Carlie Hanson is the Anti-Pop Star We’ve Been Waiting For

Meet Carlie Hanson. You’d be remiss if you haven’t already heard one of her songs. The 20-year-old has a penchant for writing songs that cut straight to every emotion, and has toured with Troye Sivan and Yungblud. With over 1.4 mil monthly listeners and recently the face of Hilfiger’s fall campaign, Carlie is primed for a global takeover. She recently released her debut project titled  DestroyDestroyDestroyDestroy and you know, get ready to feel some things.

We had the opportunity to ask Carlie about her debut record and more. Check out the interview below.

You created your new EP while in quarantine. Where did you pull inspiration from and how did you find the experience different than when recording in other times?

I actually wrote every song from DestroyDestroyDestroyDestroy all before quarantine. I spent a lot of my time in quarantine narrowing down the tracklist and then creating a world around it. Making the music videos, creating visuals, etc.. As for the inspiration behind each song – it was all just personal experiences and feelings and anxieties I had to let out of me. Destroy is about everything I think any 19 year old goes through. Or maybe 40 year old, i don’t know! 

You grew up in a small town in Wisconsin. What music were you exposed to early on and what music-related experiences made you want to start making music and help shape your sound?

My mom listens to a lot of rock, so I heard a lot of that growing up. Disturbed, Metallica, Five Finger Death Punch, Shinedown.. So I was exposed to that genre pretty early on. My older sister always played stuff like Avril Lavigne, Evanescence, T.a.t.u.. I was listening to a lot of this plus we always listened to the main Pop radio station. I always had love for music very early on. My mom said that the first song I sang was Survivor by Destiny’s Child when I was like 3 lolll. I’d say when I heard “One Time” by Justin Bieber, though.. that’s when everything changed for me.. I got so inspired by his trajectory and his voice and everything to start making my own singing videos to post online, just like Justin had when he was young.

What are your favorite menu items at McDonald’s? What would the Carlie Hanson meal at McD’s consistent of?

My favorite Mc’Ds items are probably #1 the fries… #2 their iced coffee…and like sometimes a McDouble if I’m feeling freaky. I’ve been trying not to eat meat as much lately though, so my meal would be like a large fry and an iced coffee , and an Oreo McFlurry on the side. Bon appetite!

How did you get connected with iann dior on “Ego” and what was that writing process like in quarantine?

I had mentioned to someone on my team about how I really loved Iann Dior and his music. We sent him a few of my songs and he said Ego was his favorite. Not too long after that we met up at a studio *safely* and he recorded his verse. We hung out for a while and even did a second song that will hopefully see the light of day. 

What are some of the overarching messages you hope listeners take away from listening to the EP?

I hope people really take away from this project that it’s okay to feel fucking down and it’s okay to talk about it too. That’s something I had to learn while writing a lot of these songs. It was hard for me to be so vulnerable and write out how i was really feeling, but in the end it helped me grow and become more comfortable with the dark side of my head. I also want people to know it’s okay to feel like you’re the shit, too. Thats the other side of this project and that’s why Ego is so important to me. Ego shows that it’s not selfish or cocky or whatever to be confident in yourself, or to stand up for what you believe in, or to be vocal about who you are. Overall this project is all about destroying the bad parts of yourself to get to the good in yourself. That’s what I want people to take away from this EP. 

Do you feel it’s important for an artist’s music and message to speak on sociocultural issues?

There’s no rules to being an artist. I think it’s great though if you can use your voice to spark change on what matters to you, and then you might inspire somebody else to stand up for what they believe in.

What is your FAULT?

A fault is an error caused by ignorance, bad judgment or inattention. … If you say, “It’s my fault,” you accept the blame. Well, they can’t fault you for telling the truth, at least. A fault can be a shortcoming — everyone has faults because no one is perfect — or a crack in the earth’s crust, like the San Andreas Fault