Premiere: Charlotte Lawrence's Debut Track: "Seventeen"
words by me; images courtesy of Natalie O’Moore; styling by Jake Sammis
It’s not often that an artist and producer meet, instantly connect, and one hour later have a hit summer track to prove the vibes are real. Charlotte Lawrence, along with famed producer Leven Kali, are dishing up “Seventeen” today under exactly those circumstances. Here’s betting that the magic it was created under transcends the summer and keeps this one on repeat all season long.
We first met Lawrence with her sultry cover of “You’re The One That I Want” from Grease the musical, and now she’s back, with her very first original track, premiering exclusively on Milk.xyz. And though Lawrence doesn’t come from a musical family (apparently every single member is near tone deaf), her talent for a hit lyric and matching melody seems second to none. Ready to hear it for yourself? Listen to “Seventeen” below, then keep scrolling for our full interview with the 16-year-old (seriously) pop prodigy.
We’re stoked to premiere “Seventeen”! Can you talk about the inspiration behind the track and your creative process?
I met this producer named Leven Kali around August, and we met and just instantly clicked and fully vibed. We were at my house and my whole family just loved him instantly. We just started writing this and weirdly enough, I was just messing around on my phone humming a melody and we made a voice memo and that was the whole base of the song. And we wrote the song in like a good hour—so quickly—magic was just created instantly. He’s such a talented guy and such a talented songwriter and producer.
The inspiration behind it—it’s just a very fun song, just about living in the moment. It’s definitely a dance song.
Definitely perfect for summer.
Yeah, very summer vibes [Laughs].
Is that usually how it happens for you—this like instant inspiration? What’s your usual process from start to finish?
Well, it’s pretty rare to connect that fast on such short notice. He’s like one of my best friends now—we hang out all the time, and he’s just a huge inspiration and person in my life. But normally, we’ll start with a melody or start with some chords. You just have to be super confident—there’s no way to write a good song if you’re shy about it. So everybody in the session will just kind of blurt out many many ideas, even if they’re shitty, and we just build off of that.
So I know your last song, the “You’re The One That I Want” cover, went viral, but how does it feel to finally be coming out with an original song?
I’m so excited. The cover that I released was also produced by Leven, the guy that did “Seventeen”, and it was fun because it was just so different than the actual song, you know? But it feels nice to release something that I actually wrote and worked so hard on. So it’s fun, it’s like my first real single that I’m releasing, so I’m excited.
Have you always had an interest in music?
Yeah, I’ve been interested in music since I was so little. I started by playing the guitar and the piano, and just kind of singing as a little kid. But then I started getting a huge passion for it, probably when I was 11—still super young. More recently, like the past two and a half years, I’ve been meeting with a bunch of cool producers, different songwriters, and really finding my sound, you know? I’ve been working so hard on this for a good portion of my life now that I just think it’s time to start putting it out there. You know, it’s my passion, so why not.
So your dad says he’s tone deaf and you don’t come from a musical family, but they’re obviously so creative in other ways—do you feel like they’ve influenced you as an artist at all?
Oh my God, completely. So my whole entire family is tone deaf, nobody can sing other than my 10-year-old brother who is getting into making beats [Laughs]. But my mom has the absolute best taste in music, ever, and since I’ve been a newborn has always played me the coolest music. So I kind of grew up with all this great music around me. So I think that’s where I get my music taste.
There’s one person in my family that’s musical—my aunt. My uncle’s wife. And she has just been kind of like my mentor through it all. So she’s, next to my mom, probably the top influence in my music career. But besides that, literally no one in my family can sing or play any instrument.
What’s in the pipeline for you for the rest of the year?
I’m just gonna continue doing what I’m doing—almost every day I work, honestly. I’ll meet with a new producer or do a new session and keep on writing, you know, so I’m just gonna keep on writing and doing this. I’m still finding my sound, you know, I’m still young as you said before, I’m still developing my sound and trying to figure out what exactly I want to do, so I’m just gonna keep going steady and doing that. Probably release some more music pretty soon.