Once a month, Pop Crave puts on its A&R hat and shines a spotlight on a new up and coming artist. Before the music video for her latest single “Tonight” has even reached its conclusion, it’s abundantly clear to our team at Pop Crave why triple-threat Alice Chater was being offered record deals left and right when she first debuted on the music scene.
A singer, actress and model, Chater describes her sound as vocal-driven pop with a taste for the theatrical. Born in England, she made her debut in the pop scene after impressing Will.I.Am with her undeniable star power and drawing the attention of multiple record label execs. She’s gone on to build a passionate fan base in the LGBTQ community with her inspired pop tracks such as “Thief,” “GIRLS X BOYS,” “Hourglass” and more along with their high-concept music videos.
Chater is now fresh off the release of her latest single, “Tonight,” and its music video, which sees the singer operating at 110 percent in the vocal, acting and choreography departments. Pop Crave caught with the rising talent to chat about her latest track, adoration for Celine Dion and what fans can expect next.
Tell us about your new single “Tonight.”
I wrote it with Martin Terefe, who is this incredible songwriter who I’ve always loved. It’s basically about if this was your day, what would you want to do? Basically I say, I want to go and tell the person I love that I love then and have a party . The lyric is “Tonight, if the world is falling down/Put your best dress on” so it’s literally that. Put your best dress on, pick yourself up and have the best last hour.
We were just jamming in the studio and that’s how “Tonight” came about, and then I started singing the top line, the chorus and it came to the song it is now. Mark Ralph afterwards did the production of it. He’s one of my favourite producers too.
When did you first you realize you wanted to become a performer?
Probably when I was little, as the only thing I was good at was singing, dancing and acting. I really struggled at school with anything academic and was really dyslexic. Then I realized I was getting a reaction to singing to people, performing and being funny as I love comedy as well. Then it became a thing, and I started auditioning for shows since I was little. I have been doing loads of shows where I live – in Ramsgate and since then I have built from there. When I was 11, I had my first professional show and I was Annie, and that’s when I knew I wanted to do it professionally and I wanted to be a pop star.
In past interviews, you’ve spoken candidly on your experiences of bullying. Do you believe working on music helped you overcome this, and what advice would you give to young people that are dealing with something similar?
I think definitely delve into something that you know you’re good at, and you know you enjoy. Spend hours on it, and really feel good doing at doing it. I think that when I was getting bullied at school, I didn’t have a best friend. I had a friendship group but I was almost left out.
I would take dance classes every day after school, and when I was at school I’d always be excited to get out and go and that really helped. When I was at dance class, when I was rehearsing and doing shows I was around more like-minded people and more similar kids to me so I felt I fit in more.
I would say find something you really love and are really good at, whether it’s arts like painting. Go and do that art and delve into what keeps the soul alive. School can be so tough, and kids can be so mean and that’s my advice.
Music and dance definitely saved me. I would be a mess if I didn’t have that.
What message would you give to your younger self, if you could?
Probably believe in myself a little more, and be more confident in being myself around everyone. The only time I was able to come out my shell was when I was on stage performing, so I felt I had to perform all the time.
I would definitely say to try and embrace my goofy side as everyone is different and quirky, and quirks make you different.
Each of your music videos are so unique and so theatrical. What inspires your concepts behind them?
Normally the concept comes into my head, first of all. I would think of the song as a movie. Every single song I’d be like “what would this be like if it was a movie?”
With “Heartbreak Hotel” I was like I want an actual hotel where guests come in to fix their heart. I just created a movie in my head. I then try and it turn It more of a high fashion musical piece of art, rather than being so to the point so it leaves the viewer guessing.
For “Tonight” I wanted to do a witches coven. I was obsessed with witches when I was younger, Hocus Pocus and all the movies I just adored.
With the song, I really felt like I wanted to do a whole coven of witches and it’s the end of the world and we’re all doing these crazy dance routines. I placed me and the dancers in different situations, different rooms and we’re just doing really expressive choreography around witchy themes, but not going too over the top so the viewer can watch it and be like “Oh they’re just really cool, like a girl band.”
I wanted to make it quite arty, I was inspired by Gigi and Bella Hadid who did the whole Beetlejuice scene for Vogue.
I love watching people use their facial expressions. I love using my face for different types of expressions. I really wanted to get that across in the video, and each scene have a different feel and be kinda crazy, and I like that.
Tell us about your love for Celine Dion, and what it was like meeting her backstage at BST Hyde Park last month?
She’s the reason why I sing like I do, I practiced from her and literally studied her voice. She means so much to me and is an incredible vocalist.
She was so gracious, and so lovely. She was actually worried about me as the first thing I did even before saying “Hi” was burst into tears. I envisioned myself saying so much more stuff that I wanted to say, but nothing came out. I was a blubbering mess and I was like “I love you so much, you’ve made my day.”
She was so calm, so gracious, so elegant and just insane and she took her time with me. She met me before she went on and she took her time and was like “Do you want a picture?” She was just amazing and to be able to see her in Hyde Park was a really special moment for me and my family. I’ve grown up always listening to her and trying to study her so meeting her was really magical.
If you could form a group with three other female singers, who would you pick and why?
Ariana Grande because she’s an amazing vocalist, and she’s a great performer.
Christina Aguilera is another idol of mine, she really sings from her heart, she sings with feeling and her voice is insane. I loved her music growing up and ‘Stripped’ is my favorite album.
P!nk is an incredible performer. I love how she does the trapeze. I love doing aerials, and can appreciate how hard it is to sing and at the same time be flown upside down in the air so high. I just think she’s just an awesome artist.
What more can fans expect from you this year?
Loads of music! I’m doing my first headline tour, which is going to be great. I’ve got more festivals. I am going to have lots of music coming up and music videos. I have lots of more songs lined up.
Catch Alice Chater, on UK Tour from next month. You can also keep updated, via her Twitter and Instagram.