Chloe Berry is an indie musician based in New York who has recently released her newest single "Unbecoming" a track about coming of age, and reminiscing of the past. Chloe and I talk about her creative process, how she got into music, her songwriting, and her new single "Unbecoming".
Listen to "Unbecoming" here
Hi Chloe! Thanks so much for letting me interview you! How are you?
It’s a pleasure! I’m doing well. I have been working on a lot of new songs!
How did you get into music?
I got into music through being exposed to amazing music throughout my life. My dad is a part-time DJ and my mom and him always shared lots of different types of music with me. I also learned piano and would write Hannah Montana inspired tunes with my friends as a kid. Eventually, my songwriting progressed and with the help of my producer/partner Spoonuel I started sharing my music with everyone.
How did you go about finding your sound?
I never know if I really have found my sound yet. I usually just go with what I would listen to and what I think sounds good instinctually. I’ve always grown up listening to indie music so that has always been the biggest influence in my sound. As you naturally make music I think your sound will develop. I found my sound to be often contrasting somber lyricism with upbeat instrumentals. Now every song kind of just develops that way whether I try to or not.
You are about to release your newest single “Unbecoming” which is about coming of age and reminiscing about the past, something that’s relatable to the majority of people! What made you want to write a song about this subject in particular?
I had just turned 21 and realized I was only a teenager at the beginning of the pandemic (which kind of boggled my mind) when this song came to fruition. I realized how much I’ve changed in the blip that was these past few years and that sent me on an emotional journey that led me to wanting to write this song.
What was the writing and creative process like with “Unbecoming”?
I ended up writing the entire song on guitar in one day because I was feeling “particularly emotional.” I pulled the lyrics from ideas and ramblings on my phone till something felt right. It felt relieving to hear it fully fleshed out in production. I wanted it to be a coming of age soundtrack but not a sad one. I wanted it to be an anthem somehow. It was kind of spontaneously formed and once we began on the project everything seemed to flow naturally. It kind of created itself by the end.
When creating a song, which comes first music or lyrics?
I switch back and forth, but generally the lyrics. I have extensive voice memos and notes on my phone. I use those ideas and just pick up a guitar to see what flows naturally. That’s how I would say 99% of my songs begin.
Out of all the songs you’ve ever written, which one was the hardest to write?
I would say my song “Most My Days,” because it was particularly vulnerable and it is a more somber, sad song. It is so fun to play live now, but I definitely had a hard time getting the lyrics the way I wanted as I was going through an emotional time.
Was the creative and writing process with “Not Thinking Right” different from “Unbecoming”?
The writing process for me remains the same usually and I like to be alone while I’m writing too. But “Not Thinking Right” was definitely harder to flesh out. “Unbecoming” came about more naturally and much quicker. I’m hoping to keep that work flow for the future.
Who are your musical influences?
I grew up listening to a lot of Fiona Apple. I really am influenced by her honest lyricism and raw performances. For the same reasons, I also am influenced by Mitski — I was actually supposed to see her perform today but it got postponed!
Did you listen to anything during the creative process for inspiration?
I get a lot of inspiration from my favorite songs. I made a bunch of songs after listening to Snail Mail’s new album. It’s not so much a direct inspiration but hearing good music really motivates me.
Would you say where you grew up inspired you as a musician at all?
Yes! I grew up in New York City and it is still my home. I am fortunate because I got to see a lot of live music growing up that inspired me to want to play live. There’s so many venues and different shows. In high school, my friend and I would see an artist we didn’t know of every weekend for fun. It really expanded my music taste and encouraged me to start playing with a band despite stage fright.
When writing lyrics, do you write for yourself or for a certain audience?
Oftentimes when I’m writing lyrics I write them for my younger self. When I start a song I don’t really have an audience in mind, but my songs (to me) always feel like they’re for the people that are looking for solidarity in what they’re feeling.
Is there a certain method you follow at all when creating music?
Everything usually just comes pretty spontaneously. I always write my songs on guitar and in my notebook first though. Then my partner and I continue with production. It’s not a really linear process all the time however.
Is there an album in the near future? Would it sound the same as what you create now? Or would there be any twists to it?
I’m definitely hoping to create an album when the time feels right. I think my sound is still developing so I can’t really say what it would sound like. There would definitely be an overarching theme to the album however!
I really love the way you write lyrics! There’s a sense of honesty and understanding in them especially with the lyrics for “Unbecoming” as it’s such a relatable topic to write about! How do you go about writing about these types of topics and continue being “real” with not only listeners, but with your lyrics as well?
I try to be introspective and honest with myself, hoping that will come through in the song. I spent a lot of time thinking so I think that helps me when writing about topics like these. I try to just let the words flow out naturally like I’m writing in a diary. I think that creates a sense of realness for my listeners.
We’re all about finding new music, who should we be listening to right now?
There’s so much great music right now! I’ve been listening to this Norwegian band Pom Poko a lot! My producer/partner Spoonuel has some really amazing new music on the way as well. Also you can listen to my song “Unbecoming” on March 30th!
Words by Melody
Keep up with Chloe