Wayhome 2017: Charlotte Cardin Talks Toronto vs. Montreal, Solange Knowles & Flower Crowns

Heading to Wayhome this weekend? Charlotte Cardin is one act you shouldn’t miss. At just 22-years-old, the French-Canadian model-turned-singer has already shown promise of being the next *big thing* to come out of Montreal. Her 2016 debut EP, Big Boy, is a minimalist mix of traditional jazz sounds, sultry R&B songwriting and contemporary electronic production. Whether she’s singing in French or English, Cardin’s brooding Amy Winehouse-eque vocals and intense beats will have you swaying eyes-closed in the crowd.

In preparation for her Saturday afternoon performance, we got Charlotte Cardin to discuss the coolest Canadian city, Coachella Instagram girls, and her dream Wayhome headliners.

It’s your first year at Wayhome, but you’re definitely not new to the festival circuit. What was it like performing at Osheaga in your hometown of Montreal?

It was so much fun. We got to perform twice at Osheaga last year because some band missed their flight, and both crowds ended up being really nice. The first show we played to people who came early to see me. I was expecting no one to come because I playing at 1pm, but a few people showed up and we had a lot of fun. But at the second show people were really there to discover. They didn’t know anything about me, which was actually really nice. I like festival crowds because they’re really open to discovering new music and new artists. They come with a very open mind and take it all in.

Wayhome is to Toronto as Osheaga is to Montreal. Which city do you think has a better music scene? I feel like us Torontonians always look to Montreal as our cooler, more artistic European sister.

Oh really? I mean we do have that double culture, which is really cool. It adds to the culture not only through music but through visual arts, architecture and a bunch of other things. But I think people in Montreal look up to Toronto artists thinking that they’re so cool. Everything is happening in Toronto right now — all the huge acts are from Toronto. We haven’t had a huge act out of Montreal since Arcade Fire. You know, it might just be because the grass is always greener on the other side. I think Canada has a bunch of really cool, artistic scenes, and that it’s really awesome to be apart of both. 

So Wayhome vs. Osheaga, how do you think the two festivals will be different? 

I feel like festivals always have a similar vibe. We played in Winnipeg a few weeks ago and it was a very different crowd, but still people are there to discover and they’re happy to hear new music. It’s always nice to perform to a crowd like that. The festival vibe itself will vary, but there’s still that kind of openness to the people there. Which is why festivals are so fun for performers. 

How do you feel about music festivals’ tendency to have a lineup hierarchy on their posters? Is it hard for lesser known artists to see their name in small print?

I don’t feel like it’s a controversial thing; it’s advertising. If it’s on a poster and someone’s driving by they’re going to want to see Beyonce before they see someone don’t really know. I get that it gives people what they want to see, and that people want to see and understand things so fast now. 

Let’s say you’re going to your dream music festival. Who are the three headliners (dead or alive)?

I’ve seen James Blake before, but I’d like to see him again. Frank Ocean is another one — I know he’s playing Wayhome but I’m not going to be able to see him unfortunately. And if Amy Winehouse was still around, I’d love to see her. 

Are there any performances you will be able to see this weekend? Someone you’re really excited about?

I’ll be able to catch Solange. A bunch of my friends have seen her live before and they’ve all said, “you have to see her at least once.” Apparently it’s amazing visually and it sounds awesome. I like shows that are a whole experience; that you see very exciting things and hear very exciting things. 

Do you think this whole music festival thing is just a fad? Will Coachella be Coachella forever? 

Oh no I think they’re sticking around. I mean festivals have been around for years — just think about Woodstock. There’s this new blogger thing going on; there’s a whole blog and fashion scene that’s now associated with festivals that wasn’t before. But I think the festival itself is just people who want to hear good music. It’s a way to see a bunch of awesome artists at the same spot, and that can never go out of style. The best shows I’ve seen in my life have been at festivals, so I don’t think it’s just a trend.

How do you feel about the girls who come to music festivals just to wear a cute outfit and snap Instagram pics? Do you think it detracts from the music?

It’s fun as well. If you’re there to dress up and have fun with your friends, that’s also cool. It’s a very cool place to meet new people, so even if you’re not a music freak you can have fun at a festival. I guess some people are there for the music — I’m definitely there for the music and not the blog stuff — but I think it’s totally fine that some people are there for the fashion scene. 

Last question: how do you feel about flower crowns? 

[Haha] I hate them. I mean I respect them, but ya I hate them.

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