I first met Chloe George during an artist showcase, casually held this past spring in someone's Los Angeles backyard in the midst of pandemic lockdowns. We were both in the audience, positioned on the sidelines to get a better view, as we quickly became fast friends — and fangirls — over the performers on-stage (Shoutout to the vocal powerhouse that is Emma Rena). She was silly, immediately personable and felt like someone I'd known for years within minutes of connecting.
All night, the host referenced a musician "coming up next" who'd gone viral on TikTok. Chloe told me she was on the lineup — visibly nervous and fidgety — but I didn't connect the dots until my new BFF was called up, sat behind the keyboard and opened her mouth to sing. "And nothing hurts anymore I feel kind of freeee," she wailed, perfectly recreating her Kanye West "Ghost Town" cover that's now been streamed more than 35 million times on TikTok — and beyond.
This same unassuming charm comes through on Chloe's official debut off Fader Label, "Peachi," which explodes with the warmth and relatability of a voice note from your closest friend. As her first original single, the bright and piano-led track centers Chloe's recognizable rasp on a euphoric chorus that really soars. Having written for the likes of Normani and Dua Lipa, a pop sensibility comes naturally to the young star — and that effortlessness unfolds clearly on "Peachi."
Her "Peachi" music video, directed by Callum Walker Hutchinson, sees Chloe playing around a colorful suburban home all alone (plus, pancakes). "Peachi, show me the way to be dreamy/ Feelin like nobody sees me/ I think I kinda like that though/ Fast like a superhero," the Bay Area-born artist sings, her words and visuals bringing to life a sense of nostalgia for simpler times — perhaps because she started it while staying with her parents during the pandemic.
Watch Chloe George's "Peachi" video, below, and keep reading for the story behind your new favorite song.
What was the process like for writing this song? Did you work on it during lockdown?
I wrote "Peachi" in the middle of the pandemic when I was staying at my parents house. I had been hella depressed for a whiiiile and was just starting to get glimpses of getting better. I wrote the first half and then finished it six months later when I was back in LA. I worked with Mike Malchicoff and Holden Jaffe to produce it out, and they turned it into everything I had always dreamed of! Start to finish, the whole process was really cute for me because I started writing it at such a low point in my life, and almost a year later, it's coming out, and I'm in a much better place. Each verse is like a little time capsule into where I was mentally when I wrote it, which is cheesy to say but I said it [laughs].
You've co-written for several other artists. How do you think that process is different from writing for yourself?
I love writing with other artists because of the connection you build through the song you make together. I think writing alone allows me to build a deeper connection with myself and get shit out I didn't even know I had in me. I always feel like I know — and like [laughs] — myself so much better afterwards.
To that end, how do you think "Peachi" is a reflection of you as a solo artist, right now?
The past year has been such a transitional one for me, and I'm sure it has for everyone. I have been experiencing a lot of change externally and internally, and realized that there's an in between state that exists when you have changed but your life hasn't quite caught up to the new version of yourself. That's the space where all of my songs have come from in the past few months, and "Peachi" was the first step into that world for me.
What was it like filming this video? Looks like you had so much fun with Callum.
So fucking fun! I had never done a music video before, but Callum and everyone made me feel so comfortable while I just flopped around the whole time. I really wanted to find a way to create a dreamy and bright version of my life at my parents' house during quarantine. The house we got was perfect for this and the production designer, Maya Sassoon, took stuff I brought from my own bedroom and made the each room look so sick. Callum had such a strong idea for each shot, and Jonah George (DP) fucking killed it. I'm a lucky duck to have gotten to do my first video with this crew.
Do you think this sound and vibe speaks to where you're going musically into the future?
Totally. "Peachi" is just the opener to a bunch of songs that I have written in the past few months. I realized musically I lean towards chords and sounds that remind me of stuff I would listen to or my parents would listen to as a kid — stuff that feels familiar to me. I think that's because all the lyrics are about growing up and changing. It's like I needed something to ground me during this process. Or this could make no sense, and it could just be that my edible is kicking in. Sorry!
For you, who're the ultimate music greats and how, if at all, does their work influence yours?
My all time favorites are Lauryn Hill, Coldplay, Ella Fitzgerald, Mac Miller, Bon Iver and Frank Ocean. Growing up, I was always drawn to music for the lyrics and melody before anything else, and these artists always keep so much space for their listeners, while still creating a world that is unique to them.
"Writing alone allows me to build a deeper connection with myself and get shit out I didn't even know I had in me."
After going viral, do you feel different pressures on your music than you did before?
This is gonna sound annoying, but if anything I feel like it has taken some pressure off? I guess there's a pressure in the way that there are people there that were not there before, but it really just showed me how little is in my control. That video was so random, and I just posted it because I love that song and wanted to sing it. I think it just reminded me that things will connect with whoever they're supposed to connect with, but all that matters is that I'm making stuff that I fuck with and that means something to me.
What's your relationship with that viral sound? Do you love it? Does it make you anxious?
I honestly don't think much of it now. That whole experience happened so fast and I've always thought the idea of "going viral" was hilarious [laughs]. I definitely think I get uncomfortable when someone plays it near me or brings it up, but I don't really know why [laughs]. Either way, I'm super grateful for that weird little moment and happy the sound exists in the world.
How do you think TikTok has changed the way you interact with and create music?
I've definitely found some of my favorite songs and artists on TikTok, and I'm super grateful for that. It hasn't really affected the way I make music, and I think through the whole "Ghost Town" thing I really wanted to keep my perspective on creating the same. But in terms of connecting with new people and sharing new ideas, I fucking love it.
Photo courtesy of Anna Koblish