Charlie Threads is another victim to the ‘out of nowhere’ success story syndrome. Rightfully he’s chomping at the bit for the 2018/19 festival season, which offers good odds on him making an appearance. This supposed sudden scene appearance of Charlie will be a revelation for those who read only the names in bold on festival posters (“That isn’t how you spell WAAX…”) then put away their cultural appropriation headwear when Angus and Julia Stone don’t headline everything.
Self-made and under the radar is more applicable to Charlie, having been simmering on the urban landscape as a battle rapper at 16. Through mutual connections he ended up skipping school to work with 90’sRD members Baro and Marcus. The decision to clamber through the grime of his premillennial-influenced work and into the present might have something to do with maturity. Charlie is 20. Just.
“People like Alice Ivy, that was massive for me because she broadened my horizons. Through meeting her, touring and going to Sydney and meeting new dudes with new sounds I was like ‘Yo, I don’t wanna be an underground rapper’. I came to a realisation where I was like, I can keep making this really true authentic 90s sounding hip hop and remain in this era forever and only influence people who are into that kind of thing. Or I can broaden my palette, open my heart and open my soul and make my stuff more palatable.”
Although straight from the horse’s mouth, ‘palatable’ underestimates the dynamics and growth Charlie has nurtured in his upcoming release, which is rare for a man who would sooner break his leg than scuff a new pair of kicks. Reminiscing about Remi on the Push Stage in years gone by at St Kilda Festival, Charlie pays particular reverence to the artist’s outfit. But if one were to use the word vanity, which is not implied here, is that such a flaw to have in an individual who wants to connect with as many people as possible to share, not tell, a story?
Welcome to a new direction in sound but don’t expect a change in Charlie’s intention. Always looking inward to understand but now with a new single, Question, he’s on the way to being in a place to be sharing what has been a workhorse’s journey, if only for four years.
“The best piece of advice I got, from Baro, was just don’t be lazy. If you want this just record every single day. So, I’ve always had Baro’s voice in my ears just saying, don’t be lazy. I started writing, just writing, writing, writing. All very personal, anecdotal rap. I was into Mac Miller, Joey Bada$$, Earl Sweatshirt; people who tell you their stories. From battle rapping to word vomiting whatever came out of my mind,” he says.
“It’s so good that I made music at that age, all those crazy emotions and switch ups in personality – all this shit that happens from 16 to 18 I was making music through all of that. I used it as therapy a lot of the time. That’s why it was always authentic and honest and why people started to catch on. Even though sonically it wasn’t as tight as it is now my truth was being worked out through every song.”
As yet unreleased but vouched for here as a rounded track with unexpected barbs, Charlie is on a path which he has chosen without being lost. If under the right wings, he has the opportunity to continue to explore sonically and personally with others and to drop more tracks punching above his age.
‘Forever And A Day’ single out now.
‘Questions’ will be released Monday April 10
Written by James Mac