Dundee songstress Be Charlotte is on a high after releasing her first single on a major record label – and has visited local schools to share that glow with kids.
The singer, real name Charlotte Brimner, visited St Paul’s RC Academy in Kirkton to speak to pupils and delight them with a live show.
Second-year kids were able to quiz her on musical tuition in schools – something she says is “crucial” for aspiring artists.
Older pupils, meanwhile, were able to ask her pressing questions about female representation in the music business.
The same day, she also visited her old school, Morgan Academy, and was set to visit Harris Academy today.
She will then be embarking on a wider tour of Scotland’s schools to spread a message of support for music teaching.
The educational road trip isn’t Charlotte’s first – she embarked on what she calls a “trial run” last year in schools across Dundee.
And, speaking to the Tele, she believes having her say on music lessons in schools is more important than ever amid nationwide cuts to its provision.
She said: “I just don’t think these budget cuts to music tuition are right. But it is great that it is free in Dundee.
“It’s a real warning sign if people outside of music don’t see how important it is for young people to have opportunities to learn music. For me, it was crucial.
“If I didn’t then I don’t think I would have had the confidence to consider it as a career.
“It’s really important – even just for the playing side of things, just knowing you can learn to play and enjoy it.
“When I was at that age of 13 or 14, a lot of people were going to uni and I just wanted to do music.
“My mum was really supportive, taking me to open mic nights and things.”
Key for the Kellas singer is inspiring young girls who, like her at that age, are eyeing up a career in the music industry.
It is an industry, she believes, in which women are underrepresented.
“Some people say it’s the fault of festival organisers or there being too many male-fronted bands but for me the main thing is there’s not enough women trying to get into the industry,” said Charlotte.
“In PRS for Music (Performing Right Society), women songwriters that are signed up make up only about 22% of all the writers in music (the actual figure is lower, only 17%).
“I don’t think it means there are less women writing songs – but it’s something to do with younger girls not being encouraged enough to do music.
“Maybe it’s not having enough confidence – but if you can inspire someone to try music and think about jobs in music then that’s all I can hope for.”
During her visit to St Paul’s on Monday, Charlotte played new single Do Not Disturb – her first on record label Columbia/Sony Music – to a boisterous reaction from the young crowd.
She added: “The reaction has been amazing. We didn’t really know what to expect and I don’t put a lot of expectation on these things but it has been great.”
Looking on from the sidelines was St Paul’s principal music teacher, Carol O’Rourke, who, some years ago, was encouraging a young Charlotte Brimner at Morgan Academy.
Carol said: “Charlotte has worked so hard to get where she is and deserves every success – and there are so many benefits to music, so it is brilliant she is here to talk about it.”