We are living in a time when it’s almost a given that creatives wear many hats. Its rare to stumble upon a singer who isn’t also a visual artist, designer, or actor, as well. One of these multi-talented artists is the singer and model, Carrie Lane, who has been hard at work releasing her new single, “If I Can’t Be With You,” while also serving as one of the faces for Target’s #RealGirls body-positive campaign.
The Los Angeles-based singer has been touring and singing in the indie pop circuit for years, drawing inspirations from a background in theater and her peers. We were able to chat with Carrie about her musical process, how she deals with criticism, and her body-positive campaign with Target.
HelloGiggles: When did you first start singing and creating music?
Carrie Lane: I grew up in a suburb of New Jersey where anything I sang or performed was very Broadway-related and musical theater-oriented because that’s what’s popular there. Since I was four I was doing musical theater and that’s something that I did through all of my childhood and adolescence. I finally got to a point where I really wanted to get out of the musical theater constructs like a normal teenager, and go to college. When I was 18 or 19, I first started writing my own music. I was so used to singing as a character, or in a play, so it was really important to come up with my own music and way of singing.
HG: Who were some of the artists that influenced you when you first started making original music?
CL: I grew up listening to Carol King. I love her because she’s so versatile. When it comes to modern influences and my own style of music, I’m very into Amy Winehouse and Lana Del Rey. Those are two of the people that I think embody the idea of “cool pop singers.” I never wanted to make cheesy mainstream pop; it’s hard to start off writing indie-pop because people see me as a blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl who could potentially fit a Taylor Swift kind of mold, whereas I want to tap into the indie scene more.
HG: Do you have any current music you’ve been listening to?
CL: I’m very into the Borns album right now, I love James Day, the Coin album. I’ve been really into a lot of male-heavy bands lately, which is weird for me because usually I listen to female-lead bands. I feel like indie-rock bands are really crushing it right now.
HG: Has the political state of things affected your music at all?
CL: I think there’s definitely this heightened sense of people wanting to rally and come together and music has always had that power. I actually got a lot of heat during the election because I didn’t post about it on my social media. People were like, “you have a lot of followers and should use your platform to talk about it.” In my opinion, I want to preach a message of community through my music itself, without injecting my personal opinion into it. I want people to be able to bring their questions to the table when listening to my music, without being prescriptive. Basically, I want people to stand up for what they believe in. I want my music to be a tool, but I don’t want to force my hyper-specific opinions on them.
HG: You’re doing the #RealGirls body positive campaign with Target. Has body positivity and the act of being tuned into your body affected your music?
CL: It’s been interesting for me because I’m a juvenile diabetic and I have been for 14 years. So, I’ve been nutrition-conscious since the age of 8. It was really hard when I was a teenager and I saw the things my friends did to be thin, and they were all explicitly what my nutritionist told me not to do. I had friends counting calories when their bodies should be nourished, so it was always confusing to me because I had an involved nutrition background. So when the dynamics of obsessive thinness came into play, I totally felt myself getting caught up in that because it’s very important to be a specific size. From an early age, I tried to focus on being healthy and tuning into my body through exercise and eating correctly. Without treating my body right, I can’t do all the things I need to do every day.
HG: What’s the most common feedback you’ve received in regards to your #RealGirls Target campaign?
CL: I’ve actually received a lot of angry feedback that I’m considered a plus-size model. I’m a size 8, and that makes a lot of people angry. In some ways, I agree with that. I don’t consider myself plus-size, but that’s what the industry places me as, so it’s hard to tell people, “no I’m not, but yes I am.” People will get angry that I’m too small to be a plus-size model, but the industry places average-sized women as plus-sized — so it’s a catch-22.
HG: What would you hope the campaign communicates to younger girls?
CL: I think the fact that the campaign is creating a dialogue is important on its own. Whether it’s negative or positive, I think it’s an important conversation to have. I also think it’s just refreshing for people to see that whether the models in the campaign are size 8 or 16, the models are healthy and happy with what they look like. That’s what I would hope would be the takeaway.
Listen to Carrie’s single below: