Singer-songwriter Chloe Tang often jokes that her music conveys the notion, “love me, but leave me alone.” While this seems to be the official ethos of Gen Z, Tang puts a unique spin on it. Her sweet-yet-sultry songs have propelled her into a full-fledged music career that began, amazingly, by opening for pop megastar Dua Lipa at the very venue she used to work at.
Now, Tang is gearing up for the release of her debut EP, E-PITY-ME. Today, she’s dropping perhaps her most angsty track yet, “Walk You Out”, which describes the experience of living with an ex after a breakup. “I just love this song,” Tang tells LADYGUNN. “Because I really felt like I got a chance to be a little angry and a little edgy and just really let it out. It’s just so true to how I was feeling. I’m proud to put out something that’s just really real.”
Check out the rest of our conversation with Tang below and stream the song here:
Tell me about the process of writing “Walk You Out”. Where were you emotionally?
I remember going into this session and just not being in the mood to write anything. And it was hard because it was also the first time I had written with the co-writers and producer. I could just feel myself not really ready to open up about anything in the session. And then we started kind of talking about it, and they’re like, ‘What’s going on in your life?’ And I was like, ‘Honestly, my life is in shambles. If you guys are willing to listen to what I have to say about it.’ And they’re like, ‘Yeah, of course, like, go for it.’
My ex at the time and I had broken up and it had been a few months that we had been living together in the same house, just the two of us. Not even with roommates or anything, and it was just, like, so miserably awkward and emotional and difficult to be home. I don’t feel confident in myself whatsoever. I felt so low. And just like not even having the option to explore new things or move on and stuff like that. So they were like, ‘Okay, it’s feeling like this could be maybe kind of like an empowerment song’, not even female empowerment, just like empowerment of like, ‘Hey, let me take my life back.’ And then it just kind of spilled out.
I feel like a lot of people have been put in similar situations because of the pandemic. Any issues you may have in a relationship are going to be heightened when you’re stuck in the same house together all day.
For sure. Luckily, I was able to still go to work and all that. But I cannot imagine that.
How did the pandemic impact you as an artist? You’re obviously on this great trajectory and then everything just sort of halts — how have you been handling that?
I would say it was really, really hard to digest that first, just knowing that we’re going to be on lockdown for so long. And my number one priority as an artist has always been playing live shows and going on tour — I would love to go on tour. So obviously, that wasn’t happening. And I had kind of spiraled a little bit.
We all did.
Exactly. You’re just like, ‘Oh, okay, this is not how I thought this was going to go.’ And then, fortunately, I met my current manager and she was just so confident in everything that I had to offer and it just helped me gain my confidence. They’re really encouraging me to make more social media content and be on Tik Tok and stuff. At first, it kind of felt like a chore, and now I’m starting to find that it can be really fun. So I just feel so grateful that I have people around me that are encouraging me and keeping me going.
I’ve really been working on my personal growth. I discovered how important it is to be secure and take care of myself before I am able to put myself out there. Recently, I’ve started to get hate comments. I told my therapist and she was like, ‘Wow, that’s so cool. That means you’re really doing something.’
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It’s kind of funny to me now, but I feel like before the pandemic, I would have been like, ‘Oh my god, people don’t like me.’ Now, I’m just like, ‘Okay, let me just focus on myself so that when these things do kind of come my way, I will be able to just be like, ‘I’m gonna focus on what’s important. And that’s just making music that is really true to myself.
Definitely. You spoke about your confidence levels — did the decision to shave your head impact them? Just from watching you on social media, I feel like you carry yourself so differently now and it’s brought out so much confidence in you.
For sure. It really changed me and changed the way that I just put myself out there, especially on social media. I was always curating every single thing and making sure all the edits were perfect and my skin looks good. Now it’s just like, ‘Honestly, this is me.’
I always thought that my hair was my best quality, to be honest. This has definitely made me realize that I am not my hair, and I can’t use it to cover up my face or my imperfections or anything. I’m just letting it all be. I can’t hide anymore.
That’s awesome. I’d love to talk a little about your background. You’ve said that you haven’t always felt support from your family in terms of your music career. So when you moved to LA you were essentially on your own — do you feel like that has benefited you and gave you some thick skin?
[My parents] always were very supportive of me making music and being creative and they put me in classical piano and classical choir. But then I kind of discovered, ‘Oh, I kind of like pop music,’ and I started to branch out and find my own taste in music. And that’s where my parents started to be a little bit worried. They were like, ‘This is a very difficult career. Wouldn’t it be safer to do business?’ It was definitely hard. But I think after college moving to LA, it has given them a little bit more security just knowing that I am doing music full time and I have worked really hard to get here. All I want is to make them proud. When I opened for Dua Lipa, my dad was like, ‘Wow Chloe, this is the moment that I’m realizing that you could maybe actually do this.’
Tell me about that experience opening for Dua Lipa. I know you had already moved to LA and had to fly back to Colorado for the show. What was that like?
I believe the show was on a Monday and I flew in on the Friday night before because they had called me on Friday morning. I was like, ‘I don’t have a band yet. I don’t have anything ready.’ It was honestly just so overwhelming. I literally just felt like I was in a dream. I was super familiar with the venue because I used to work security there. I think I just stopped working there just a few months before — I was literally like, taking people’s tickets and cleaning the bathrooms. It was so, so strange how it all lined up. To this day, I’m still in shock about the whole thing.
Did you get to talk with Dua at all? What was that like?
The only time we did get to interact was I think when we were switching from my soundcheck to her soundcheck. I was going backstage and she was coming on stage, and she came up to me and gave me this big hug and was like, ‘Thank you so much for doing this Chloe. I know it was last minute but I just like thank you for opening.’ I didn’t know what to say. But she was just so sweet.
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story / Catherine Santino
photos / Courtesy of Artist