Now Reading: A One-On-One With Carlie Hanson: Inside The Rawness And Edge Of Her Astounding Sophomore EP ‘DestroyDestroyDestroyDestroy’


A One-On-One With Carlie Hanson: Inside The Rawness And Edge Of Her Astounding Sophomore EP ‘DestroyDestroyDestroyDestroy’

October 23, 202010 min read

It’s 7 p.m. on the West Coast on a Wednesday night, and 20-year-old popstar Carlie Hanson is doing a Zoom party with her fans prior to the release of her sophomore EP DestroyDestroyDestroyDestroy. This practice is definitely not uncommon — several of her peers, including Charli XCX and Kim Petras, have taken the opportunity to have a special virtual moment with those who support them as a result of the ongoing pandemic. The vibe in this one is quite different, though — there’s an intimate feel, with some who even know each other and get to speak about how the singer changed their lives and how excited they are for the upcoming project. Carlie herself reminisces of the times when they met up, the gifts they’ve given her and the live shows she’s played in their states. This wholesome interchange is a testament to who she is as an artist and a person: a teenager who has used her art and platform to express herself and touched many lives in the process with her honesty and her unforgettable personality.

On October 23rd, Carlie Hanson dropped DestroyDestroyDestroyDestroy, a 7-track EP that dives deep into her personality and her experiences with tales about her life and what she’s had to overcome — and still goes through every day. The project reflects a very interesting contrast and evolution from her first offering, Junk, that was released in 2019. This time, the lyrical content is elevated with much more compelling stories and the production is at its most fresh and edgy point — still, her essence remains.

I had the pleasure to talk to Carlie about the sensational piece she put out for the world, to find out more about the process of its creation and what’s to come in her life.

Federico Bongiorno: The themes on this EP include heartbreak, sadness, paranoia, guilt and a wide range of emotions that make it quite a personal project. Why did you decide to go that route?

Carlie Hanson: When I wrote this EP, it all came from the experiences I was going through at the time. It wasn’t a pre-made decision like, “okay, my last project was this, so I’m gonna go a different route my next project.” I just wrote all these songs based on exactly how I was feeling that day. Everything came pretty naturally. 2019 to early 2020 was when all these songs were created and that was such a weird time for me — I was getting used to living on my own in LA, and that was hard for me at first. I fell in love and out of love during this era. There was a lot I needed to talk about!

FB: Production-wise, some of these songs evoke an early 2000s pop-rock feel with a modern twist, especially “Is That A Thing?” Was that intentional? 

Carlie Hanson: “Is That a Thing?” was one of the first songs written on this project. At the time I wrote it, I was listening to a lot of s—t like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Hole, The 1975, Avril [Lavigne], so that definitely influenced why I wanted to make something so garage-bandy. I remember the day I wrote that song, I told Taste, the producer, that I wanted it to be made only with real instruments — so yeah, it was definitely intentional that it came out that way!

FB: Prior to this, you had never released a collaboration. This EP has 2 of them: Lil West on “Fires” and iann dior in “Ego”. How was that experience like, working with fellow artists on your own music?

Carlie Hanson: I have had “Fires” with Lil West for a long time now, and I’m so excited it’s finally coming out! It was really easy and fun working with him. Originally it was only me on “Fires”, but I knew it would sound great with a feature. Take a Daytrip who produced on this song mentioned Lil West could be a great collaboration on it, so I listened to his stuff and immediately was down. Same type of thing happened with “Ego”. It was only going to be me on the song, but I had mentioned interest in working with iann to somebody on my team. I had listened to his album Industry Plant and really loved his style of punk and rap together. We sent him a few of my songs and he said “Ego” stuck out to him the most — we went into the studio a few days later and he put down a second verse and that was that!

FB: The cover art for this EP is simply stunning and I believe it’s a great representation of how the album sounds. Can you tell us a bit more about it?

Carlie Hanson: Thank you! I have been a fan of Jenna Marsh’s stuff and loved the work she did with Gia Woods, Dua Lipa, and Lauv. I thought she could really nail this hyperrealistic vibe I wanted to capture for the cover. We shot all the pics at this cool little hospital set, heavily inspired by one of my fav movies – Girl Interrupted. It was cool as f—k! The reason I wanted a chainsaw in my hands was to allude to all of the destruction I’m doing throughout all of these songs. Also, not until this era did I really ever try on dresses, skirts, things like that, which is funny. I actually despised wearing anything like that, but once I just tried it, I felt like a different b—ch — like I had leveled up to this cool, different version of me. So that’s pretty cool.

FB: You’re only 20 years old, and your career has just begun. How does it feel being so young in this industry?

Carlie Hanson: I’m very grateful to be 20 years old living out the dream I’ve always wanted. I wouldn’t want anything more than to live and breathe music. I’m extremely grateful and don’t take a second for granted. It’s also really sick that there are a hundred other kids like me doing exactly what I’m doing. The world is our oyster now with all of this technology at our disposal. We can do anything we set our mind to, no matter how old!

FB: This is only your second project, and it has showed a very different side of your artistry compared to the first one. What’s next for Carlie?

Carlie Hanson: After DestroyDestroyDestroyDestroy comes out, I’m going into a world of experimentation. I wanna work with people I’ve never worked with before, I wanna produce music on my own, I wanna travel a lot (safely) and experience new things (safely), and make the best debut album I could ever possibly make!

You can now listen to Carlie Hanson’s sophomore EP DestroyDestroyDestroyDestroy on all streaming platforms. 

Featured Image courtesy of Carlie Hanson/Warner Records Inc. 

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Federico Bongiorno

Federico Bongiorno is a 21-year-old from Argentina who's deeply in love with pop culture, politics and people.