Interview: Thirteen-Year-Old Sad-Pop Songstress, Cloe Wilder, Releases First Single “Overthinking” and Talks Music & What Adults Get Wrong About Teens

1EC53CBE-FA61-4D70-9A5B-1780A2A60B7BTeen singer-songwriter, Cloe Wilder.  Photo by: Chalisa Singh


“Cloe is an up-and-coming singer/songwriter from Tampa, Florida. Stated by The Hype Magazine as being “what looks to be one of the breakout artists from a new movement”, old soul’s newest sad-pop star is just getting started.””

[Scroll to the end of this post to learn more about the artist.]



Cloe’s first song, “Overthinking”, is out!
“This song means so much to me,” says Cloe, “and I’m so thrilled to be able to share it with the world.”

1. What’s your first memory of music? How old were you? What was it about music that hooked you?

If I’m being completely honest, I don’t really have an earliest memory music. I have always been a musician, and there was really no question.

I’d always surrounded myself with music, and I’ve never gone through anything that music didn’t help get me through. It’s been my life for my entire life. Music has taken me from the moment I was born, to where I am now.


2. Tell me a bit about your history with music and creating music. What was your first favorite song or album? Why? What was the impetus to start writing music? Why do you continue to write and play music?

The first album I ever connected to was Lana Del Rey’s “Born to Die” – specifically her song, “Video Games”. I was six years old when I first heard it, and that record has been a part of me for seven years now. That was the first song I ever really felt, and I could never forget it.

I’d always been singing, it was just something that happened to me. When I was eleven, I knew that I wanted to make more of it, so I recorded a few covers. They got sent to a producer, and that’s how I met my amazing team … I wrote songs with them, and I’ve been writing ever since. I love it!

I just know that music is what I’m supposed to be doing. I question my art a lot, but at the end of the day, I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. It’s who I am. It’s the only place where I can be emotionally free, and I could never lose that. I’d go insane without music in my life.

3. How does your craft of music creation relate to your sense of wellbeing, particularly your mind wellness? What does making music give you?

Almost all of my emotional stability comes from music. I need a place to put all of my emotions, because they’re going to overcome me if I don’t. I’m an emotional person, and my thoughts are strong. If I don’t let them out, they consume me. That’s why I write them down.

Music gives me an escape, which is something I haven’t found in anything else. Music has allowed me to find myself, and has allowed me to become someone that I want to be. There are so many benefits from it, because music affects me in different ways on different days, but it’s always what I need.

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4. What are your thoughts about schools that cut music programs? Do you think schools should have music classes available? Why?

I think that all human beings need music in their life. I believe that music should be everywhere. Nobody knows what these kids are going through at home and in their lives, so school might be their only escape. Maybe their house is silent and lifeless, and school is the only life they experience. People need music because it’s a world that they can escape to when they don’t want to live in their own world.

5. Tell me about your experience as a teenager. How do you feel society views teenagers? What do adults misunderstand most?

I feel like I’ve lived several lives, so identifying with an age is difficult for me. This has made my teenage experience even harder.

I feel like society views teenagers as nothing sometimes. People blame everything on me being a “teenager”.

You shouldn’t have to be automatically labeled, because you’re a human with human emotions. People discount real mental issues, and refer to it as “teenage angst”, and in my opinion, the idea of that being a negative term died a long time ago.

Adults blame our problems on hormones when sometimes we’re just depressed. We’re anxious. We’re scared. A lot of people seem to forget that teenagers can have real emotions.

6. What do you think are the main issues teens experience? (examples include bullying via social media, lack of support at home) What do you think are the causes of these issues? Any thoughts or ideas on how to address these issues?

I believe that having your emotions not be taken seriously is one of the most hurtful things that can happen to a person. When you’re already in pain and somebody tells you that it’s not real, and you’re just being typical for your age, it can make a person crazy.

When this happens, teenagers spiral down this black hole, because nobody cares enough to help pull them out. I hate that. I think it’s just caused by people being uneducated, or refusing to believe what’s actually happening.

You just have to keep trying. Keep telling people that the way you feel is real, and keep knowing that it is. Don’t let anyone discount that … ever.

