Bustle Mixtape

Fletcher Is Really “That B*tch” On Girl Of My Dreams

The queer singer discusses her new album, her lyric about Taylor Swift, and her Britney Spears HitClips.

A collage with photos of the queer singer, Fletcher
Carlos de la Reina

Fletcher has finally found the girl of her dreams, and it’s not who she expected. “I’ve outsourced so much of my love looking for validation and relationships and not realizing the missing piece the whole time — it’s like, oh, b*tch, you’re the girl of your dreams,” the 28-year-old queer singer-songwriter tells Bustle. “You keep looking for it in all these other people and giving these things so much power to fix you and to change you, when you have to be willing to look in the mirror and do those things yourself.”

That realization — and the confidence that came with it — is infused into Fletcher’s debut studio album, Girl of My Dreams, which debuted at No. 15 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. After three confessional EPs filled with lyrics about heartbreak, loneliness, and pain caused by exes, Fletcher’s healing process motivated her to write lyrics for her new album from a place of self-love. She even went as far as to sample her 2019 song “If You’re Gonna Lie” on her new album track “Guess We Lied.” Why? “People remix other people’s songs. Why can’t I just do it? If I’m the girl of my dreams, b*tch, I’m going to remix myself.”

That confidence and honesty with herself has been hard won. Throughout her career, Fletcher has gradually become more open with her sexuality, first by subtly introducing female pronouns into love songs and later collaborating with LGBTQ+ artists like Hayley Kiyoko. On Girl of My Dreams, Fletcher’s relationships with women are front and center. The lead single, “Becky’s So Hot,” is a celebratory ode to her ex’s new flame, whose Instagram post she accidentally liked because she was, well, hot.

“I was really missing somebody talking about the gritty details of what it’s like to grow up and fall in love for the first time from a queer perspective,” says the singer born Cari Elise Fletcher. “To be able to sit back now and say that I am the artist that I needed when I was younger is the most full circle, emotional thing.”

Below, Fletcher tells Bustle about being a Swiftie, her vintage Britney Spears HitClips, and the moment that she truly felt like a musician.

On Meeting Taylor Swift & Singing Beyoncé At Karaoke

You sing about a Taylor Swift T-shirt on your song “Her Body Is Bible.” What does Taylor mean to you?

I’m such a Swiftie. Taylor Swift is one of the greatest songwriters, truly, of all time, and I have grown up listening to her. I have had the pleasure of getting to meet Taylor and interact with her. When we met, she had mentioned something about my songwriting, and I nearly fainted and passed out on the floor. And I was like, “My songwriting, b*tch? Your songwriting. Do you know who you are?”

Taylor is somebody that just represents a storyteller, the most honest confessional queen of breakup songs, to be honest. I pull so much inspiration.

What’s your favorite Taylor song, if you had to choose one?

For some reason, “Champagne Problems” really pulls on my heartstrings in a way that I can’t quite explain. I was playing it last week for some reason because I just was wanting to torture myself and cry. But it’s so hard. It’s like choosing a favorite child. Every record is so good.

What’s your go-to karaoke song?

This is so random, but “Telephone” by Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. I usually do it with my childhood best friend. I’m always Beyoncé. She’s always Gaga. If I’m solo, I’ll do “Like a Prayer” by Madonna.

What’s one song that you want played at your wedding?

This is cheesy as f*ck, I don’t know why it’s coming to my head, but [sings] “Oh, I want to dance with somebody. I want to feel the heat with somebody.” We got to have a little Whitney Houston on the dance floor. It’s a wedding essential.

On the flip side, what song do you want to play at your funeral?

I need something dramatic as f*ck at my funeral. Maybe something from Lemonade by Beyoncé. I don’t know what song I want people looking at me to, but I want it to feel cinematic. This has been the story of my life. Give me Beyoncé, give me drama. I hope my makeup’s done right. I’ll have my makeup artist specifically requested ahead of time to say, “I was that b*tch.”

