“One word to describe my music would be ‘reality’,” says Island Records’ latest signing. Real name Sirach Charles, Angel is one of those artists you just know is going to become one of the greats. I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours with the 23-year-old singer/songwriter and came away feeling somewhat refreshed.
Angel has penned songs for the likes of Pixie Lott, Roll Deep and Alesha Dixon. He covered and produced a mandem version of popular female anthem ‘Do it Like a Dude’ by Jessie J. He’s a self-taught pianist and impressively knows his way around various other instruments too.
Angel began his musical journey at the tender age of 10, and his story is in some way inspiring. He went from being one fifth of the The Charles Family group, and along with his siblings they were signed to Warner Brothers, to having two major deals on the table – a songwriting deal with Universal and an artist deal with Island Records, which is part of Universal Music Group.
When asked how he would describe himself, the first word to come out of Angel’s mouth is “bespoke” – meaning he is unlike any other artist, a one-off. He is dedicated, hard working and extremely intelligent, so not just a pretty face, and his fiery passion for his music is quite striking. As he puts it, “Go hard or go home.” If you’re a musician, but you’re not going to put your all into a track or a project, then there is no point.
Citing his father Tendai Charles, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, as well as The Beatles and Prince as artists who inspire his music, it’s no surprise that Angel sees music “everlasting”, as that is the kind of music these talented artists have made. “If you make a classic tune it can and will resonate for a lifetime,” he says.
“When I think of a track, it is not a conscious thing, it just comes to me. I have a moment, it doesn’t matter where I am, I have to document it in some way. I am inspired by life, love and anything that’s real.”
It is this thought that he applied to his mixtape 7 Minutes Before Time along with his individuality that Angel feels will make him stand out. “I like to think outside the box when it comes to music. I am a perfectionist.”
His diligence is a quality that was instilled in him by his father, who from a young age inspired him to practise singing and performing on a daily basis. He has been doing school tours since the age of 13, and it is now time for Angel to shine. “I want to come edgy, give the UK and the world a taste of reality.”
Writing songs for the likes of Paul McCartney, working with Joss Stone and bringing some unity to the UK music scene are top of his list of things to do. Angel is quite the storyteller and his music is testament to that; from his mixtape Patience Is a Virtue to his up-and-coming mixtape 7 Minutes Before Time to the final page in the three-part story, the album About Time.
So what advice would Angel give to anyone trying to make it in the music industry today? “You should never lose faith, work hard and perfect your craft,” he says.
As our time together comes to an end, I ask one of my favourite interview questions that was coined by famous American journalist the late Gene Siskel: “You are 23 years old, what do you know for sure?”
Angel answers simply, “That God is good.”
Blown Away and 7 Minutes Before Time will be released early this year on Island/Universal
Words by Edina Damoah