Interview: Charlie Grant

Your song, “Crash & Burn”, is your latest release. What is the story behind the song and how did you create/write it? Also, what inspired the song title?
Crash & Burn was written a few years ago in a co-writing session for an artist called Melo Moreno, she’s a popular YouTuber from Spain and we’d written a song together with Donata Krammarz from the band Nosoyo called “Phantom Limb” that had been successful for Melo in Spain and Latin America. So the three of us got together again to write and were all talking about those times when a friendship gets stretched to breaking point because the other person is behaving in a destructive, self sabotaging way. Basically it’s the moment you realize that you can’t help someone if they don’t want to help themselves and that you have to step back. Melo released a version of the song on her album “Colours” that was more of a sort of dance/pop production. I was really curious to try reimagining the song with a completely different vibe, and got it done finally at the end of last year during lockdown. I recorded my vocals and guitars at home and sent them to a brilliant Berlin based producer called Jonathan Kluth who built upon that foundation. The title is just an image of something or someone heading for destruction in a dramatic way, I guess.

If you had to describe your sound, how would you do so? Furthermore, what artists (or other sources) do you cite as influences?
I’m quite a traditional songwriter I guess, I love storytelling in songs and I’m a lifelong fan of classic artists like The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel so I’m in no rush to reinvent the wheel when it comes to things like song structure. I just try to write the best songs that I can, that I feel have impact and are hopefully authentic and emotional. I like a handmade, more organic approach to sounds so there’s definitely way more of that than there are electronic elements. Aside from the artists I just mentioned, I’m a huge fan of Elliott Smith, Oasis, Kacey Musgraves and Led Zeppelin. Also I love more soul oriented stuff like Stevie Wonder and Bill Withers.

What have been career highlights so far? And what is on your bucket list that you’d want to achieve?
Just building up a body of work and getting it out there, and seeing people gradually get into it over the course of a few releases. I’ll have around two albums worth of songs out there by the end of this year and I’m super proud of that. I’d love to put them all together on a vinyl double album some day, that would be a huge achievement for me. I grew up with loads of LP’s around the house so there’s part of me that still thinks vinyl is the ultimate way to experience recorded music. I love working in the studio on my stuff so much, and have been lucky to collaborate with a bunch of super talented people in London and Berlin who are also good friends. I’d love to see my following grow to a point where I know there is a small but dedicated bunch of people out there who really get and enjoy my music, and be able to go and perform live for them.

If you could be the main support for any living artist, who would that be for and why? Alternatively, what would be your dream live booking?
My dream live booking would be to play at Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Denver, Colorado or at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, both venues where I saw legendary shows with my Dad years ago. As far as being a support act, one of the first ever gigs I went to was Bryan Adams playing in St Austell in Cornwall, near where I grew up in Devon, England. I still really enjoy his classic records like Reckless so that would be pretty great to open up for him.

What artists have you been listening to? Additionally, who should others be listening to?
Lately it’s mostly female artists that are grabbing me the most. Haim, Soccer Mommy, Emily King, Phoebe Bridgers, Madison Cunningham…all brilliant and incredibly inspiring. Soccer Mommy’s album “Color Theory” and the most recent Haim album “Women in Music Pt. III” have been on constant rotation at home. So I’d recommend those artists to anyone. Also the new Weezer album “OK Human” is wonderful.

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