Fletcher on Girl of My Dreams, breakup songs and redefining success

Since releasing her debut single in 2019, Fletcher has quickly established herself as one of the brightest and most exciting new stars in pop music.

The 28-year-old New Jersey-born musician, whose fans include Taylor Swift, Niall Horan and Halsey, is well known for her candid and often brutally honest songwriting, and is now on the cusp of releasing her debut album.

Fletcher opens up about her songwriting and her new album Girl of My Dreams. Photo: Supplied/Carlos de la Reina

“I feel like a whole sea of emotions,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle during her first visit to Australia.

“I've been putting out music for a while but there's something really different about it being your debut album. It's like a dream come true, and the fact that it's brought me all the way to the other side of the world to be able to talk about it is such a pinch me moment.”


While some artists might find it daunting to release their first full body of work to the world, Fletcher has a different perspective.

“There’s a bit of pressure, but I think the more beautiful thing to me is that I have grown up with my fans,” she remarks.

“When I'm thinking about songs and when I'm writing, it's like, yeah I'm writing from something that I may have felt, but I'm also thinking about so many people around me and the community and just having these beautiful kids that grew up alongside me, and I'm like, ‘Oh, I wonder if somebody else has felt this too’. It's just this very like, shared feeling and interaction.”

‘I'm winning in my book because I'm having a good f**king time’

Fletcher, who had their first moment in the spotlight as a contestant on The X Factor in 2011, adds that she’s recently redefined her definition of personal success.

“I don't feel the same pressure that I used to or the same things that I sort of used to put on myself, I think,” she reflects.

“And of course, it exists because everybody wants to do well and you want your album to do well and you want it to have the opportunities or the attention that you desire because it's something that you put so much of your time and effort into. But it used to be for me about accolades and numbers and I used to think, ‘Oh, I should have this award by this age’, and I just realised how sick that was making me all the time.

“And I’ve just redefined so much of it like, ‘Does this feel like it's in alignment for me? Does this feel good? Is this like an expression of truth?’, and just have more fun. Like, we put way too much f**king pressure on ourselves to do XYZ by a certain date, and society, in general, does that to us. So I’ve just been like, whatever.

“I just want to have fun and play music and play live and like, I'm about to go on like my fourth tour of 2022. I'm winning in my book because I'm having a good f**king time. And like, everything else if it's in alignment will happen and it will come. If you're just living present in your life, then that's when the things that are actually in alignment with you start to happen.”

‘I want to f**k s**t up’

While her previous releases have been focused on specific relationships in her life, Fletcher describes her new album Girl of My Dreams as an exploration of herself.

The project, which she began writing around two years ago, addresses the feelings that were brought up in her 2020 EP The S(ex) Tapes and evolves into “a more interpersonal relationship”.

“My intention and what I wanted to do with this album is to show how the pain and all of the complex intense emotions evolve.

“I've always just written about heartbreak,” she says, before quickly adding, “And I’m always going to because it's where I get inspiration.

“Even if it's beyond dramatised, it’s a f**king art, you know? I'm always tapping back and even if I don't feel it anymore, I'm a Pisces. It's like in my nature to write dramatic a** breakup songs.”

She adds that Girl of My Dreams has much more of a rock influence compared to the rest of her discography, primarily because she wanted it to sonically match “the grit and aggression” she expresses in the lyrics.

“I’m exploring my relationship to aggression and rage in a way that feels like women are supposed to suppress, in the way that we're meant to feel in society,” she says. “But I think there’s a way to healthily explore all those sorts of more intense complex emotions that people are like, ‘No, no, no, that’s not ladylike’. And I'm like, ‘No, I want to f**k s**t up’.

“So that's the energy that I'm channelling - for my life and in this album.”

‘Let’s be dramatic!’

Speaking about her songwriting, including her recent single Becky’s So Hot which received an enormous amount of interest through TikTok for its rather personal subject matter, Fletcher says she has no shame in sharing her most intimate stories to the world.

“I feel like I'm getting myself to a point now where I have set myself up to be known as someone who writes very explicit things,” she remarks.

“I've never had any shame about putting out my diary, basically. It feels like my lyrics to me are just like, ‘What would I write in my diary?’. And my barometer has always been if my mum gasps, then it's good. Like, if my mum has a reaction, then I know that it's Fletcher-worthy. If my mum’s like, ‘Cari!’, then I’m like, ‘Great, it’s going out’."

This is exactly what happened with her single Undrunk, which ended up becoming her first song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100.

Bitter, same reaction. Sex (With My Ex),” she laughs. “All of them! And now she'll text me like, ‘Yep, this is good, you should do it’. Now she’s like my number one supporter and she used to be like, ‘I don’t know Cari, this seems like a lot’.”

She adds that she’s never had any regrets about lyrics she’s released and instead views her storytelling and the way she expresses herself through song as a learning experience.

“What I've been most interested in as an artist is exploring the really complex feelings and the feelings that people maybe feel weird talking about or feel shame or aren't sure if they should go there,” she says.

“I've always been really intrigued by the feelings that we kind of want to bury in a closet and the nuance of it all and the complexity, and I like to have difficult conversations in my life with the people in my life. And I put that same sort of thing into my artistry and it causes a conversation.

“It's like, s**t's boring, let’s be interesting! Let's be dramatic! Let's make art! A lot of it too is like I get to play characters, which is fun. I feel like I'm in a movie and this is like a scene of my life that I'm in right now.”

Fletcher's new album Girl of My Dreams will be released Friday September 16

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