Televised singing competitions like American Idol are supposed to give artists the rare opportunity to go form zero to superstar in a matter of weeks. They promise to find the diamonds in the rough, and offer them record deals, fame and fortune. And sometimes they do — household names like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood launched their careers from reality shows like this. But, as our artist of this week explained in an interview with Exclaim!, being on reality television "helped my career way more than it's put me at a disadvantage, but I'd say a little bit of both. The exposure was absolutely insane, but when you're on a show like that, it's not real life. You play in front of millions of people, and you're super famous in a day, but it's not real life. [Fans are there] for the show and the costumes and the dancers, and the reality show that goes with it; it's not just for the music."
That's Charlotte Cardin, who finished 4th on the French-Canadian singing competition La Voix. A far cry from American Idol, she was briefly a queen in Quebec, and was approached by major labels after her season on the show ended, but she didn't feel it. "I thought, 'If they want to sign me from what they've seen on TV, they don't really want to sign my art; they want to sign a product.'"
So she took some time off, allowed herself to slow down and find her own voice, after becoming famous singing covers on television. It took three years, but she knew she had to get it right, it would be hard to shed the brand a reality TV star, especially in today's climate of picky bloggers, tastemakers and curators who are looking to tear down these one hit wonders.
Our track today comes from Cardin's debut EP Big Boy, an impressive electro-RnB effort in which Cardin effortlessly and naturally mixes elements of blues, jazz and soul. Our song, "Dirty Dirty" feels like it could have been sung by Amy Winehouse or Adele, with her cool, smoky voice floating over a looping piano and simple, yet hard hitting drum kit. Charlotte Cardin has found her voice, and damn, is it beautiful.
You can learn more about Charlotte Cardinhere:
About the curator - Cormac McGee
Cormac McGee is a DJ, artist manager and concert promoter based in Toronto, Canada. He’s played in front of crowds from 10 – 1,000 people and has run concerts with some of today’s top hip hop artists, including Drake, Future, Mac Miller, 6lack, Ab-Soul and more. He also runs the Music Den at Ryerson University, a business incubator for entrepreneurs in the music industry.