A few years ago in a British radio interview, none other than Rod Stewart hailed a new emerging musical talent who had written a “beautiful song” and intimated he was destined for great things. Around the same time, Andy Hill, three-time Ivor Novello award winning song-writer proclaimed his astonishment at the sheer quality and maturity in the young man’s songs. Amazing accolades from no less than 2 global music legends. Yet Bournemouth born singer-songwriter Charlie Holetakes all of this very much in his stride.
Given his achievements to date, it is hard to believe that Charlie is still only 22 years old. Since the age of eleven, he has been writing music and has been playing his songs across the length and breadth of the UK. This experience has nurtured his talents, allowing him to continuously grow and mature as an artist, taking his inspiration from legends such as Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Paul Simon and Randy Newman.
A random meeting with record producer Jim Cregan (Rod Stewart, Katie Melua) led to a series of recordings at Jim’s studio. Over the next year, working on weekends and school holidays, they recorded an album of Charlie’s original songs called ‘The Joy Of A Caged Bird’. Then, when he was 18 he secured a credible publishing deal with Rondor/Universal – an incredible platform for a burgeoning and talented young musician. But just to be clear, Charlie is not doing this in search of fame or fortune. His aim is simply to be a respected songwriter and to perform his songs live. His rare gift for lyrics and his subtle, evocative vocals have given him this opportunity.
On 30th October Charlie releases a 5 track E.P. called ‘Dirty Little Secret’. The title track was inspired by recent heavyweight political news about ‘whistleblowing’ and the individual’s internal struggle to do what is morally right in a heated and secretive political climate. The song was inspired by the obvious personalities we’ve all heard about in the media. As Charlie explains:
“…the song was inspired by people like Ed Snowden and Julian Assange, who have both given up profound personal freedoms in pursuit of the truth. One of the important questions of our time is how much of our civil liberties we are willing to give up in return for our safety. The Dirty Little Secret is that they’re already being taken from us…”
That is not to say Charlie is a solely a ‘politically motivated’ artist. ie. he embraces ALL of the human condition and writes about it: love, life, beauty, and (yes) politics. ‘Make It Better’ for example is written from the female point of view in an abusive relationship and the search for hope, a way out of that pain. In ‘The Chapel Of Unrest’, Charlie is unafraid to question the ‘moral superiority’ of organised religion and in particular highlight hidden abuse within it. ‘Unlit Flame’ is about unrequited love and the fear of making the right decisions. Final track ‘Animal’ is about the end of a relationship and having to find yourself again.
1. Dirty Little Secret
2. Make It Better
3. The Chapel of Unrest
4. Unlit Flame