Exclusive Q&A: Charly Reynolds Talks Confident New Anthem, ‘People Think’ and Teases Upcoming Debut Album

The rising star is gearing up to release her debut album in September, she reveals to Country Now exclusively.


Lauren Coin

| Posted on

June 27, 2024


11:37 am

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Photo Courtesy Charly Reynolds

Rising singer/songwriter Charly Reynolds recently released her bold new anthem, “People Think.”

The song draws from the singer’s real-life experiences, celebrating living life on your own terms and not worrying about others’ opinions.

“People Think” precedes the release of Reynolds’ debut album, set to arrive in September, as she exclusively announced for the first time with Country Now.

Charly Reynolds - People Think Single Art
Charly Reynolds – People Think Single Art

Charly recently caught up with us to discuss her latest single, upcoming debut album, and navigating the country music space as an independent artist. Check out our exclusive Q&A below.

What was the inspiration behind your latest single “People Think?”

I definitely have two sides to me. There’s one side that can be pretty insecure and care a lot about what I look like or what others think and what they see. And then some days, there’s the other side of me that literally could care less about what anyone has to say and kind of just does my own thing and doesn’t let anybody tell me what to do, or what to think, or what to say. And the day we wrote that song, I was kind of in that mood of just not caring, and we had the title idea come into the room and it just seemed perfect and fitting. And so that’s where it came from.

What was the songwriting process like?

Actually, this is funny. The day that we wrote it was the day before Halloween, and the producer who produced this song, Chris Utley, he always wears the same thing, like every day, literally he wears a black polo with khaki shorts and Hey Dudes and a hat every single day. So we thought it would be funny, it was me, Nicole Croteau, and Averie Bielski, we all dressed up as Chris for Halloween, and we drew on beards and we showed up to the write in those outfits as Chris and surprised him, which was hilarious. But I think that kind of set the tone for the day, that we were going to write just a fun, upbeat song. And we really just pulled from my life, like I am the queen of fake bags and fake purses and so that’s why we had to put that in the first line of the song. I think people make a lot of assumptions on others, and like, I walk around with all these bags, but I’m not paying thousands of dollars, so we thought it would be funny to include that in there. And we just kind of really tried to make it the most relatable that we could.

Can you speak a little bit about the importance of forming strong co-writing relationships and how that impacts your music?

With co-writing, I found that the closer friends we are, the better songs we get, at least from my experience. I feel like we’re able to connect really well in the writing room, if we’re already friends outside of it. And you kind of get to know what the artist is looking for, what I’m looking for, so the songwriters kind of know my style, my vibe, and it really just makes the experience so much more fun when you’re getting to write with friends that you’ve written with forever. 

What message do you want this anthem to send to listeners?

I just want people to realize how much happier and how much more enjoyable life is when you don’t care what anyone thinks. I think there’s so much to just living life without a care; I think it’s just so much more fun. I wish I could tell myself to live like that every single day and not get caught up worrying what people think sometimes, especially in my career. 

Can you share any other fun stories or moments from the studio while recording this track?

We only recorded one take of it the day we wrote it, or maybe two takes the day that we were all dressed up in Chris’s outfit. But we recut the vocals, and then I actually ended up using the demo vocals on the song because I just felt like that day we were so in the mood and so in the vibe of the song, that the vocals that we had recut just felt not authentic or something. I don’t know, it was weird. So we ended up using the original vocals, but the music elements of the song, like the track, Chris had brought in before it. He had sent it to me at like 1 am one night, he had a nose strip on and all, like he videoed it, sent it to me, he was playing that guitar lick in the beginning. And I told him, we need to write that immediately, like this song is going to pop off. It just gave me kind of Shania Twain vibes with Gretchen Wilson kind of, which are two of my favorites. And so I just knew that it was going to be a really good song. So once he brought that in, and then we had, you know, just a fun morning, and had the “people think” idea just all kind of flowed together and made for a good song.

