Up Close with Music Connoisseur, Charlotte Upshaw, of the.living.room

I first met Charlotte Upshaw at our ISSUE 05 release party held at DOPE Fairfax. Since then, we kept in touch and she became an extended member of the SUSPEND family, supplying us with the latest and greatest song selections from her Soundcloud series she regularly updates called "the.living.room". I sat down with Charlotte, who brought an assortment of her vinyl records, to our studio in Downtown.

DIANE: Hi Charlotte! How long have you been curating the.living.room for and what prompted you to start the curated mix?

CHARLOTTE: So it’s been nine months since I’ve started. It honestly just came about from people having a curiosity about what I was playing at DOPE [on Fairfax]. Whenever I’m there, I create a vibe and am known for that now.

Charlotte Upshaw of the.living.room photographed by © Diane Abapo for SUSPEND Magazine.

Charlotte Upshaw of the.living.room photographed by © Diane Abapo for SUSPEND Magazine.

How did you get into making mixes? (I remember an anecdote you told me, that before when you used to style, you were asked to put music on during shoots and from there you became the go-to person for song selection.) “I’m definitely the AUX cord friend! Haha. I didn’t realize that my ear was a gift until I would start talking to artists about songwriters and samples, and they would look at me like, ‘Ummm, how do you know that?!’ It hit me that I had to use this purposefully – and that’s when the.living.room was created.”

Is there an overall mood that you’re going for with each of your the.living.room mixes? “Essentially I like to put music together that could be your soundtrack for a drive down the PCH or a kickback with the homies.”

You just released Vol.10 of the.living.room. How has the feedback been so far? What’s the best reaction you’ve gotten from curating this series? “It’s so funny you asked that because this latest volume has gotten the most attention from all the previous releases. I’m the most confident I’ve ever been talking about it to people and I’m seeing the benefits of that. I think the best reaction is when an artist hits me up and appreciate that I included his or her music.”

Charlotte Upshaw of the.living.room photographed by © Diane Abapo for SUSPEND Magazine.

Charlotte Upshaw of the.living.room photographed by © Diane Abapo for SUSPEND Magazine.

Do you have certain artists that you find yourself repeatedly placing in the.living.room series? “ABSOLUTELY! I’d have to say, it’s between Elhae and Ro James. They’re both artists who can do no wrong musically.”

What does Music mean to you? How did your love affair with Music come about? “Music is a language to me that breaks barriers and can always create a conversation. I’m not a big talker but I’ve noticed that if music is involved, I shed a few layers. My love affair with music is more like a longtime relationship, because my parents unknowingly turned me into a connoisseur as a kid.”

My favorite edition of the.living.room is the HLZBLZ edition you posted three months ago on Soundcloud [you started off with that fire Mick Jenkins’ “Rain” track (produced by Kaytranada)]. Is there a particular volume of the.living.room that holds a special memory to you? “Thank you! I like that one too. I’d have to say Volume 9 is special to me because I tried a bit of a different lane with that one by incorporating more rap than I typically do.”

Charlotte Upshaw of the.living.room photographed by © Diane Abapo for SUSPEND Magazine.

Charlotte Upshaw of the.living.room photographed by © Diane Abapo for SUSPEND Magazine.

How do you come across the tracks you decide to place in each volume of the.living.room? “My days consist of consistent searches for what’s new; whether that be from a new artist or an artist I’ve been rocking with for years. I also have a great squad around me and we always send music to each other. If the vibe feels right collectively, it makes the cut.”

Who are some of the producers and artists currently on your radar? “Ro James, King, Anderson.Paak, Knxwledge, Snakehips.”

Where do you feel most SUSPEND-ed (lose track of time, etc.)? “Manhattan Beach.”

Charlotte Upshaw of the.living.room photographed by © Diane Abapo for SUSPEND Magazine.

Charlotte Upshaw of the.living.room photographed by © Diane Abapo for SUSPEND Magazine.

 

Interview and Photography by Diane Abapo

Follow Charlotte Upshaw on Soundcloud


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Diane Abapo Founder and Editor-in-Chief at SUSPEND Magazine.