Colette Carr’s passion has always led her to achieve great things. Her original passion of tennis had her on the cusp of playing in her first professional tournament. After a back injury permanently sidelined her, Carr, who has always been obsessed with all things creative, found her next passion when her sister influenced her to go on stage before a concert at UCLA where The Game was performing. She loved the experience, and the resultant whirlwind for Carr has included a video that shot to number one on MTVu (“Back It Up”), a record deal with Cherrytree Records (which is an imprint of Interscope), and the recent release of Skitszo, her first of four EPs that will culminate in a full length album.

This week RapReviews caught up with Carr to find out more about her journey, her effort to make albums that are well rounded, and her unique relationship with her fans. Carr also revealed some of the hijinks that went on when she toured with LMFAO, and why she’s a great friend to have if you’re under the weather.

Adam Bernard: You rhyme, you sing, and you have a unique sense of style. When did you first figure out that you were creative, and what were the initial ways in which you expressed that creativity?

Colette Carr: I didn’t know until there was a problem proposed at school for the way I was dressing. Then I kind of realized that I was different, because I refused to take my Snow White costume off.

AB: How old were you?

CC: This was pre-school, and I had Chuck Taylors that were mismatched, and my socks had to be ruffly and had to be folded perfectly. I was just a little bit of a weirdo. Creative and different was accepted at an early age. I was always fascinated with the outcasts in the class. I was friends with some popular kids, too, but I was more fascinated with the weirdoes making booger books.

AB: I read you felt the inspiration to pursue music as a career after your sister forced you on stage before a concert of The Game’s at UCLA. What did she say, or do, to get you to freestyle in front of the crowd?

CC: They asked if anyone can freestyle, and she was like “you should do it.” I was like “ha, I totally would.” Then she was like “well, then do it.” I was like “no, c’mon, we snuck in, we don’t have wristbands, we’re literally the only two people here who aren’t UCLA students.” She put her hand on my butt and was pushing my butt, and I was like fuck it, fine, anything that means enough to my sister I’m gonna end up following through on because she’s my favorite person in the universe. I went up there, I did my thing, and it ended up sticking with me. I went home and I told my parents that I wanted to be a rapper. They didn’t really know what it meant, but they were like, OK. They were just happy to see me love something again after tennis. They were happy to see the light back in my eyes.

AB: So with you being peer pressured into freestyling at the show, and it turning out so well, are you accepting peer pressure as a form of career advice?

CC: It’s not really peer pressure when it’s coming from someone who loves you unconditionally and would never steer you in the wrong direction. There’s definitely a “fuck it” factor in jumping on stage and doing something like that, and I think the more you keep that innocence, kind of, and naive aspect in your music and your process, the rawer it comes out and the fresher it sounds. I think that once the pressure starts building up, and people have expectations, and you’ve done a few things, and then you start worrying, it’s not as epic as the first time. So the more I say fuck it, and DGAF to the moon and back, the more fun I have, and it reminds me of that, of jumping on stage and it’s basically more of a “fuck you guys, I’m doing this for me and my sister,” and I like that approach.

AB: A pivotal event in your career was the release, and popularity, of your crazy, glow in the dark, b-boy, insane asylum video for “Back It Up.” Did you expect the video to make the impact that it did on MTVu, and do you think it was the perfect way to introduce yourself to the world?

CC: I didn’t even know MTV gave unsigned artists a shot. I went into the music industry without parents in the music industry. I knew nothing about it. I just knew that I liked rapping, I liked hip-hop, and I wanted to pursue it and I wanted to make a music video. When it went to number one on MTVu it was definitely unexpected and very overwhelming. I had no idea, but I wouldn’t have done anything differently. I think this whole process has happened exactly the way it’s happened for a reason, so I guess you could say it was a perfect introduction.

AB: What was going on in your life at the time you made that song?

CC: My uncle had just died, and he was schizophrenic, so I kinda just wanted to tell a story about all that crazy shit.

AB: The title of Skitszo is partially an ode to that same uncle, correct?

CC: Yeah. I don’t have too many schizophrenic uncles running around. It’s just the one.

AB: Do you think it also describes you musically?

CC: I think it gives me the freedom to do whatever the fuck I want. Even though it all makes sense to me because I’ve lived all the stories I tell, and I feel really close to every single song, it does sound kind of schizophrenic to an outsider’s perspective, but I feel like everything is under the same umbrella if I’m the umbrella. It just feels so real and close to me. How many girls don’t have different sides to them, feel different emotions? What I don’t understand are these records where it’s like the same track over and over again twelve times. I don’t get that at all. I don’t relate to it. And I don’t get people who have a CD full of love songs. You didn’t experience anything else that year? I don’t get that. I guess maybe mine, there’s a little bit more shadow and shades to it. It’s definitely not the same synth chords the entire time, and it’s definitely not the same stories. I don’t want too much of the same thing. Maybe that’s schizophrenic. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just my ADD.

AB: With so many different topics and emotions involved, what do you hope listeners get out of listening to Skitszo?

CC: I hope they get me. It’s been kind of a struggle. Everybody wants to compare you to something. If you try anything new they find complications within it. It’s like, this is art, you know? People forget that sometimes. I think everyone’s so used to being fed manufactured, scientifically produced, music that they forget to let go and stop constantly trying to put something in a box, so the ultimate goal is for them to realize I am who I am. I tell stories of what I lived. They’re vulnerable, sometimes they’re very angry like “Delusional,” sometimes they’re funny and weird like “Like I Got A Gun” and “Bitch Like Me,” so if they can get my EPs then they’ll start understanding me, and I don’t know why I care so much about people getting me and not misunderstanding me, but being misunderstood and having to explain yourself constantly is exhausting, so if they can just fucking get it that would be brilliant.