@charlyreynoldsmusic #duet with @kyneeandcourt #charlyreynolds thank you so much for making this dance to #PeopleThink!! #linedance #countrymusic #countrysongs ♬ People Think – Charly Reynolds

I saw that some fans on TikTok have turned your single into a line-dancing trend. How did that come about?

I came across those girls on TikTok on my for you page, and “People Think” has such a good beat. And I was like, I wonder if they would do one for “People Think”. And so I reached out and I sent them the song and was like, ‘if you think this would be a good line dancing song, will you help me create it?’ And they were so about it; they’re like, ‘yes, we would love to do that.’ And so they sent me a few different versions that they had made up, and I ended up picking the one that I posted and that they posted, it was really cool. I am so not a dancer, but I tried to do it, and I hope that other people kind of catch on, because they did such a good job. It’s a really fun dance. And now I was editing a video with “People Think” playing in it, and now I can dance the whole time. Like, while it’s playing, I’m just envisioning the dance. I think it’s cool to have a line dance to one of my songs because I don’t think any of them do besides this one.

Is there currently a music video in the works? 

Yeah, funny you should ask. We’re shooting the video in early July, and it’ll probably be out mid-July, so there is a music video coming. With CMA Fest and everything, I got a little bit behind on planning that, but we’re definitely having a music video. I can’t really tell you much about it, but it’s gonna be really fun, really cool.

Is this song part of a bigger project?

Yes! So I haven’t officially announced it yet, but we can right here. I’m releasing my first debut album in September! I’m so excited. It’s got 12 songs and this is one of them that will be on the album. I can’t wait for everyone to hear all the songs that we’ve been working on for so long.

Charly Reynolds; Photo by Madelyn Hanson
Charly Reynolds; Photo by Madelyn Hanson

Congratulations! How does “People Think” fit into the overall theme of your upcoming album?

With this album, I really just wanted to put out songs that I love, and hope that my audience loves them just as much. Every song on the album is really just unapologetically me and I think “People Think” obviously is like the start of all of those songs. It’s kind of been the theme of the album for me behind the scenes too, because as an independent artist, I think sometimes putting out an album, it has such like a stigma behind it, because it’s such a big project, and without a label or, you know, a big team behind you, it can be kind of scary. And I just kind of decided that I don’t care what anyone says. I’ve been working on these songs forever, and I’m going to put out the music that I want to put out, and hope that God will just make it all happen behind the scenes for me.

Can you tell me a little bit more about what your experience has been like navigating your career as an independent artist? 

I have felt very blessed being an independent artist because I get to choose what songs I’m going to put out and how I want my music videos to go. I get to pick the cover art of my songs, pick the photo, pick who I work with, which is really important to me, and it’s definitely been amazing. There are always challenges, you know, I don’t have a huge label team behind me to pitch my songs to playlists, to radio and, to movies and TV shows, stuff like that. But with that, I just have to count on my fan base to really take over and listen to my music and promote it as much as I can. I go on the street and promote my music with hand fans in the summer or postcards, and really try to get the word out about songs when they come out. It’s nice living in Nashville, because there are country music fans right on Broadway, so I go down there and I try to promote it. I show people the songs, kind of on foot and on social media is how I have to do it, which I love doing in that way anyway. But I think it’s definitely a little bit more work on the back end that nobody really sees, as far as trying to figure out how I can push it the most by myself, also without having the budget that a label has, so it definitely has its pros and cons. But I really love being able to pick what I do. And with the album, I love that I’m able to pick every single song and have, like, total creative control of it.

What goals do you have for the rest of the year?

This year, I really just want to be out on the road and playing shows. That’s my favorite part about being an artist, performing and meeting people from all over. I’d really like to just do a ton of shows this year, maybe go on a little tour. And also, I really hope to be able to play the Grand Ole Opry this year, once my album comes out. That has been a goal of mine for a really long time, so I hope that that comes true in the next year.

Fans can keep up with Charly Reynolds on Instagram.

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Lauren Coin

Written by

Lauren Coin

Lauren is a junior at Michigan State studying Journalism with minors in Broadcast and Public Relations.