me to get better with how I sound, sing and say things.
Any plans to come to Ireland in the future?
Yes, I would really like to organise a UK tour with the band and of course we would come and play there, However nothing is planned yet but it’s on the list.
I would love to discover this wonderful country and sceneries as I’ve heard great stories about it.
What advice do you have for people who want to start their career in music?
I would say try to do as much as you can yourself but also be realistic and if you are not good enough in certain areas then work with people that are and can help you. Also having personal saving does really help as music is a very expensive area and without a part time job or good saving it is hard to move further away from Thursday Jam nights. I would also advise to be nice and respectful towards other people you will work with. Unfortunately they are a lot of big headed and rude people in this industry and it isn’t nice to work with such people so don’t become one of them. Being nice and honest is the way to go you want friends in this industry same thing as every day’s life.
What’s next for Charlyn?
We are lucky to go and play quite a few gigs in Switzerland over this summer and we are looking forward to it. We will also be playing in London on 7th, 8th and 15th June at the Half Moon, Putney. We are playing at the BIMM End of Term Graduation at the O2 Forum, Kentish Town on 17th June and at the Good Ship, Killburn on 14th August. More gigs still have to be confirmed.
We are also filming the video for Marylise on 26th and 27th May and the video should be out end of June, which is very exiting.
The EP is coming out mid June as well and we can’t wait to hear back from fans and audience about it.
We are looking forward to the EP as well if ‘Marylise’ is anything to go by its going to be added to a lot of summer playlists out there
Stream ‘Marylise’ below