AB: So with your EPs, if someone doesn’t understand you, you can just hand them the music.

CC: Yeah, exactly! That’s why we’re doing the EPs, because you can’t do that with a single. Then they just take one song at a time and digest it, and dissect it, and overanalyze it, and this EP has all sides of me. That’s exactly why we’re doing it this way.

AB: You just finished up a video for “F16.” Tell me about the concept for it.

CC: We shot it at an airplane graveyard. The location was so brilliant. I shot it with my homies from Malibu, Talk Boy TV, and I told the story that the lyrics were telling. It’s about a destructive relationship, but it was really beautiful and sweet when it was sweet. The fashion was kind of inspired by Amelia Earhart. I really like it. I hope it empowers a lot of girls and speaks to people. I think it’s visually compelling, which is always what I try to go for when I shoot a video. I’m excited to put it out there because it’s one of my favorite songs.

AB: Another video you have from the EP is for the song “Like I Got A Gun.” That clip makes me think you watched BET Uncut growing up, but you’re only 21, so were you even old enough to stay up that late?

CC: I don’t know, maybe I watched stuff that was a little bit worse than that, honestly.

AB: My Lord, what were you watching at that age?

CC: I think I was watching it live. Malibu’s crazy. You gotta go to one of these Malibu parties. I didn’t write “Malibu Is Poppin” for no reason. Everyone’s loco. What I like about it is it’s a kick back vibe, and those are always the best parties. People act the dumbest and it’s more fun. If you know everybody at the party it’s different than going to an underground party in downtown LA, or Ibiza at a club, it’s a whole new world, and it’s a very clique-y world. Not everyone is invited to those parties. Obviously we didn’t invite too many boys. I also kind of flipped the script on all these dude rappers who have video hoes in their videos. There’s obviously offensive humor with the creepy dude using the water gun, squirting it so it looks like he’s jacking it off. It was a fun day. The Slip ‘N Slide was fucking insane.

AB: It looked like a lot of fun.

CC: It was. It was ridiculous, and everybody there went to like middle school with me. A couple Goers were also there. I always invite a couple of my fans to go on set with me.

AB: Wait, what do you call your fans?

CC: Goers, because “Back It Up” was like “back it up, make it go, make it go,” and it went to number one, so I started saying “you guys are making it go,” and then they became the Goers. It was a cool metamorphosis. I was really shocked… getting a hundred fans is the weirdest feeling in the entire world. It’s like there are a hundred people who like me, and love me, and are posting my videos. Then it grew and they were like crazier than anybody else’s fan base, so the Goers needed their own title because they do not take no for an answer and they support me through and through and I really have a special connection with them. We talk in the Cherrytree Chat all the time, and we tweet all the time. I connect with them as much as possible. I love them, they’re the best, not even in some “artists have to say that shit” way. I know personal things about them, and I want to do as much as I can for them because they do so much for me.

AB: In addition to your connection with your fans, you’ve worked, and toured, with a number of high profile artists, including LMFAO. With that in mind, give me a story you wouldn’t believe if it hadn’t happened to you.

CC: Almost everything that’s happened to me I wouldn’t believe. {*laughs*} (On the tour with LMFAO) we kind of swore we wouldn’t talk about some of the shit that went down. Just picture carts for moving cargo, on ice, outside, rolling down hills and crashing into tour busses. Beer bongs full of Rockstar (energy drink) and Patron. Giant inflatable penises attached to the mens’ Speedos, again, in the snow. It was just beyond… it was party rock. It was crazy.

AB: It sounds like some times when pictures should not be allowed.

CC: No, pictures were not allowed, and honestly we won’t tell half of those stories, ever, but I will say the craziest, and it’s not funny, or anything like that, but the craziest thing that I saw was when we were all doing shots on stage and Sky (Blu)’s back went out. That was fucking insane. I went through the same thing with tennis, fell almost the same way. I could feel his pain. The next time he had to bring out a wheelchair and they decked it out with lights, sparklers, confetti shots, and all that.

AB: As long as he didn’t end up flying down the hill on ice into a tour bus.

CC: That wasn’t him! That would be such a dumb way to go down. That’s like Bynum getting a knee injury because he went bowling, but that happened.

AB: I still can’t believe that. Fat old men go bowling, but a multi-million dollar athlete gets injured.

CC: That’s so pathetic. He has to lie about that. He has to stop being honest about what happened. My ex-boyfriend broke his leg ice skating and told everyone it was a hockey accident because he couldn’t face the truth. {*laughs*}

AB: Hilarious! Finally, the holidays are coming up. What’s on Colette Carr’s Christmas List?

CC: First thing, I have a song with The Good Natured where we covered “Christmas Wrapping” that’s coming out on the fifth. I don’t really want Christmas gifts. I feel like I get so much every single day, every day is like my birthday. I want to keep giving this year, and do something nice for other people. Saying that is so diplomatic, though, that people think I’m full of shit, but I like to give back. That’s what excites me, being able to make somebody smile, or bring somebody chicken noodle soup, totally unexpected, when they’re sick. Weird stuff like that that makes people feel like they’re loved. That’s the feeling I love.