Growing up on the Jersey Shore, Carrie Fletcher only saw one image of the pop star in popular media: polite, ladylike, and unquestionably heterosexual. So when she left The X Factor as a contestant to begin her solo career under the moniker FLETCHER, the singer thought she had to conform in order to make it big. Now, signed to a major label with a handful of successful releases under her belt, FLETCHER tells Honda Backstage that what she really had to change was society’s perception of the perfect pop star.
As a deeply empathic person, FLETCHER recalls growing up sheltered. Because she was used to receiving “tough love,” she said she oftentimes had difficulty expressing emotions — and that’s where music came in. FLETCHER had been singing since she was 5 years old. But it wasn’t until she began writing her own music that FLETCHER found her authentic voice and was able to see the power in her identity. “I remember having these thoughts of, ‘I want to write about my identity.’ But how does that fit into being a pop star?” she told Honda Backstage.
FLETCHER penned her 2016 hit single “Wasted Youth” as a reflection on falling in love with a woman for the first time. Despite pushback from critics who told her that there’s “not a queer Taylor Swift,” the single soared to success, earned her a number of accolades, and confirmed what she already knew: In order to find true success, FLETCHER had to silence critics and instead listen to her intuition. As she continues to work on new music, FLETCHER strives to be a role model for LGBTQ and marginalized fans who are similarly struggling to find their own voice.
Watch FLETCHER chart her rise from X Factor contestant to breakout pop star in an interview with Honda Backstage above.