Published Sep 02, 2016After living and performing in Montreal and Halifax, both with band project the Wayo and as a solo artist, Charlotte Day Wilson chose to return to her native Toronto in search of what she calls her "musical home." While it was an easy move to make with family and friends in the area, the city also seemed to be a better artistic fit for the vocalist, producer and multi-instrumentalist's soul-rooted sound.
"Both Halifax and Montreal are great cities that nurture creativity, but I couldn't find the right scene for myself in either," Wilson tells Exclaim! from her Toronto studio. "I just kept hearing about all these people coming out of Toronto and I wanted to get back there and meet them."
Poised to turn even more heads with the recent release of her CDW EP (out now), it's safe to say the move has paid off. After releasing two singles of her own earlier this year, Wilson featured on beloved jazz quartet BADBADNOTGOOD's full-length IV last month, a partnership from which she says more songs are coming.
On CDW, Wilson joined forces with fellow Torontonian and rising alt-R&B talent River Tiber (aka Tommy Paxton-Beesley) to co-produce "Where Do You Go," finally cementing a musical partnership that seemed like destiny.
"It's funny with Tommy, we were kind of always destined to collaborate because our parents went to university together, and then my best friend growing up lived across the street from him," Wilson recalls. "I never knew him, but they would always say 'There's this kid who writes music and plays all the instruments by himself in the basement.' We met properly for the first time at Montreal's Red Bull Bass Camp in 2015 and hit it off."
Apart from appearances from Paxton-Beesley, cellist Sarah Gans and drummer Howie Day (who both appear on "Find You",) CDW was recorded and produced by Wilson herself. Its six tracks draw from soul, jazz and beyond in providing tasteful instrumental arrangements that highlight the power of Wilson's voice.
The release even draws from hymnal music with the song "Work," a steady-moving devotional influenced by Wilson's participation in choral groups and her grandparents' involvement with church. And though the song can be interpreted as a personal mantra, she's found that a longing for leisure time can sometimes get in the way.
"It's weird, after writing 'Work,' I felt like such a hypocrite," she says. "I do think I have a really good work ethic, and I pride myself in spending as much time in the studio as possible, but I definitely have had moments this summer where I go out and enjoy myself, party with friends, and then wake up the next day and go 'I don't want to do anything.' You can't put a song like that out into the world and then just lie in bed and do nothing!"
Wilson has lined up a string of tour dates for the fall, starting in September and finishing come the end of October. Find her complete itinerary here, and revisit "Work" in the player below.