On Her Britney Spears HitClips & Why She Can’t Listen To Early Doja Cat

Who is your current musical idol?

It depends what I’m feeling, but Miley Cyrus is somebody who I think is so incredibly talented, such a performer, such a vocalist, one of my favorite artists. Harry Styles, just forever crushing on and obsessed with. I just saw Charli XCX at Lollapalooza recently, I had so much fun.

Is there a song that you grew up listening to that you still know all the words to?

For some reason, I literally know every single lyric of “Sweetest Girl” by Wyclef Jean. So random, but it was my favorite song in middle school. Cassie’s “Me & U,” I had a sexual awakening to that song. “Promiscuous” by Timbaland and Nelly Furtado, I know every single word.

What’s one song that you can never listen to again and why?

Early Doja Cat. I'm talking Doja Cat in like 2014 — the Purrr! EP — because my ex was a huge Doja stan and was listening to this. We were just on again, breaking up, off again. I would hear these songs, and I just remember at the time being like, “F*ck, I cannot listen to this,” and I’m a Doja stan.

What was the first CD you ever bought?

It becomes an argument in my brain if it was Hilary Duff or it was Britney Spears, because Britney Spears was also the first concert that I ever went to. All my HitClips were Britney Spears too. I had every Britney Spears HitClip. I would bring them to school and thought it was the coolest sh*t ever.

Because it was the coolest sh*t ever.

It literally was. But I think ...Baby One More Time was the first record that I bought.

HitClips, from the 2000s, played snippets of pop songs from artists like Britney Spears.Getty Images/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

What genre do you wish you made music in?

I feel like my alter ego really wants to have a country moment. I grew up in a very rural part of New Jersey — I know there's nothing about it that sounds country — but I grew up listening to a lot of country music. I would love to have a queer country moment at some point in my life.

On Her “Pinch Me” Moment & Misunderstood Lyrics

What was the moment that you really felt like a musician?

Music been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, but something that just really stands out in my mind was getting to play Z100 Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden, which is a venue that I’ve grown up my entire life seeing all of my favorite artists at and [having] really memorable show experiences. To be on that stage alongside some of my favorite artists and people that I’ve looked up to for so long, I think that was a pretty “pinch me” moment, and performing for the radio station that I literally grew up listening to since I was a little kid.

Fletcher performs inside Madison Square Garden for the Z100 Jingle Ball in 2019.Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

What job would you have if you weren’t a musician?

My second passion is eating and drinking and traveling, so I would feel like I would have a food and wine blog in different cities, so I could incorporate where are we eating, where are we drinking, what are we doing, what place are we going to? When I go on tour, I literally just have photo albums of the foods that I’m eating.

Lorde had that onion ring blog. There’s no reason you can’t do both.

Honestly, you’re right. I should.

Is there a song that you never want to play live again?

Yes, “Undrunk.” I love that song so much, but there’s something about singing it live that’s really f*cking hard. It’s the melody and it’s the rhythm. It’s just slow enough. It requires for some reason so much physical body work that I can’t wait for that song to be over every time I play it live. And I can’t ever not. I’m going to say “Undrunk,” but I f*cking have to do it. She’s not going anywhere.

Is there a lyric of yours that people often misinterpret?

There was some questioning about “Becky’s So Hot,” the lyric, “I kinda wanna hit her when I see her,” like, what kind of hit are we talking about? You know when you see somebody cute at a bar and you want to hit on them, or would you say, oh yeah, “I would kiss that person or I would hit it.” That’s the meaning behind that lyric. I do have a black belt in karate, but there is no physical violence happening here.

What song are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of my song called “All Love.” It's one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written. It was never a single or anything, but it still, to this day, is one of my most streamed songs. Sometimes I can see it on my analytics and I’m like, “Goddamn, people really like this song.” I think it’s one of the most confessional, heart on my sleeve lyrics. That one will forever hold a really special place.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve written a song about?

Probably my ex’s new girlfriend looking really hot in a vintage T-shirt.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.