Tell us about your introduction to music.
I grew up in a musical family. My dad was a musician; he was a singer in a band and also played guitar, drums, and piano. I always had instruments around the house and I always loved to sing. It’s in my blood. The mix of my love for music and having the tools around me to explore music made me want to pursue it.
What did you listen to growing up?
I listened to the Beatles and my father’s music a lot.
Did you ever study music in school?
I’m in high school now, but I did grow up doing musical theatre and studying music.
You’re so young! So what was the moment that convinced you to pursue music on a professional level?
Well I recorded my first album in my basement. My dad helped me produce it and upload it on Soundcloud when I was 14. People responded really well, and that was when I realized that this could be a thing. Before, it was a dream. Once I got a great response, I saw the potential.
You’re a Jersey girl but you’re on the west coast right now to record. What do you think about the differences between the coasts?
I find myself in LA a lot. Most of the pop industry is here, and even though I’m young, I now have an apartment here.
What music plays the greatest influence on your own work?
Believe it or not, rap music. The rhythm is very interesting and creative to me. I’m also inspired by soul and R&B like Alicia Keys. Indie bands like the Lumineers and Lorde and other indie pop artists are fantastic as well.
When I listened to your music, I was reminded by Lorde. What is it that you love about her?
When her music first came out, she was very honest and had a cause. She was different because her music wasn’t trying to be anything else.
Do you have a favorite Lorde song?
Back to your own music, what is the story about your first song?
My first song was No One Will. It is about what I witnessed in relationships growing up. It is about how when people fall in love, they are so attached to each other. Even if they aren’t happy, couples tend to stay together. Love is such a powerful thing and so No One Will is a warning sign about falling in love. Sometimes, it can be better to be alone and happy.
Talk to me about your stage name, Bitter’s Kiss.
My whole life has been about taking good things out of the bad things and finding that silver lining. Bitter’s Kiss is a representation of that silver lining. I also needed a name and wanted to protect myself for the purpose of my career and identity.
What is your songwriting process like?
I free-write a lot. I sometimes write paragraphs and make songs out of it. On other days, I will just be on my piano, play a few chords, and start singing whatever comes to my head.
So you must be a fan of poetry then?
Yes! I wrote a lot growing up and poetry is something that I am naturally drawn to. It was never an assignment that I didn’t want to do. I still read much poetry and books that are written in verse.
Do you have any favorites?
The Weight of the Water by Sarah Crossan is fantastic. It is one of the first books that was written in the form of poetry that I love.
What was the first music video that you shot?
The Rope was the first video. That one was shot by film students in New York. The song’s message discusses suicide, not rescuing yourself, and people not accepting you. We tried to create a story that went with that theme. One of the most interesting things about the video is that it was all shot in one take, so there were quick changes and if one person messed up we and to start over again.
Suicide is a pretty heavy topic to address. What prompted you to write a song and direct a video that tackled this issue?
Yes, the topic is deep but it needs to be talked about. The point isn’t to make people feel sad or depressed. It’s about bringing up the topic. If people are talking at dinner and that song came up, it might start a conversation about the issues that need to be discussed like suicide. Sometimes people don’t want to talk about things like that, so it’s important to create conversation-starters through music.
Who do you admire for their songwriting skills?
The Beatles. I love Yesterday, Hey Jude, and John Lennon’s Imagine.
Where do you hope to eventually perform?
Because I grew up right next to the city, Madison Square Garden is a huge goal for me.
Who is someone you enjoy following on Soundcloud?
Quinn XCII is a fantastic up-and-coming artist.
What’s your opinion on remixes of songs? Yay or nay?
I think they’re cool! it’s great to listen to the original, but seeing the interpretation of a song gives it new life. The point of music is to see how people redo and re-interpret a song.
So you’re still in high school. What do the next few years look like for you?
I’m in the process of building a team for myself, as I prepare for the next step as an artist. Music is always going to be my first priority. If I have the opportunity to continue music, that will be my plan. That said, I do intend to finish high school whether that is through tutors, online, or in person, i want to graduate.
Where do you want to travel in the future?
I love to travel and I’m lucky because my family and I have gone to a lot of places. My next stops would be Asia, either Japan or Thailand, or Dubai. That’s a culture that I haven’t experienced yet.
Who would you like to perform a duet with?
Kendrick Lamar or John Legend.
What’s the best films you’ve watched?
Straight Outta Compton.
What is beauty to you?
Beauty is up to interpretation. It’s about what you give off in your personality and what makes people attracted to you. Beauty is what makes relationships.
Photos by Dustin Rabin. For more of Chloe’s work, check out her Youtube channel.