7. Do you experience any mind wellness issues (e.g. depression, anxiety) – first- or second-hand? If so, how do you deal with them or how do you support someone who deals with them? Does music fit in, and if so, how?

I have depression and anxiety … and it’s been my life for a while. I’m 13, and I would say a lot of those 13 years have been filled with panic attacks and days where I just couldn’t seem to get out of bed – no matter how awake I was.

Music and writing help me deal with all of it. I can turn something so terrifyingly twisted into art. I wouldn’t want to cope with my anxiety and depression in any other way.

9. TMRW aims to dispel the ageist –and very incorrect!– perspective of teens as being “lazy,” “dramatic,” “overly-sensitive”, etc. Do you have any words to counter this pervasive perspective? What do you think teens have to offer the community?

Every teenager is different. Teenagers shouldn’t have to keep struggling through their feelings, constantly being ignored. It’s awful. Teenagers are finding themselves, just like everyone else is. We need emotional support, just like everyone else does.

The teenage generation is starting to become more open with their emotions because they’re beginning to realize that what they’re feeling isn’t wrong – and that is amazing.


Listen to “Overthinking” on Spotify or iTunes.

Follow Cloe on social media!

Instagram: @cloewilder

Twitter: @CloeWilder

Facebook: Cloe Wilder

www.cloewilder.com



Check out Cloe’s music video for her cover of “When the Party’s Over” by Billie Eilish.


About Cloe (courtesy of jv.agency)

“Emerging in 2019 as a true artist to watch in the dark/sad music space, Cloe is a force to be reckoned with. Armed with incredibly powerful songwriting skills, in addition to a voice beyond her years, Cloe crafts melancholic, yet fiercely relatable songs that touch the deepest parts of the human psyche. Championing the concept of accepting one’s mental health issues, pushing for equality, and embracing imperfection, she is light years beyond the typical young musician. Cloe will be releasing original music, and covers, over the span of the upcoming year that is guaranteed to comfort listeners through their varied emotions, to allow them to feel the intensity of their deepest thoughts, and to display that Cloe does not have the edge of a sword, but instead, like a rose with thorns.”

Interview: Seattle emo edm musician, wilsonlikethevolleyball (Part 2)

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[Photos taken at the Gypsy Temple “Pick a Number” video and single release show at Seatle all-ages venue, The Vera Project. Pictured L-R: Cameron Lavi-Jones and Wilson Rahn, AKA wilsonlikethevolleyball]
…continued from Part 1 where wilsonlikethevolleyball shares his history with music, thoughts about how music connects with mind wellness, and he delves into the meaning of my favorite song, “Tell Me I’ll Be Fine.” Read Part 1 and listen to the song! Or read Part 2 first. That’s cool, too.


What would you tell teens who currently struggle with mental health issues, or who struggle with negative feelings, like feeling invisible, unloved, not good enough etc.? 

Well, the first and most frustrating piece of advice I think I can give is that loving yourself is more important than anything else. Something I currently struggle with is that I never want to be alone because I don’t like hanging out with myself. This is destructive and it will tear you apart.

Try to find something you have in common with your negative self, and for me its 100% music. Both happy Wil and sad Wil can get down to some djent metal, so I listen to djent metal — helps me love myself just a bit more each time.

Also, just know that what you put out into the world will circle back to you; it can be really hard to hear when you feel awful and you don’t know how to be happy in the moment, but people will definitely be more excited when you are excited.

If you can find that one thing that pulls you even just a bit out of whatever hole you are currently climbing out of, do it. Feeling better weirdly and frustratingly begins with simply feeling better. Whatever stimulus you need to kick-start that, find it.

TMRW aims to dispel the ageist perspective of teens as being “lazy,” “dramatic,” “overly-sensitive” etc. Do you have any words to counter this pervasive perspective? 

Oh yeah, 100%. We wouldn’t be “lazy,” “dramatic,” or “overly-sensitive” if we weren’t taught by everything around us that we weren’t worthy of love, praise, or acceptance if we didn’t completely overwork ourselves.

