• David Bentley

Charlotte dos Santos 🇳🇴 - ‘Away from You’ (single)


I don’t know in which suburb of Oslo Portuguese is spoken but this artist certainly can. Charlotte dos Santos was raised just outside Oslo by a Norwegian father and Brazilian mother. The Norwegian part isn’t so evident. The Girl from Ipanema is.


This is her latest single and it is about “being in love and not wanting to be with anyone other than your one person. The song was written after a bike ride and a cute day outside and I wanted to capture that feeling. I wanted to write an uplifting track after such a heavy year and especially after really longing for dancing, and being outside with friends and loved ones.”


She goes on to say that the accompanying video is “a reference to that, the freedom that we lost, and how we find it again - love and movement will always live and thrive despite everything. This is the first video of this journey of exploration of heritage, identity and happiness.”


It’s a bit of a jump from a bike ride with your special one to the heritage trail but the song, which starts off with exactly the same ring tone as Blondie’s ‘Hanging on the Telephone’ is as groovy as an industrial cart track and the little break part way through while we listen to her answer phone isn’t a trick too far.


But it’s the video which really caught my attention. It falls somewhere between Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ video and a Bond movie. The one I’ve got in mind is the ridiculous ‘Moonraker’ where Bond and his lady assistant of the day find themselves caught up in the Rio carnival being stalked by Jaws. And the more I listen to the song the more I hear a Bond theme.


Her parents’ musical tastes exposed her to jazz, hip-hop, Latin rhythms, flamenco, North African instrumentation and intricate Arabic melodies and she seems to have wrapped many of those styles up in this song which is hard to pigeon hole other than by labelling it ‘exotic’.


But it isn’t the sum of all her parts by any means. A previous song, ‘Josef’, personalises the ‘fight for survival’ (against the pandemic, injustice, brutality, religious and political warfare) in that character and has much in common with Kate Bush’s style of delivery as has ‘Harvest Time’, the title track from her most recent EP.


Since debuting with her 2017 EP ‘Cleo’, she’s garnered more than 20 million streams and been a Newcomer of the Year Norwegian Grammy Award nominee. Class oozes out of her vocals. There will, assuredly, be more to come.

Find her on Facebook.