“Former cheer captain” isn’t something you always see on the resume of a rising, alternative singer-songwriter. For Charli Adams, who grew up across several small towns in rural Alabama, an outward display of optimism might have been the only way to get by.
Feeling desperately constrained by the small towns, Adams began to turn to music. “I could be melodramatic about my life in a way I hadn’t in any other form of expression. As a child, I always wanted to keep the peace within my family and keep my emotions hidden, and when I wrote music, I felt like I could say it all. Songwriting is essentially my only outlet to be unfiltered,” Adams says. She left high school at age 16 and started making trips to Nashville where she found herself in the alternative music scene. By age 17 she was living on her own in Nashville. In between a serving job and finishing high school online, she would drive the back roads of Tennessee listening to albums from The Cure to The 1975 and seeing every possible underground show that Nashville had to offer. These formative years of friendship, hardships, romance and heartbreak, were captured by Adams on her debut EP, Good At Being Young.