25 Year Liverpool born singer/songwriter Charli Taft is unsigned at the moment, but the rising star, currently has her projects being shipped to the U.S.
Here I chat to the talented singer about her music, future plans, and what she thinks about the industry.
Describe your sound in three words?
Street, slick and sexy
Who are your musical influences?
I grew up listening to a lot of jazz and R&B – I’ve always loved Anita Baker, Quincy Jones, Babyface, Karyn White, Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey
When did you first realise you could sing?
My mum is a singing teacher so she definitely recognised my singing abilities early on. As a kid, I was always performing for anyone who’d listen and taking part in local talent competitions. I was even on Disney Channel at the age of 12 where I sang on national TV!
How old where you when you first performed in front of an audience?
Oh god! I think I was 4 and I played the fairy in my school’s production of Sleeping Beauty. I can’t remember much but my mum has the videos to prove it! I started gigging my own material around Liverpool at 15 though, just accompanying myself on piano.
If you could collaborate with any artist who would you choose?
t would be a dream to write with Babyface as I’m such a huge fan and he’s worked with so many of my favourite singers. Otherwise, I’d love to collab with Justin Timberlake or do a sexy duet with Chris Brown.
What is your current favourite song?
I actually love ‘Liquor’ by Chris Brown, it’s super vibey and sultry. My favourite recent song though is definitely ‘2On’ by Tinashe – couldn’t stop playing that when I heard it!
Is there one song out there that you wished you had written?
I’d love to have written ‘Get Here’ by Oleta Adams. I remember singing that song as a kid and loving it then. Also, ‘Just Once’ by Quincy Jones because it’s so classic and brilliant.
What would be your dream venue to perform at?
It would be mind blowing to play a big stadium like Madison Square Garden or the Hollywood Bowl. I’d also really love to play in my hometown Liverpool though at the Echo Arena!
Do you write all of your own materiel?
I absolutely do, yes! I’m completely hands on in the studio at every stage of the process. I build tracks with the producer, play keys on all my stuff, write toplines and work out vocal arrangements. Alongside writing my own album, I’ve also been traveling the world as a songwriter for the past few years, writing songs for other artists and labels. I’ve even had a number one single in Japan!
Would you ever audition for a talent show such as The X Factor?
No, I don’t think those shows would showcase me properly as an artist now. I’m very visual with my music and a real songwriter too so I definitely need to have control of my own sound and direction.
Who is your favourite music producer?
I’d honestly say my producer, Obi Klein (Deekay Music) is my favourite and I’m really lucky he’s become my go-to guy. He’s based in Copenhagen and we’ve been working together for 3 years now. I’ve made pretty much my whole album with him! Otherwise, I obviously love Babyface, also Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Rich Harrison, Rodney Jerkins and Harmony Samuels. I’m a true R&B girl!!
What is your opinion on free music streaming? Do you think it damages the music industry?
I have mixed feelings about free online streaming services. On the one hand, I do believe they give artists, especially new artists, an amazing platform to share new music and take an independent approach to having a career in the industry. Until these systems are properly monetised though, songwriters are still losing out by not receiving fair royalties on their work and it’s become much harder to make a living as a writer. I’ve been there myself so I can see it from both sides!
Who is your celebrity fashion icon?
Rosie Huntington-Whitely always looks perfectly put together. I’m a tall girl myself, so I love the model off-duty look. I try to mix in elements of urban with it though, and for that I look to Rihanna. She does the 90’s throwback thing so well!
What would you like to achieve in the next ten years?
Hit singles in the states and UK. A couple of dope albums. Tours, advertising campaigns, a movie maybe. I’d like to start my own publishing company and a business or two, and ultimately continue writing for myself and other artists. Oh, and buy a house!
You can follow Charli on Twitter @charlitaft