Charlie Brown is back and gearing up for the release of his second single ‘Bones’ out on October 13th – the follow up to his top ten smash hit ‘On My Way’. ‘Bones’ is co-written with Adam Midgley is a soulful party banger but also shows off the singer’s emotional side. Flavourmag sat down with Charlie to discuss his new single, the upcoming album and his thoughts on his career so far.
Tell us about your new single ‘Bones’?
It was a song written with another writer called Adam Midgley, he started it and I just loved it. I wanted to do something where people could relate to the lyrics and have it really say something. So where I’m talking about starting to get through this, I can heal these broken bones…hopefully people can relate that to a bunch of different relationships. I also love the beat, its up-tempo. It’s the first kind of song that I can jump up and down in the chorus, like hands in the air (laughs)
You seemed to do a lot of walking in the video, how many miles did you roughly walk that day?
I don’t know how big Dartmoor is but it was kind of up and down and around. Then rock climbing, I also burnt myself with a flare. It was intense, definitely walked a couple miles that day.
So we all know you have an impressive vocal range, is there anything you have to do to maintain your voice?
Before I go on stage, I do what they call sirening where you just go from the highest note to the lowest note you can do. But sometimes I’ll be in the dressing room and I’ll hear other artists going full out! I just warm up really.
You’ve had an impressive journey, what has the transition been like to go from behind the scenes as a songwriter to in the forefront as a fully-fledged popstar?
Being in front of the cameras is cool; it’s given me the opportunity to do so many things I never did before. The whole routine is different so as a writer I’ll just get to the studio at 12 or 1 every day and it’s just more settled. Now the transition is you’re on the road all the time you’re living out of a bag, different places every day. I feel like I’ve been up and down the M1 so many times. I’m well versed in every service station in the country; there hasn’t been one I haven’t been to, which is pretty tragic! So that is the downside. But the upside is just getting instant feedback from people…receiving feedback on stage is my favourite thing. When I did the Dappy tour in December, I hadn’t decided what the first single would be but it was a no brainer it had to be ‘On My Way’! That is the one everyone really reacted to.
Now you have been grafting at this for a while, you were signed in 2012 and released your debut single this year. What do you think of shows like The X Factor where singers get instant exposure?
It’s a weird one because on one token I think it is a great platform for people and a lot of the people that do the shows have been working hard behind the scenes but haven’t found a way to be heard, I’m not mad at it! But on the other side X Factor has a lot of novelty to it. When it gets really stupid I think they’re not serious musicians so it does take away from it a little. But by the end they have whittled it down to the genuine people.
Who is your favourite artist to listen to at the moment? We saw that you were listening to Drake’s new album before the interview started.
I’m a huge fan of Drake. I love the way the melodies are simple but stick in your head. He reminds me a little bit of Nas. I was really obsessed with Nas when I was younger. So the storytelling, not every song of his is two-dimensional about being in the club and girls and drinks. He makes reference to that but his take is more interesting and you get an insight to who he is lyrically. So he’s cool.
There’s a girl who used to live over here but got signed to LA Reid and she’s called Ginny Blackmore. She has a song called ‘Bones’ as well. She great, I really rate her. Then there’s another artist called Will Heard. He had that tune ‘Sun Don’t Shine’ with Sonnentantz. He killed it and will be exciting to watch.
So in your opinion as a well renowned song writer, is there any song that you wish you would have written?
There is so many..in terms of massive pop smash I wish I had written Roar by Katy Perry. That is a monster pop record, such a big tune! The writings brilliant, the melodies are great and catchy. And imagine what those cheques would look like!
Flavourmag interviewed you before and did a mini -diary series, I can imagine now your diary would be pretty hectic?
I remember that now, every day I was in the studio I felt kind of boring actually but yeah now it’s like I’m all over the place but in a good way. ‘On My Way’ is doing its thing so I get booked for shows to perform that and then promo for the new one as well. So that gets you busy. I also have an endorsement deal with Maximuscle and started a clothing line. That will be coming out next year…so all these things are doors that ‘On My Way’ has opened. It’s hectic but not complaining for a second, only about the M1 (laughs)
What is your clothing line going to be like?
So I’ve started doing T-shirts and snapbacks. The line is called Dreamstate, like the album but I might change the name of the album. Then again I wanted them to be called the same thing so we’ll see. I wore the first sample ever on Big Brother Bit On The Side with Ryland a couple Sundays ago and people were tweeting me where can we get that T-Shirt, which is cool because I haven’t even announced it yet. It’s got a really great response. So were doing four more designs then we’ll wait to announce it.
So what can we expect from your debut album ‘Dreamstate’ due out next year?
I just want to put out a really good soulful pop record. I think since Craig David and Daniel Bedingfield I don’t think there has been a solo guy who has stuck in that lane. Just owns that space of great soulful pop records. I want to stamp that with the album.
Are you still working on the album?
We have picked all the songs we want for it but I’m still going to be writing up until the last minute. Making a couple of changes…you’re always inspired by new things. So if there’s anything brand news that ends up beating something I got then I’ll just swap it over.
Is there going to be any features on the album?
Yeah there is a couple I would love to get. I would love to get Professor Green. I co-wrote a song with Natalia and Talay Riley’s younger brother called Scribz, he is a great producer. I can really hear Professor Green on the middle eight. I haven’t asked him yet but I’ve said his name on interviews all day so maybe (laughs). Obviously Ms Dee and Yungen are on ‘Dependency’. I spoke to Wiley about doing something so that should be cool. But I don’t know which ones will make the cut but those are the people I have in mind.
So apart from Professor Green, who would you like to work with next?
UK Wise I really want to work with Ms Dynamite. I’ve been a huge fan since ‘A Little Deeper.’ I want that Dynamite though, I like her new stuff but ‘A Little Deeper’ was when she was killing it and she was new and fresh! If we can get something like that in my record that would be amazing.
To finish off, what has the highlight been of your career so far and what are you looking forward to?
Highlight was definitely ‘On My Way’ going top ten because I wasn’t expecting that. Not that I didn’t think it could go top ten but it was my first single and I literally came out of nowhere. A lot of artists have years of massive YouTube followings like Conor Maynard…so they already know that they’ve had ex amount of YouTube hits. But people really responded to ‘On My Way’.
But I’m just looking forward to doing it again with ‘Bones’ and getting the album out. Like I said before with all the doors that ‘On My Way’ has opened like with the clothing line and Maximuscle is different and I get to be creative. I’m looking forward to being involved in more things I never thought I could have done without that song.
And finally anything you’d like to tell the Flavourmag readers?
Well you can get Bones on the 13th October, the album next February and the T-Shirts soon. Watch this space! I’ll be on Twitter tweeting like a crazy person about all of the above!
For more, follow Charlie Brown on Twitter @CharlieBrownLDN