EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Charlie Healy

Charlie Healy is a former member of boyband The Risk, who finished fifth place on The X Factor in 2011. Since the band went their separate ways, Charlie has continued in the music industry, with his debut single ‘Playground’ set for release on February 24. Charlie took some time to speak to CelebMix about his debut single, his plans for 2017 and what else we can expect from him.

You’re set to bring out your debut single ‘Playground.’ How does it feel?

I’m so excited about it, I cannot wait. I wrote the song myself as well, so that’s extra special for me to be able to release it and for everyone to hear my stuff and hear what I’ve been up to and the progress I’ve been making as a solo artist. It takes a while to get back into the swing of things as a solo artist, but I feel like I’m there now and I’m ready to hit the ground running.

What can we expect from ‘Playground?’

It’s a really fun, upbeat song. I’d say Bruno Mars/Olly Murs vibe – pretty funky, got all live instruments on it, it’s just a feel good track. Obviously with the title as well ‘Playground’ you expect nothing less. It’s just a really fun and upbeat track and something that I’m really proud of. I hope whoever listens to it, whoever buys it, watches it on YouTube or anywhere else – I just hope they like it and feel good after they listen to it.

What was it like filming the video for your debut single?

It was really good fun. I’d shot a couple of videos before but this was totally my project and I just wanted it to be a fun video. I was doing what I normally do – laughing and joking about, having a good time really. I wasn’t taking myself too seriously. There are times in your life where you’ve got to be serious, but most of the time I’m just a happy, go-lucky guy having fun and that’s what I want to come across when you watch it.

Who are your musical influences?

There’s a long, long list. I got in to singing because of Craig David. When I was in school, his album was the first I started singing to and one of my friends was going ‘you’re alright, you know.’ And he’s making a comeback, which I’m very happy to see and everyone thinks he’s cool again, like I always did. I’m a big Usher fan as well. I’ve seen Usher four or five times in concert. I love all of his stuff as well. Mostly I like Urban and R&B music – Boyz II Men, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars as well – I think you sort of get the gist of my musical taste, although I listen to most things to be honest.

Did you find it difficult going from being in a group surrounded by three other individuals to going solo?

When I started singing, it was just little old me. I’ve been doing it for quite a while now – doing cruise ships, I’ve sung everywhere to be honest. It is difficult I suppose but because I’ve done it before, it wasn’t as difficult as someone who had always been in a group. When I first started gigging again as a solo artist, I’d look left and right and no one would be there. It took a while to adjust again. Now I can do what I want to do. We were put together as well, we lived all over the place – we couldn’t get together to be productive. Now it’s all on me and I like to be busy and keep singing. I’m happy to be back doing things on my own – loving life really.

Do you think you have more input now into your musical direction compared to being in a band?

Yes, definitely. It’s always difficult to find that mutual direction to go in. For instance, you can look at One Direction and Zayn Malik – the songs he’s bringing out are not even close to what One Direction are bringing out and he would have been having to sing songs that he wasn’t necessarily in love with for the sake of the band. That’s just part and parcel of being in a group. I’d definitely say that now on my own – I won’t sing what I don’t like, not that I can ever remember doing that, but now I can do what I want to do and if I’m unhappy with a song, I can change it – it’s just me, I’m the boss.

What’s an achievement over the years that you have been most proud of?

You could call it an achievement; I’ve become a dad recently. She’s a little gem, she’s gorgeous. Her name’s Georgie and she’s six months old now. That’s leaps and bounds above anything I’ve ever done before in my life – being a father. She’s saying ‘Dada’ and rolling over and all the good stuff, so I suppose you could say that’s an achievement.

Is there anything that you are particularly looking forward to this year?

Yes, lots actually! This year is literally taking off better than I ever expected. I have my life at home, my family – I’m looking forward to watching my daughter grow up every day and do things for the first time, walk and talk. But then back to music, ‘Playground’ is out – 24th February – I cannot wait for that to come out. Before that, the video is coming out in early February and everyone can see that. I’m having a launch party for it as well on the 9th February in Coventry, where I’m from, in a nice bar, nice surroundings there. Everyone is welcome to come down, it’s free to come and watch me sing it for the first time and launch it and have a good time there.

I’m also going to be touring on my own, which I am over the moon about. At the minute, you can actually go to https://stagelink.com/charlie-healy and vote for your city. If you want to see me in your city performing, then you have to go on there, click where you live and I’ll be coming to a town near you – so I can’t wait for that as well. It’s a really amazing start to the year.

Later this week, I’m filming a new music video for my second single – again, I cannot wait. It’s a three day shoot and I’m excited for that. In the studio and working with a mentor (Elliott) who stayed with us in X Factor, who works with Gary Barlow. He’s an absolute legend of a man and I’m in the studio with him, again recording another song which I want to be building up to eventually an album, an EP to put out as well. That’s all I’m doing this year – who knows where this year is going to go, but I’m going to have fun doing it, whatever I’m doing.

If you had the chance to collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why?

My boy Craig David, cause he’s the top boy and that’s actually on my bucket list. Whatever it may be, whether it’s singing a 10 second Snapchat video, I don’t care, but I’m going to see him and I’m going to meet him actually, he’s coming to Coventry and I’m going to go meet him. Basically, I’m just going to put it on him, on the spot, sing with him. That one’s going to get done this year.

After that, a dream duet would be someone like Tori Kelly – her voice is insane – or JoJo, who is coming back as well. That would be a lovely duet, because I love both of their voices.

What else can we expect from you?

All of that stuff that I rambled on about earlier, that’s going to take up a little bit of my time. After that, I’m singing at lots of festivals this year – not only in the UK, also over in Spain as well, which will be another one to tick off the list, cause I haven’t gigged over there yet, so that will be fun to do as well. That’s in July, if I’m not mistaken. I’m looking forward to that as well. Like I said earlier, just being really busy. Nothing makes me any happier than being busy and this year looks like I’m going to be busy.

Have you any advice for aspiring musicians or anyone planning to audition for X Factor this year?

Have fun doing whatever you’re doing. It’s so stressful auditioning – in any form, not just X Factor, anywhere. You don’t always hear what you want to hear. The pressure can be immense – the pressure of an audition is so different to the pressure of doing a gig. You don’t feel like you are being judged when you are on stage. Have fun doing it.

Secondly, don’t get disheartened if you don’t hear what you want to hear back. If you get a no, don’t think that’s the end of your life and that it’s all over for you. You’ve got to keep trying. I know for a fact that perhaps most contestants that stay on The X Factor, they’ve all had to audition more than once. Not one of them has been – first audition, through through, then Live Shows. Not everyone but eighty percent, a big percentage, definitely auditioned before. Singing, being a singer and being successful and in any way of life – it’s never a smooth sail. You’re going to get a few rocky waves along the way – so just keep your head down, keep going hard and eventually it will come.

Do you have a message for your fans?

Watch this space this year cause I’m really excited for it. Thank you to everybody who stayed with me on my journey through X Factor, after X Factor, the band break up, me finally coming out as a solo artist – just thank you very much and I hope to repay everybody that has stayed with me with a successful year.

Make sure you are following Charlie on his social media accounts to stay up-to-date with what he is up:

Official Website

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Written by Rachel Dempster