Carlie Hanson’s Steady Rise to FamE

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Photos by Salma Bustos
Written by Thania Garcia

No one in pop music is more liberated than 18-year-old Carlie Hanson. In less than two years, the young Wisconsin native has more than accomplished the feat of getting her foot in the door. For the majority of last year and this year so far, Hanson has been traveling the world as an opening act for artists like Troye Sivan, Young Blood, and currently, for indie-rockers, the Bad Suns.

Late last year, Hanson got her first taste for large crowds as an opener for Sivan where she had the opportunity to catch the glittering attention of fans across the United States. "It was like going to Pride every night... (Troye) has such a welcoming fanbase and I got so comfortable and so used to everything."

As she tours alongside the Bad Suns, Hanson has earned herself an in with the rock crowd. However, the looming label of genre and category doesn't frighten her. Rather, it’s an opportunity to share the genre-bending sounds the singer has in store.

In the past, Hanson has mentioned various musical inspirations clearly heard throughout the rising star's catalog. Justin Bieber's pop rhythmic playfulness can be heard on "Why Did You Lie?" Even his stylistic choices are visible in the way she dances across the stage with multiple pops, locks and slight grabs at the crotch.

Hanson is the first of what is believed to be a product of the 2013 craze that swept young pop audiences across the globe. Those whose music collectively represents Gen-Z pop culture. Similarly, Billie Eilish carries that same genre-less style and the results are infectious. There is something so shockingly sweet about young girls taking pop and mix and matching it with the unthinkable.

"I don't think about the (limitations of the pop genre), I like pop, I like rap, I like rock. I like to look at Post Malone for example like he...what the fuck is he? Is he pop? Is he rap? Is he rock? There is no category you can put him in.  I love that and that is kind of what I've been trying to follow and this EP that I'm putting out (has) a pop song, and then there's a song called "Where You At?" which is very guitar-based. It all still flows together very well somehow. It’s all still pop-y and grunge-y and it all does fit together, and I think that's really cool," she says.

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This is what I've wanted since I was very young, and it has been nothing but pure excitement and pure hype.

Acentric Magazine: You recently came out on Twitter to which all your fans gave extremely supportive reactions ...but I have to ask, did you feel pressured to speak on the subject?

Carlie: "No not at all. I was at a great point in my last relationship where I just felt good and secure and just tired of...well I hadn't told my mom yet that I had a girlfriend, so I was like so over hiding it because that was definitely weighing on me and adding extra anxiety in my life. So, I don't even know what came over me when I tweeted out to the world that I had a girlfriend. I don't think it should be such a big deal to talk about and definitely now where we obviously live in a time where people are much more open about these things. But, I just felt really good and didn't want it to weigh on me anymore."

AM: Has opening for bands of various types of genres inspired you to branch out and experiment with sound?

Carlie: "I want to reach different people and I don't just want to be straight pop, I want to reach everyone. When I went (on tour) with Young Blood...he was just so inspirational, and he made me want to do more rock vibes with my music which you will be able to hear pretty well on the EP that I will be dropping soon. Watching him just rock out and play guitar on stage (has inspired) me to play bass on stage."

AM: Does it ever scare you to think about the immense success you've had at such a fast pace? I mean there's an obvious sense of excitement, but do you ever feel anxious about it?

Carlie: "I don't ever get anxiety about like anything that I've accomplished or the shit I've done. This is what I've wanted since I was very young, and it has been nothing but pure excitement and pure hype. Everything that's happened to me this year...I can't really feel anything from it because it is so unreal to me like signing with (Warner Bros. Records) was one of those moments."