Create & Cultivate 100: Music: Fletcher

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HITTIN A MILLION STREAMS 

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Fletcher is making Fletch happen. 

OK. Terrible Mean Girls spin, but there's nothing terrible about the LA-based musician. Hailing from the East Coast, FLETCHER wrote her first single, 'War Paint,' when she was a junior in college. It HIT BIG on Spotify, and the platform featured her as a Spotify Spotlight Artist. Everything took off from there. 

A proponent of gender non-conformity, the independent musician has shared that she hopes one day her children don't have to "come out," instead coming home and telling their mom who they like, regardless of gender. She's not really into conformity at all and hasn't signed to a label. It's not because there isn't label interest, rather, the musician doesn't feel ready to commit. She's currently comfortable taking matters into her own hands. 

More from FLETCHER below. 

Where do your drive and passion come from?

I've been so fortunate up until this point in my life to have really inspiring women surrounding me. I grew up with an incredibly strong and independent female figure who I am lucky enough to call my mom, she always taught me to never take anyone's shit and instilled in me from a very young age that good things come to good people who work hard and stay humble. I also had a performance professor and vocal coach at NYU who changed my life, her name is Nora York. She passed away last year and it has since left the biggest hole in my heart. I've never met a human more passionate about her craft and because of her, I see the art of performance in such a different light.

You've written songs about exes. What else can we expect from you?

The songs that I've written about exes are really songs about me. It's about the hurt, the heartbreak, and the healing process that takes a really long time. And it's been a way for me to formulate my own closure from a situation I didn't get any. But through the healing process, you learn so much about who you are as an independent individual, the kind of person you want to be, but also the person you don't want to be. You also learn about what you need from a future partner, which is all so important in your self-discovery process. My music really explores a lot of self-discovery and just me talking from the heart about real experiences I've had.

Who are some of your biggest female musical influences?

Right now I'm really inspired by artists who are using their voices for good and ones that aren't afraid to speak about difficult, personal and vulnerable topics. I'm currently inspired by Selena Gomez, Halsey and Dua Lipa.

When you run into a career obstacle, what drives you forward?

I love being the underdog. I've always rooted for the underdog my whole life. It constantly pushes me to keep my head above water and keep going no matter what anyone has to say. No dream is ever too fucking big. I love proving people wrong, it's one of my favorite hobbies.

"No dream is ever too fucking big."

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What is your biggest pet peeve?

Honestly, people who humble-brag is my biggest pet peeve. Like no one cares that you're so #blessed or wants to read novels about how grateful you are for your successes. Let your hard work speak for itself, it doesn't need any explanation. I also can't stand people who sneeze on airplanes and don't cover their mouths. It's like oh great, now we're all breathing in this recycled snotty air.

"Let your hard work speak for itself, it doesn't need any explanation."

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We're seeing so many industries change. What are you excited by in the music biz?

I'm really excited for new voices and equalizing representation of both male and female artists. I'm excited to see which artists will be next to break through the pop ceiling and for the Grammy's this year. I'm also feeling incredibly inspired by all of the women who are speaking up for themselves, with the #MeToo movement and moving towards people taking accountability for their actions. I'm excited by artists like Kesha who are coming forward about their stories and experiences and shifting the conversation for other girls and women to feel safe and empowered to come forward and speak honestly about their experiences. It's an incredible time for women in music right now and I'm so excited by it.

What's something you'd like people to know about your job that they probably don’t?

Meeting new people and having sessions as a songwriter every day of the week with people I'm meeting for the first time can be really emotionally exhausting. It's hard to walk into a room and within a few minutes spill your guts about what's going on in your life that will inspire everyone else in the room enough to want to write a song about it. That's why for my artist project, I try to surround myself with collaborators I feel the most me around.

IYO-- How can we stay original when we are so saturated with other people's work?

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to." One of my favorite quotes of all time. Originality doesn't exist, but it's how you take that inspiration and turn it into an art form that is authentic to you and you only. We can't reinvent the wheel, nor should we try to. But, no one else can tell your story the way that you can. Rising up in the music industry, fending off sharks, having my heart broken into a million pieces, moving from New York City to Los Angeles by myself, being a young twenty-something trying to navigate sexuality and understanding myself as a human is a story that only I can ever tell.

Rising up in the music industry, fending off sharks, having my heart broken into a million pieces, moving from New York City to Los Angeles by myself, being a young twenty-something trying to navigate sexuality and understanding myself as a human is a story that only I can ever tell.

What about your career makes you feel the most complete?

I just finished my first ever headlining tour and it was the most rewarding experience I've ever had. Seeing people sing my lyrics back to me in sold-out venues was so surreal and so validating as an artist. I feel most complete when fans are sharing their stories with me and when they tell me that something I shared, really resonated with them or helped with a similar experience they had gone through or are currently going through. After my tour, a fan put together a compilation of thank you videos from different fans around the world, most who weren't able to attend the tour and I balled my eyes out. It's things like that, that remind me why I do what I do and why I love it so much. After I released the "Wasted Youth" music video a lot of young females and queer kids told me how much that video meant to them and that it made them feel more comfortable in their own skin, when really, their reactions to it made me feel so much more comfy in my own too.

If you had to trade jobs with anyone else in the world, who would it be and why?

There are a few people I would like to trade jobs with for a day. On a Monday, I'll be Jennifer Lawrence, Tuesday I can be Daniel Ek, the co-founder and CEO of Spotify, Wednesday I'll be Elaine Welteroth, [former] editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue Magazine. These three individuals are really badass people whom I look up to and am inspired by.

At what point in your career did you find the confidence to really take charge and become the woman you are today?

It wasn't so much one specific moment that gave me the confidence, but more so a collection of moments over the last few years of my life. Hitting 1 million streams on Spotify on my first ever single release off my debut EP. Turning down a record label situation that I didn't feel ready for, leaving a manager that was a bad situation, graduating from New York University, having my heart broken, moving to Los Angeles, releasing the "Wasted Youth" video and talking about my sexuality for the first time. These are some of the highs and lows that I feel like have really shaped me into the woman I am today and have given me the confidence to take charge in my career.

What's the best advice you've ever been given? Or your favorite piece of #realtalk?

It's really simple but the best advice anyone has ever given me is to be kind to myself. I'm going to make mistakes in life, I'm going to do the wrong thing sometimes and make the wrong choice sometimes, but that's okay. It's okay to be vulnerable, it's okay to have bad days and cry a lot if you feel like it. Even if it's for no reason. It really helps me manage my emotions when I remind myself to be kind to myself. You have to love and respect yourself first before anyone else can.

What song do you sing in the shower when you’ve had a bad day?

When I'm asked this on the spot I always freeze up and say "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" but honestly when I've had a bad day, I don't sing. My mom always tells me that she can tell when I'm upset about something because I'm not singing. Whenever I do sing in the shower though, it's usually new song ideas for myself. Is that weird? Let's be real, we all sound our best singing with that natural shower reverb.

Photo Credit: @davisfactor

Hair & Makeup: @SmashboxCosmetics @TheGlamApp @TheOuai

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