Firmly rooted in the UK’s drum and bass culture, Charlotte Haining is an artist on the cusp of a big breakthrough. Fresh off the heels of her recent track “High Hopes” with Goddard, the singer-songwriter isn’t just a rising star but a shining one. Written after her transformative experience at Glastonbury last year, the track radiates a vibe that can only be described as hopeful.
Newly signed to Ministry of Sound’s roster, Haining isn’t a newcomer to the scene. She’s the mastermind behind some of the UK’s chart-toppers for artists like Becky Hill and Ella Henderson. Beyond her songwriting prowess, she’s already clocked an astonishing 50 million streams from her collaborations with heavy-hitters like Sub Focus and Dimension.
As she continues to take the festival circuit by storm — recent gigs include Boardmasters and Boomtown — Charlotte Haining is gearing up for what promises to be a breakout year in 2024. To learn more about the artist, we discussed her upbringing, navigating her career, style, and more.
To anyone who’s unfamiliar with your music, how and when did you become interested in becoming a musician?
I grew up in a pretty noisy, musical family. My mum is a music teacher, and my dad likes to play piano and have a sing-song at any given opportunity, so music has always played a big part in my life. I always dreamt of being a musician… I was blissfully unaware of how difficult that career choice would be, but the struggle continues to be worth it, and I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.
How has songwriting for other artists helped you or impacted you as a singer?
Songwriting for other artists enables me to delve deep into other people’s stories, emotions, or things they want to say and work out how to craft them carefully together into a song that connects with a broad range of listeners. This process has taught me to apply the same methods of thinking when it comes to writing songs for myself.
Although you’ve done plenty of collaborations this year, “High Hopes” is actually your first lead single in quite a bit. What makes this song so special to you?
This song is very special to me as it’s the first song I’ve released as a signed artist to Ministry Of Sound. I have featured on a lot of other people’s songs over the years, but to take the lead on this feels very special. This song also immediately took me back to Glastonbury last year — where the inspiration for this song came from, on a warm, hazy evening, surrounded by amazing music and the best people, feeling like there might actually be some hope for humanity is another reason why this song is so special to me.
What, in general, do you hope that fans will take away from the record?
I hope they just enjoy it, they listen to it, and it makes them feel good, that the bass makes them screw their face up and wanna dance.
As a rising artist, the pressure to keep putting out new music must be pretty intense. How do you navigate that amid songwriting for other people and handling things in your personal life?
It’s difficult at times, I’m not going to lie, but I’ve got quite good at compartmentalizing over the years. If I’m working with an artist, I’m focused on them and the song we are writing together… I leave everything else at the door. If I’m doing my own stuff, then I focus on that and everything else has to wait for a mo.
I’ll quite often put my phone on airplane mode when I need to focus. I’m not a multitasker at all; I find it near impossible, but the positive side of that is that whatever is in front of me or on the to-do list for that day gets my complete undivided attention.
Fashion-wise, how would you describe your style? What are you wearing these days?
I’m a high street type shopper for the most part, but I love to discover and support new independent brands as much as possible. For days in the studio, I’m a big fan of a tracksuit — comfort is key when songwriting. I’m loving my Urban Creative Clothing hoodie, jaded trackies, and Air Max 95s at the moment.
For raves, it can vary, but I’m really loving a brand called Aujord and have worn quite a few of her pieces over the last few shows, always paired with black Air Max 95s. Black trainers are a must in the rave, and I learned that the hard way.
From a more objective perspective, what would you say is your end goal within music?
Honestly, I love what I do for a job. I feel incredibly lucky to do what I do, so to be able to continue to do this, putting out my music to the world and writing alongside other artists will continue to be the ongoing goal.