Modern capitalism and consumerism force our parents to overwork themselves makes our teachers tired, tells us that we have to start thinking about college as 15-year-olds, and all the while telling us we’re lucky to live in America. Growth doesn’t occur in a pressure chamber.

What do you think teens have to offer the community?

Teens of 2018 are doing their best to learn how to live from each other because the models we were given are broken and depressing. Its hard but, hopefully, we can be a model for future generations that strength is not in the knowing, it’s in the finding.

Describe your music and/or musical identity with 3 words and 2 emojis.

Emo
Passion
Digital
pink rose emojiblue butterfly emoji


This is my second favorite wilsonlikethevolleyball song. You should listen to it.


Check out more music by wilsonlikethevolleyball: wilsonlikethevolleyball.weebly.com 


Tell Me I’ll Be Fine :: Lyrics

Sleep takes me slowly from my toxic energy
Cleanses me
Fall through the frequencies till muscle lethargy
I’m ready

I felt so balanced and so clear
These past two weeks I didn’t fear
My demons thirsty
It’s so easy to explore your soul
When you don’t care about the answers
And so, begins the cancer

And I’m improving all the time
Could someone please inform my mind
Cause all it points out are my failures

And when I’m begging to unwind
And empty bottles seem too kind
I have to ask of you one favor
Tell me I’ll be fine

Desperately clinging to my last epiphany
Feel it escape me
Descending swiftly through my caustic symphony
My burning building

I felt so balanced and so clear

Don’t let me slip back into fear

My demons thirsty
It’s so easy to ignore your soul
When you are riddled with distractions
And so, begins inaction

And I’m improving all the time
Could someone please inform my mind
Cause all it points out are my failures

And when I’m begging to unwind
And empty bottles seem too kind
I have to ask of you one favor
Tell me I’ll be fine
Tell me I’ll be fine
Tell me I’ll be fine


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Interview: Seattle emo edm musician, wilsonlikethevolleyball (Part 1)

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[Photos courtesy of @wilsonlikethevolleyball_]

My introduction to Seattle musician, wilsonlikethevolleyball (Wilson Rahn), was a few weeks ago at a live performance, Gypsy Temple‘s “Pick a Number” single and video release show at Seattle’s all-ages venue, The Vera Project.

I’ve been a fan of Gypsy Temple for a year, so I’ve known Wilson as a guitarist and vocalist in Gypsy Temple; when I saw him take the stage as an opener, I was stoked.

I was entranced by his music, his voice, his stage presence and the way you can see each beat pulsate throughout his body. His set made it one of my top shows this year. I had to reach out and ask for an interview.

First! Play his song, “Tell Me I’ll Be Fine,” my favorite wilsonlikethevolleyball song, –I’ve listened to it a LOT– and read on.



Tell me a bit about your history with music and creating music.
When did your interest in music (listening and creating) begin? 

I don’t actually remember beginning to like music. It feels like its always been something that captured me. I remember when my family started to notice that I could sing tho! I used to come out of movies as a five- or six-year-old singing the main theme to the movie.

What was your first favorite song or album?

My first favorite song was probably “Good Riddance (Time of your Life)” by Green Day.

What was the impetus to start writing music? 

I started writing music almost as soon as I got a guitar. My sister was five years older than me so I was always listening to what she was, and at the time, I was really inspired, actually, by Avril Lavigne. We had this DVD called the “My World Tour” and I just remember watching her and her band rocking out and skateboarding, and I just wanted to emulate that.

Were you in a teen band?

I have been in a number of bands, the first of which was called Tropical Penguins basically through elementary school. Then, in middle school, I was in two bands called Blame the Average and, subsequently, Black Gingham which continued on through high school.

For the most part, these three bands were what really shaped my early songwriting, especially in the rock world. When I got out of the bands is when I began experimenting with solo acoustic work and electronic music, as they could be done with no other members.

How does your craft of music creation relate to your sense of well-being; particularly your mind wellness? What does making music give you? 

Music, for me, is the weirdest brand of poisonous cure. I don’t think music has ever calmed me down without first wringing me out, but I suppose that’s why I like it so much.

