THROWN TOGETHER IN A YOUNG BOY BAND AGED 13 YEARS, ONLY TO BE PASSED AROUND DIFFERENT MANAGERS WHO DICTATED GENRE STYLE AND COVERS. TO FORGE AN OPPORTUNITY TO EXPRESS HIMSELF HE EVENTUALLY LEFT THE BOY BAND – CHARLIE BLACKWOOD HAS NOW GONE SOLO. SALUTE CAUGHT UP WITH CHARLIE AFTER RECENT RECORDING SESSIONS IN THE STUDIO FOR HIS FIRST EP.
“My story is complicated… but I am finally where I want to be musically”
- SALUTE: What can you tell us Charlie about the EP you’re working on?
It’s brilliant. Last week I was in the recording studio from Mon to Thur. I really enjoyed it, it was a fantastic experience and I was just recording songs that I had written there. Loved it! It was brilliant!
I was working alongside some fantastic people. A producer called Matt Cotterill helped me prepare for the week. He’s a fantastic guy. He helped support my vision for the songs. Whilst I haven’t heard the final mastered version, I was buzzing with what I heard.
- SALUTE: Can you tell me about where you’re from and how you got into music in the first place? What was your upbringing like?
I’m from the Midlands. I’ve enjoyed music my whole life. It’s a passion for me alongside acting. They come hand in hand for me. I did a bit of singing in a band for a while, before going solo. But it wasn’t what I wanted to do in the end, I want to write my own songs so that was where I wanted to go. I want people to like my music.
- SALUTE: Was there exposure to a local music scene or did you find everything through the internet?
With the band we did quite a lot of local gigs like shopping centers, festivals and busking. I grew in confidence whilst being in that band. We all loved music and wanted to carry on with music but things took a different direction for me.
- SALUTE: Any local musicians or bands that you’re influenced by? What music did you like growing up?
Not particularly local bands. Artists that have inspired me are Ed Shearon, James Arthur, Coldplay, James Bay and older artists that I listen to like Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan. They are my inspirations really in starting to make music.
- SALUTE: Did you have favourite producers growing up?
I like any style of songwriting. I listen to a variety of different songwriters. I can’t answer specifically because I like a range of writers and producers really. I guess Ed Sheeran is up there as someone who is an impressive producer.
- SALUTE: When did you write your first song?
I was 14 years old. I did this gig at school that was about the summer. The song was called Summer Time. I remember performing it front of loads of people. It was the first song I had ever written and I got a great reaction from it. The chorus was a nice hook, people got up and started to sing with me. Ever since then I’ve got a buzz from performing even though it can be scary when you’re not sure the audience will like it.
- SALUTE: Do you produce your own music as well?
I get involved with sections, adding parts. The main people who have helped with my songs are professional producers but I’ve learned a lot from working with them. There were times when it would work and times when it wasn’t exactly how I wanted it to go so they would change it slightly. They were brilliant people to work with.
I write my songs before hand. I have a melody and sing the whole song. For solo artists that know what direction the song is going, the producers have to take the opinions of artists. Progressing through collaboration.
I started writing songs 4 years ago. I’m on my last year at college. I’m doing an acting course there and I’ve got to think about uni soon which is a bit scary but yeah. I want to do music and drama, you can definitely do both. Follow the dream.
- SALUTE: What gear do you use for production?
I use Logic Pro X. I started using that couple of years ago but I’m no expert.
- SALUTE: Have you ever worked on music that isn’t necessarily for your projects or in your genre?
I haven’t written anything for anyone else, although I’d love to write songs for other people too. I get that but at the moment I’m just writing songs for myself.
I listen to a whole load of different music. I like to blend country, rock, pop. The reason I like country music so much is because of how meaningful their songs are. I think that’s why I gravitate to it so much. I put a lot of emotion in my music in the same way.
- SALUTE: What do you think about the SALUTE initiative?
I found out about you through researching. I just found you. I was looking at stuff about how I can develop as an artist and you guys seem to tick all of the boxes to be honest.
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