A lot of kids have a hard time putting their thoughts and emotions into words. For Caitlyn Scarlett, it came easy. Only nine-years-old when she started writing music she remembers, “It came really naturally. I’d always had a passion for singing, and wrote poetry a lot. Once I combined the two by songwriting, I was compelled to learn some instruments so I could be self-sufficient and express myself even further.”
She was born a creative soul but was also born in a place that left her feeling on the outskirts of the norm. Knowing she needed more she packed her bags and headed towards London. That’s where we pick up the story as Caitlyn shares about the move, happiness and her attachment to red.
Kendra: Were there any reservations about leaving home at 17 to live in London?
Caitlyn Scarlett: Yeah I think the normal amount of fear was there for a teenager leaving the nest, I was essentially starting life from scratch and I heavily relied on my friends at the time. But I also knew the nerves would pass and I was meant to be in the city. Most of the doubt actually came from other people who worried I might not be ready for that level of independence, a lot of them had words with my mother encouraging her to make me wait but she was always very supportive and knew I’d handle myself.
Kendra: Was the move entirely music based?
Caitlyn Scarlett: Primarily yes, but I also craved a more exciting lifestyle than the type you’d find in my hometown. Plus I never felt like I fit in there, I had a few good friends but I was not popular by any means. I knew I’d find my kind of people in London, creative, LGBTQ, outgoing, ambitious etc.
Kendra: Thinking back, do you remember what you were doing leading up to the moment “Happy When” came to mind? Did those events shape the lyrics?
Caitlyn Scarlett: My state of mind in the years before and my journey through changing that were at the forefront of my mind when writing it. I’ve felt the sentiments in the lyrics personally in times of lower self-esteem and really grown past that. The song’s purpose is to subtly point out the destructive nature of that mindset and the Hollywood image of romance.
Kendra: How’d you come to work with Miko on the remix?
Caitlyn Scarlett: He just made it and submitted it I think. As soon as I heard it I emailed my management saying I loved it and that he’d really found a fresh take on the track. This is actually his first release so I’m happy I could support another artist like that.
Kendra: What kinds of themes are you exploring on your upcoming release, Red Tape?
Caitlyn Scarlett: The next tape further explores my experiences with love, anxiety, politics, gender identity and success. Just my inner narratives expressed, hopefully in a way that can entertain and help others.
Kendra: Red seems to be a constant in your world. The EP and you’ve said you want to leave a red mark on the world. What’s that about? And why red?
Caitlyn Scarlett: My mother gave me the name Caitlyn Scarlett (it is my real name) and has always attributed that colour scarlet red to me and my personality. All my life I’ve been known as little miss red by friends and family, I’d get scarlet coloured stuff for Christmas, I’d have the red piece in any board game every time, I’d wear red lipstick on non-school uniform days as soon as I was old enough for makeup, dyed my hair for the first time bright red when I was fifteen…little things like that, I really just associate my soul with it. It’s a visceral, passionate colour. I wrote a lyric once that said: “I blush, I bleed, I’m scarlet and it’s perfect.”
Kendra: A new EP, does that mean some shows perhaps too?
Caitlyn Scarlett: Yes, I can’t say exactly when but I have now started the process of preparing the live set and assembling the band. Anyone who is interested in knowing more should follow me on Instagram or Twitter because I’m sure I’ll be announcing something over the next few months!
Kendra: We listen to music when we’re in all types of moods, but if you had to make a mixtape of songs you listen to when you are indeed happy, what five would be on it?
Caitlyn Scarlett: Oooh just a bit of everything I like I guess. Here goes:
Madeleine Peyroux- “Don’t Wait Too Long”
Bob Dylan- “Tangled up in Blue”
Fiona Apple- “Not About Love”
Kate Bush- “The Sensual World”
Lady Gaga- “You and I”