Charlz is one to watch in 2018

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Charlz is one to watch in 2018

Fresh from topping the Spotify ‘Global Viral Charts’ with her previous release About Last Night and collecting 5 million+ digital streams on a year’s worth of releases along the way, Melbourne-based Charlz’s latest single ‘Feather’ packs a distinctive punch. With an intriguing, delicate vocal performance, supported by the understated production of Grammy nominated producer Latroit and frequent collaborator Lliam Taylor, Feather feels like the Annie Lennox and Flume collaboration that never was. We chat to the up and coming artist.
Hey Charlz thanks for chatting. Your new track, ‘Feather,’ emits Summery vibes, mirroring a little like Flume’s style. What was it like producing the track with Latroit and Lliam?
It was awesome. They’re two of my really good friends and I’ve done a lot of work with them before. This track we started a while ago – it’s a dreamy love song with a pop banger drop in it. It was nice collaborating because I do more of the moody vocals and they’re both EDM producers, so they brought the drop to it. I love it. It’s like a smorgasbord of different things in that song.
‘About Last Night’ debuted at #5 in the Spotify Global viral 50 chart the week after release. Did you expect such success when the track came out?
No! We were so surprised and so happy. I haven’t even started releasing my solo project yet, so we just thought we would test the waters with a few of these collaborations I’d been doing. Maths Time Joy, who I did the track with, we came together over the internet as he’s based in London and I was in LA while I was writing it. It was the first thing I had put out and it went so well. It was nice to see what sound is going to work. With a lot of my music I have worked with different producers so the continuity comes from my vocals and my lyrics, but to work out that that sound in About Last Night works really well, that was good information for me.

With so many female artists stemming from Melbourne like Tash Sultana, Meg Mac and Angie McMahon, it could be argued that the city was a motivating force in their success stories. Did you have any challenges on your journey to music success growing up in Melbourne, or did it cultivate your drive?

I definitely found that I needed to spend a bit of time in somewhere like LA to feel really proud and confident of being a female in mainstream pop music, because before I moved and spent a bit of time in LA, I sort of felt a little bit like it wasn’t the thing to do, to pursue pop, in Melbourne, in Australia. It was more you had to be in a band and you had to be indie, and spending time in LA really allowed me to love writing pop music and be proud to be doing that. Coming back to Australia I definitely had a different feel about doing that out of Melbourne now. I think it’s definitely opening up more with electronic music becoming more common and we can now do more mainstream pop music. Though I definitely think it’s been challenging; being a female in mainstream music in Australia.
You’ve noted pop music as being an influence in your own works. Are there any other genres of music you resonate with, on a personal and/or musical level?
I do a lot of stuff for film as well. My time that I spent in LA I was writing music for trailers and movies – so really big, cinematic soundscape-y, deep flow stuff. I really like moody, melancholic music. I try and bring that to my own music but I have to try and make it a bit more upbeat as well. I have a few songs on hold for some really big movies at the moment but I can’t say until they come out – but you will hear of them when they do come out for sure.

Your lyrics are quite powerful and hard-hitting. In ‘About Last Night’, it sounds like you’re fighting fear. Could you clarify what this song means to you and what message you wanted listeners to take from your vocals?

I guess all of my lyrics and particularly in About Last Night, it’s all real emotion that I’m drawing from and forming different stories – most of them are love stories. Life can be very challenging sometimes, I’ve definitely noticed for artists we tend to tred a somewhat challenging track sometimes, going against the norms of society, so there’s a lot of challenges and overcoming emotions that I put into my song writing. It’s all the journey for me and I keeping on moving through.
Recently you’ve had mass success in the U.S. What did you learn during your time over there and do you plan on returning in the near future?
I learned to just do the work. Work really hard at whatever you want to do and it’ll work. The work ethic, particularly of creative people in LA, is so hardcore. They just turn up every morning like it’s a 9-5 job and they are so rewarded for putting in those hours everyday. I think in Australia I had never really seen that you could do it like that before, it’s always seemed like a passion project on the side, whereas in LA you rock up to work, put in the hours and hard work and you win big from doing that. I sort of saw stuff unfold really amazingly for me when I was putting in that much work, turning up to the studio everyday and working. So that was something I learned over there that was really big for me. I’m definitely returning soon as a lot of the people I work with on making music are all based over there. We use the internet in the meantime while I’m in Australia, but I definitely think I’ll be bouncing back and forth to LA forever. I love it so much. It’s my home away from home.
You’ve expressed your admiration for Elvis Presley in the past. Are there any other icons that you would like to sit down and meet with?
Visually, I’m a huge Tim Burton fan. I love his whole cooky aesthetic. Chrissie Hynde from The Pretenders because I absolutely love The Pretenders. And probably my number one would be… Eminem. I love Eminem. It’s the first record I ever saved up for and bought when I was about 12 years old, The Marshall Mathers EP. I just think he’s the most incredibly talented, crazy dude and anything he does I just think is magical. I can watch anything he does and enjoy it. One of my bucket list things to do is go to karaoke and fully rap Lose Yourself. I know all the words – I wouldn’t even need to look at the screen.

Can your fans expect a tour on the horizon any time soon?

For sure. I can’t release any information about it yet, but next year will be full of shows and touring. So keep an eye on my Instagram and I’ll definitely be releasing dates soon.
Written by Hannah Kenny