Richard: [00:00:04] Hi, what’s up?
Charlotte: [00:00:08] I have a robot speaking to me.
Richard: [00:00:10] Oh yeah, they always say that this meeting’s being recorded, so it’s like one of those things. But how are you, miss?
Charlotte: [00:00:20] Good, good. I’m well, I’m tired today. Hence these. Black circles, but how are you?
Richard: [00:00:30] I’m fine, I just got off a meeting myself.
Charlotte: [00:00:33] Uh-huh. I’ve been doing video work today for The Telegraph British newspaper, and you probably know it.
Richard: [00:00:41] Oh yeah, yeah, I’ve heard The Telegraph.
Charlotte: [00:00:44] Yeah, so I do. I mean, I obviously do music journalism, but I also cut video packages for them, for the website and social media and YouTube. So it’s been a busy day, but all good, all done now.
Richard: [00:01:00] Is that like a fun gig? Like, do you enjoy doing that?
Charlotte: [00:01:04] And I enjoy it, but it’s not my passion, my passion, obviously, is music journalism, and if I could do music journalism full time, I would. But I find that generally speaking, not everything. But most of the freelance music journalism I do is pretty low paid, so I kind of use the video stuff to offset it because VIDEO My video work is better paid, basically.
Richard: [00:01:35] So why did you get into this journalism industry in the first place?
Charlotte: [00:01:41] Well, I always loved English at school and loved writing. And then I’ve been obsessed with music for as long as I can remember. So I think when I was about 16-17, I was like, Huh, what a great way to combine my passions is to write, and it’s about music so that’s where the music journalism side came. But I kind of knew, it would be hard to just launch straight into music journalism like there’s not always there aren’t really like obvious paths to pursue for it. So I I went down the kind of traditional journalism training route, you know, I was like, I was trained as a newspaper journalist. And with some broadcast skills and and then eventually I sprung off from that. So yeah, I mean, maybe, maybe if I’d like left uni at 21 and had gone right, I’m just going to write about music. Maybe I could have made a success of it, but it seemed very uncertain to me at the time. So I thought it would be best to get like, you know, a couple of years, at least under my belt, working like for an established outlet in news, just general news. And then like, see if I could do bits of like reviewing and music stuff on the side and then build up my portfolio that way while earning money, huh?
Richard: [00:03:20] Cool. So how old were you? How old were you when you started this thing?
Charlotte: [00:03:28] Well, I. When I went to uni, I started writing about music for the paper there, like the music mag size about 18. But that was all unpaid. Do you mean paid work or just any kind of music journalism?
Richard: [00:03:46] Any kind it doesn’t matter
Charlotte: [00:03:49] Any kind. Yes. 18 was like student media. And then I kept that going through till I was about twenty one, twenty two. And then from probably. Probably around twenty three years old. I was doing lots of unpaid work for places like the line of Best Fit, the four or five, which is now shut. It was like a good music blog in the UK and a music publication called Art Rocker. So I did that all on the side of my newspaper job for free. So I mean, I guess I’ve been doing it since I was about 18, but I’ve been earning from it only since 2018, when I left my full time job at the Telegraph as a video producer and I went freelance and then I started getting paid work for music. So yeah, that was a good decade of. You know, trying to. Find my feet and decide how I was going to do it, but eventually taking the freelance leap in 2018.
Richard: [00:05:00] So where do you see yourself in like five to 10 years from now?
Charlotte: [00:05:07] Well, what I’d like to see myself is probably a section editor of music magazines. A music and albums review editor or life review editor or features editor. That would be the dream. But do I see myself there? No. To be honest, I see myself probably just continuing freelancing because it’s very, very rare that’s staff writer jobs come up at music magazines or online publications, be it in the US or the UK, wherever like, they very rarely come up, and if they do, typically I don’t get them. And the reason why she usually because it’s here, you know, and you know, I’m somewhat connected, but I’m not as connected as probably I should be. And a lot of it comes down to experience and the. Maze is I’ve got lots of experience, but, you know, a decade of experience was all unpaid for kind of quite small publications. So perhaps that’s not seen as like a particularly good experience, I don’t know. And it’s not like I’m applying from the position of a staff writer position already. So I feel like unless I get a lot of luck, it’s going to be hard really to ever translate my story, transport my freelance stuff into a full time position. But you never know. You never know. But it’s definitely what I want to do forever. I can’t. I can’t see myself moving away from it. I might diversify a little bit in what I cover. I mean, I occasionally do film and TV reviews, but I still just want to write about music. That’s what drives me. That’s what I love. So, yeah, if I can do that for the rest of my life and earn money from it, then I’m happy.
Richard: [00:07:16] To be fair, you could potentially pitch ideas to like, I don’t know, TMZ or something like that. They’re always like taking stuff. I don’t.
Charlotte: [00:07:25] They do. They’re quite trashy, though. I don’t know if I’m. I don’t know if I’ve got a good eye for kind of sensationalist stuff. The pitching thing is interesting, like recently, I had an idea for a trend piece on how how we’re consuming music now and how a lot of artists, particularly in the like hip hop and R&B spheres. And now it’s not. So it’s not so much a surprise album release. It’s more like a kind of like rash release, like literally with two days notice or a weeks notice. And I basically wanted to like do a piece examining that as a trend and whether that’s going to change the way we consume music and the implications around fandom and knowing that, you know, an artist can release something a week after them saying that they might. But yeah, I’ve sent that round to so many places and I’ve either had rejections or just no responses. And that is me trying to branch out to publications I haven’t written for before. You know, some people have responded, have just said it’s not quite right for our audience and then others just happen, I guess. Just haven’t seen it yet. So it’s going to be a case of nudging them, seeing if they’ll take it. But yeah, it’s tough. It’s tough, man. Like, I know lots of other freelancers and I don’t know if it’s like this particular time of year with it being summer, I don’t know. But like a lot of people I know are trying, trying to get pieces landed at other places like new publications that they haven’t written for before and just aren’t succeeding. So it kind of makes me feel a slightly bit better.
(See the video below to see the full interview)