When I am in a bad state, if I watch TV or something, I am probably just gonna push down whatever I was feeling. But when I listen to music, I face it head on and deal with it in that moment and come out the other side with less on my chest.

As for making music, it’s kind of a similar process – just drawing out the poison in me and using music as a tool to shape it into something useful instead of destructive. I feel that lyric writing, especially, can really help externalize inner turmoil.

Photos and video taken at The Vera Project; GIF created by Liv Rougier.


It seems your song, “Tell Me I’ll be Fine,” addresses addiction and
negative automatic thinking – a symptom of mind wellness issues. Please share a bit about the song.

What’s the inspiration? When did you write it? 

Yeah, so “Tell Me I’ll Be Fine”, I wrote it in October/November-ish era of 2016 right when I had just started university. The first couple weeks of school, I was the most zen I had ever been in my entire life. I wasn’t happy or sad or anything, just super accepting of anything and everything that came my way.

When I wrote “Tell Me I’ll Be Fine”, I was starting to come down off of that and I really was just sad that I was gonna start acting like a human again instead of like a contemporary monk.

As for inspiration, I literally was just having an average-bad night and I decided to walk home and start writing, and the next day I reproduced the whole track and that’s the final that I published!

Who are you talking to in the song — who are you asking to tell you that you’ll be fine? 

I am definitely talking to myself. I had a conversation with an excellent lyricist friend, Paul, and he told me that his biggest criticism of my lyrics at the time was my overuse of the ambiguous “you.”

“Tell Me I’ll Be Fine” marked the beginning of an important step in my lyricism where I began to consider words as a paintbrush for a scene and a story instead of just a conversation.

Tell me about your experience as a teenager. Did you experience any mind wellness issues as a teen (e.g. depression, anxiety) — first- or second-hand? If so, how did you deal with them? How do you feel mind wellness issues impacted you as a teen? How does it impact you now?

Honestly, I was an excessively privileged teenager. I really had no issues with mental health until last November when I first began to experience what it meant to be suicidal. I utilized the University of Washington’s Counseling Center and began to work through some of my depression and anxiety.

Since then, I have been working to find a system that works for me. I am lucky to have an incredible support system and I am continually working on myself to hopefully one day master my mind.

What were the main issues you experienced or observed as a teen? (e.g. bullying via social media, lack of support at home.) What do you think are the causes of these issues? 

Honestly, I was a relatively disengaged teenager. I found a friend group that I really enjoyed really quickly and then did Running Start to escape what I felt at the time were the trivialities of high school.

Something that continues to bother me to this day though is the hive-minded culture of growing up. I feel like it’s so easy to be the collective bully. While I am certain I never directly contributed to the hurt of another student, something that really bothers me about high school is how easy it is to make people feel alone simply by avoiding eye contact or not saying “Hi”.

Any thoughts or ideas on how to address these issues?

As for how to address them, I honestly think it just starts with recognizing that, while you may be the main character in your story, you’re just a cinematic object in another person’s.

Try to be a positive supporting character in other people’s stories as much as possible because something as simple as remembering someone’s name and saying “whats up” when you pass them in the hall, that can go miles.

 

[I call this diptych, “Wilson’s Hair” – Photos taken at Gypsy Temple’s “Pick a Number” single and video release party, 2018]

The rest of the interview will be in a separate post!

These are the questions for part deux:

What would you tell teens who currently struggle with mental health issues, or who struggle with negative  feelings, like feeling invisible, unloved, not good enough etc.? 

TMRW aims to dispel the ageist perspective of teens as being “lazy,” “dramatic,” “overly-sensitive” etc. Do you have any words to counter this pervasive perspective? 

What do you think teens have to offer the community?

Describe your music and/or musical identity with 3 words and 2 emojis.

Stay tuned for wilsonlikethevolley’s responses and lyrics for “Tell Me I’ll Be Fine.”  !!


Check out more music by wilsonlikethevolleyball: wilsonlikethevolleyball.weebly.com 
Follow his Instagram: @wilsonlikethevolleyball_


Do you want to be featured on TMRW? LMK!