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An Interview with “Internet Pop” Star chloe mk – Bringing the “Fantasy” EP to Life

chloe mk is a bright young star forging a new musical path. She got her big break when she won the thirteenth season of the hit singing competition show “The Voice.” chloe mk makes music that is different and defiant. She sings about life, and love, and loneliness. I got to discuss the process and passion behind making her and EP “Fantasy” a reality.

 

What inspired you to change your stage name to “chloe mk” and what does it mean to you?

I think it was less about a name change and just more of a fresh start. I’ve always liked my name. chloe mk feels a little more modern and somewhat digital… and it has a little ring to it which I luv 🙂 it’s something that allows me to have a “persona.”

 

Do you consider yourself a pop singer/star? If not, what do you consider yourself?

I don’t love labels but I think they’re unavoidable… “pop” feels right for me right now. “Popstar” would be my dream. “Singer” is just who I am. I’ve been calling the genre ‘internet pop’ to avoid having to over-explain it. I think the listeners will decide what it is and that’s when I’ll know for sure. 

 

What has been your experience touring? How did it change you, if at all?

I had never toured for more than a few days before… touring with Sizzy Rocket was definitely a special experience. I learned a lot. I had to set up my gear and learn how to run my own tracks. Huge learning experience and so much fucking fun 🙂

 

How did your experience on “The Voice” influence your career and music?

I think my experience on “The Voice” is not very different from anyone else who has been on “The Voice.” I don’t have the words to describe what that was really. All I know is that it changed my life. For better or for worse, or for something, or for nothing. I think the idea of the show is incredible and I think that people really get invested in the contestants, but it’s a reality show. It brought me so many opportunities and for now, I get to do what I love for a living, and for that I am grateful. 

 

You are originally from Nashville, how did growing up in such a musical town impact you?

I grew up outside of Nashville in a small town called Mount Juliet. I lived off of the same road for 23 years. I am 100% the person that I am because of that. But pursuing music was still a wild concept in my family… so I definitely went through the natural struggles of that. Nashville was where I went to play shows. Nashville taught me how to write a song. I was pretty involved in a community of psych/garage rock/indie musicians for a few years.

Has your style changed at all living in New York City, versus Nashville? If so, how and why do you think this is?

I was just talking to my sister the other day about how New York has affected me… I’ve only been there for a year but it’s honestly incredible how much of an impact it’s had on me already. There’s so much self-expression and freedom. It’s weird but I find myself wanting to blend in some days and others I want to wear the craziest thing in my closet. Overall I feel like a tiny fish in the biggest pond. 

 

How has your time on social media impacted you, and how do you think it’s involved in the music industry today? Has it had any impact on your career?

Social media is completely revolutionizing the music industry. And the arts. And the world. There’s no area it hasn’t impacted. Not sure what’s going to happen next or if it’ll all crash one day, but I’m gonna ride the wave while it’s here because it is the best way to communicate with the people that listen to my music and the people I love.

There’s somewhat of a stigma surrounding pop music – how do you combat this perception that pop music is “less than” other forms of music?

As long as I’m writing songs about what I’m feeling and I’m coming from a genuine place, I don’t think it matters what the genre of music is. Not everyone is going to like my songs and I’ve made peace with that. I accept that… but to assume that all pop music is “lesser than” other genres for whatever reason would be very silly and very dumb.

 

What does “internet pop” mean to you?

‘Internet pop’ was the best way I could try and describe the genre of my music. it’s a melting pot of sounds and influences. I’m influenced by social media every day so naturally, my songs are too. 

 

Can you explain your EP cover art and how you went about designing it, choosing it, etc.?

The cover was something I had planned for months. I wanted to cover my eyes. I wanted drama and I wanted escapism and I wanted to create a fantasy world for people to live in. I wanted it to represent the ‘chloe mk’ persona. I wanted it to make people stop scrolling. 

Your songs are packed full of detail. Were there any specific events that inspired these songs on your EP? Were they separate occurrences?

Every song on the EP is based off of personal experience I’ve had in my life. I don’t know how to write any differently. I’m a little overdramatic and a bit sensitive… and sometimes the most real moments in life feel unreal to me. Like hyper-real. I also just wanted to write huge bangers and make people want to lose their minds 🙂

 

When you were crafting your EP what was your main focus?

The main focus of crafting the EP was just to put out the first six songs I wrote with my producer Pete Nappi. I think we have an insane work ethic when it comes to writing songs. I don’t know what it is exactly but I think it’s pretty major and very out of this world… I never want to stop writing. I made every song with Pete Nappi and either Sizzy Rocket or April Bender.  (“I Can’t Stop,” “Praying For Me,” To Be Young,” and “David Bowie” with Sizzy, and “I Feel Good” and “Ride” with April.)  

What is the overall message you’re trying to present with your EP?

I feel like the overall message of the EP is that your feelings and experiences and interpretations of a moment in time are so important…. and valid. Life is really just your story. There is no one else just like you. You’re the first you and the best you. Emotions are a beautiful part of life and they are a force of nature. I believe if you create from a personal place you will live forever. 

 

What does your EP mean to you?

This EP represents a completely safe space for me. It’s like I didn’t know anything and then everything clicked. Writing these songs and releasing them was just the first step of this journey. Chapter one of my new story. I’m so excited for what’s next. 

 

You can stream “Fantasy” on Spotify, Apple Music, or other platforms

 

Feature image courtesy of chloe mk’s team at Republic Records.

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Written By

Helen Ehrlich is a writer who enjoys politics, activism and charity work, music, and all things literary. She lives in America where she attends school.

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