Q: Hi Carter! I’m loving the vibe of “Halls Of My Mansion (HOMM).” The lyrics are deep and relatable, while the instrumental is so catchy and danceable. Can you walk me through the creative process of making this track?
CARTER MURPHY: I wrote this in November of 2020, the very middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many of the lyrics are about being trapped and illustrate the tension of my relationship with isolation. When normalcy seemed far far away, I wrote the song originally as a slow, sad song with less rhythm, but by the time I had the chance to work on it with my producer, Preston, we were just about out of quarantine. I decided to take the song in a bittersweet direction and end the song positively. My producer, Preston, and I decided the last thing people needed to hear after the era of despair during quarantine was a sad song, so we ultimately agreed on leaning more into an upbeat version than it originally had.
Q: I’m always interested in an artist’s musical journey. Do you remember who or what first got you into music?
CARTER: In 2020, my freshman year of high school was online and most days were drab and uneventful. At the same time, I started to focus on new shows or music that were released. Quickly, many artists began to catch my ear like Halsey, Ariana Grande, and more. However, no matter how much I listened to them, their songs were only partially relatable. (It’s not their fault. I’m not sure any music artist could have captured the intricacies of my thoughts and emotions at that time). I began writing my own songs to be able to tailor my music to what I was going through.
Q: I know “HOMM” was inspired by the isolation from the covid-19 quarantine. Talking to different artists, some said they made more music during quarantine while others were completely creatively stunted. How did quarantine affect your music?
CARTER: As said above, the pandemic is really the only reason I started writing. I don’t think I would have started songwriting or lyric memos unless I was in isolation. Though virtual school and isolation from the world were indescribably difficult, songwriting was my one silver lining of the pandemic.
Q: If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only listen to three albums for the rest of your life, which would they be?
CARTER: I learnt so much from those guys—they were some damn good times. One of the main things I learnt was how much effort and hard work those guys put in behind the scenes. After belting out a 90 minute set, they could sometimes spend over an hour talking to fans and signing autographs etc. When you’re checking out early from a hotel, have been travelling most of the day, sound checked, then gigged, you can be pretty tired but they never turned anyone away. They signed every last item, which was very admirable.
Q: If you could were stranded on a deserted island and could only listen to three albums for the rest of your life, which would they be?
CARTER: I love this question because I think about this a lot. First, I’d listen to Wiped Out by the Neighborhood. The songs in this album encapsulate an edgy part of my personality and contain such unique qualities. Free Spirit by Khalid would be my next. Though I don’t believe I could ever write songs as great as his, Khalid has been my favorite artist for years and I’ve fangirled over him for a long time. Lastly, Kendrick Lamar’s most recent album, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, is always on my playlist.
Q: Being an up-and-coming artist from Los Angeles, what advice would you give to other artists trying to make their way out here?
CARTER: I think that writing and making your music can be intimidating, especially knowing that there are many people doing the same work you’re doing. However, I realized making my own music is simply a pen, paper, and an idea. Anyone can write a song and as long as you’re doing it for yourself, it won’t matter what others think.
Q: Was there a pivotal moment in your life when you decided to follow your path as a musician?
CARTER: The day we shot the HOMM music video became a pivotal moment in my life. When I stepped into the house, the idea of becoming a big-time artist really settled in. And it didn’t really scare me but excited me, so I knew I had to chase that dream.
Q: Thanks so much for speaking with me! Tell your fans and everyone what exciting stuff is coming up next for you! Any shows/projects in the works?
CARTER: My next single should be out around May 2023 and I’m really excited about it! This next song is about getting past someone and being better off for it. There will also be a music video in the works! I’m so happy to share this next one!
Interviewed by Melissa Cusano
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