"Cheers," smiles Charlotte OC, clinking her beer after stepping off stage in Paris - her infectious giggle, approachable demeanour and dour Blackburn tones seeming a million miles to the cinematic drama we just saw unfold on the stage.
Then we come to talk about music, and her kohl-rimmed eyes fix and the focus returns. However, 'Charlotte OC' is not a separate character - everything she does is an exaggerated version of her three-dimensional ambition.
"That's the biggest stage I've ever played on, and I just felt very at home," she admits. "It sounds very arrogant, but I just want to be playing stages like this. I love the way that things sound like in a church, and that had the same kind of feel - just swallowing the room."
She smiles and continues: "There was one girl losing herself, which was really nice to see. I love performing in London, but some people just stare, which is great because it means they're paying full attention, but it's nice to see somebody moved by your music."
With her gorgeous new single 'If My House Was Burning' out this week, go behind the scenes and get under the skin of this rising pop-noir R&B sensation. Signed and dropped at the age of 18, Charlotte returns years later as a fully-formed artist and experience. She may often get bandied about with names like Banks, Lykke Li and Lana Del Rey, but the truth is that this Polydor-signed star of the future has carved out a world entirely of her own.
Gigwise: You have both a sonic and visual identity - how would you describe what you're trying to do?
Charlotte OC: I want it to be all about my voice, I want the narrative to be important and poignant and I want everybody to hear it - I don't want it to be swallowed by music. It may sound arrogant, but when I was little I was obsessed by churches - by how they were built and how someone had created them because they believed in it so much, and it's beautiful. When I heard the way my voice sounded in a church I was like 'Oh my God, this is so cool'. I want it have that religious thing, and when you're watching it I want it to feel like a film - so you're watching a show, as well as hearing music. I want it to be a performance: instead of just hearing it, I want you to believe it.
Like a soundtrack written before the film?
Yes, exactly - I just went about the longest way of saying that!
You've spent quite a lot of time working in Berlin. Did the city inspire you in the same way as it has the likes of Bowie, Nick Cave and Iggy Pop?
There was Lou Reed's Berlin (although he'd never actually been) was in my head when I landed. Leonard Cohen's music 'Take This Waltz' reminds me of Germany - it's got that regimental German feel to it. Growing up with it, I always associated it with Germany. When I landed, I just felt the darkness of Leonard Cohen's vocal and it all made sense, I felt strangely at home. It wasn't the lifestyle, it's just a place that's not really trying to be anywhere other than Berlin. It's so unique. It's such a strange thing to be connected to a place, but in many ways I felt more at home there than in Blackburn.
What do you think that says about you?
That I'm a fucking flake and don't stick to my roots!
You've also been working out in LA a lot...
I loved how wrong it is. It's wrong in so many ways, but also so right. The homelessness, and Skid Row and the way you walk down a street and there's that whole life then all of these mansions. I remember sneezing and someone quite far away gave me the biggest grin and said "Bless you". I'm not used to that. You're always outside and doing something, but I always love the beautiful and ugly side to it. That's how I felt about Berlin: beautiful but in the ugliest way.
Do you think you'd have developed artistically if you'd have stayed signed when you were 18?
No, I think I'd be a really rubbish person if I'd have stayed in that scenario. Living at home and getting signed at that age, I thought I was the bee's knees - "Oh my God, how good am I?" The music didn't matter, being an artist didn't matter, I just thought I was sorted - but when it gets taken away from you, it's such a blow but it makes you work and keeps you grounded. It's like your apprenticeship, you need to do these things.
I was signed when I was 18, then 19-20 I took two years out to go to Berlin, and at that moment I was young when you still have so much confidence - if this had happened in a couple of years' time then it would hit me a lot harder than it did when I was young, when you bounce back from that stuff a lot easier. I always just thought that it was fine and something else was going to happen. After that, I knew I had to create something - rather than just make a random pop track. I wanted it be exactly like I am.
Did you consider writing for others?
I did, but I never understood it. I needed to focus on getting my own art across.
Has being through the highs and lows of what you've done so far impacted on your expectations fot the future?
In terms of it not being what I thought it was, yes. When you're younger, you're a little bit crowded and think everyone has your back - but you need to take a pinch of salt with a lot of it.
And how would you describe the sound and feel of your upcoming debut album?
It's tiring, draining and testing, but it's good. At the moment I feel like there are about four different Charlottes in my set, I need just one. I have roots in soul, so it's it a very soulful record. It's hopefully coming out in September.
Did all of the hype and 'Ones To Watch in 2015' lists enter your mind while writing it?
There's always someone saying that, but it's not about what anybody else thinks.
Oh, but everybody loves a list - surely?
Can you imagine being in a list all the time? You can't keep up with current music all the time - you just have to focus on what you're doing.
Charlotte OC's Burning EP is out now.
See her tour dates below: