Band Name: Charleesa (Pronounced Shar-leesa)
British-born singer songwriter Charleesa opens the heart and mind through mellifluous melodies and intimate lyrics that she delivers with the passionate sincerity of a crusader, and the sensitivity of a healer. She desires to inspire people with her current repertoire which is written with an optimistic outlook; these songs are as elevating as they are evocative. ‘We humans; we are all different but yet we are all from the same source, we feel, we dream and ultimately we want to be happy.’
Charleesa has a rare talent for composing in the moment using her instrument; her voice, singing to herself to express thoughts, feelings and observations. When the song flows from her she is in a peaceful yet powerful place where lyrics both lead and follow the melody she feels; words and sound created in the same time. She makes an audio recording using her Boss BR600 and documents the lyrics; later in the studio she directs the productions by sharing her inspirations with the musicians and producers. She explains the sounds and styles she wants to hear in the music and refers to her design book containing images showing color schemes, outfits, pictures and notations relating to the lyrics. This alternative approach provides a deeper insight into how each song was born and gives a visual idea of how the music should capture & convey the essence of the theme.
A musical family history, home-life and her own passion for singing, writing lyrics & performance; meant that Charleesa discovered her vocal abilities at a young age; she was always encouraged to take to the stage whenever the opportunity arose. She began singing at various venues and later whilst in Asia, embracing the abundance of creative freedom she found there; she wrote captivating songs with meaningful messages. Singing acapella in the cafes and bars, she sent the room into a level of stunned silence which at first was both astounding and intimidating to her; the positive reactions that she received encouraged her to bring her own material out onto the stages enchanting the audience with her voice and presence.
Charleesa spent ten years composing and performing her songs in India, Nepal and England. She has been the lead singer of a band, interviewed in Kathmandu by a local magazine, played at famous markets in Goa and hosted her own weekly live session evenings. She showcased her acoustic set of motivating tracks in the summer of 2016 at a not-so-secret cellar bar in the South of England as a support act for local artists & was then featured on a local radio show.
Since relocating in Vienna, she has been recording a selection of songs for her forthcoming debut album and performing them at local venues such as The Eden Bar & The Tunnel Live. Delving into the world of pop, her vocals swim amongst beats, electronic samples & harmonies; all this whilst fusing her sound with different genres enables her to reach a wider audience with her influential music. She uses the playbacks created in the studio for her shows and also works with musicians who accompany her at acoustic events.
Her influences are eclectic including queens such as Kate Bush, Nina Simone & Madonna to great bands such as The Beatles & Pink Floyd; though soul, funk & motown, electronic & ambient, mantra’s & spiritual music are all creatively formative genres. What is her style then? you ask, ‘diverse and unrestricted’ is her answer; followed by ‘no boxes please!’
The summer single ‘In Sunland’ from the forthcoming album was released in May 2017 and is playing on online radio stations KronehitLOVE & KronehitYAM. Although written on a beach in India, the songs catchy lyrics and groovy vibe will transport you to any sunny spot on the globe in your mind.
The second single released in July 2018 ‘Things to smile about’ is a happy song to remind us to stop and think about all the good things there are in life that keep us smiling, whatever the weather we get out our brollies and shelter from the rain until we can dance in the streets again. Online radio show AVA Live Radio featured the song on their brand new show New Music Monday’s & interviewed Charleesa to discuss her release, her music & her forth coming album.
I live in…
Vienna and I spend most of my time here now between the outskirts where I live and going on adventures in the city. I also spend a great deal of time in my home office or the recording studio where I fulfill my passion & create my shows & plans for music videos.
This past month…
I have put my focus into creating this release because I felt that now is the time to bring it out for everyone to hear and be empowered by. It’s that time of the year for most of us when the daylight hours become shorter and the weather changes, this makes a lot of us feel more withdrawn and depressed.
I definitely get what they call in England SAD Seasonal Affective Disorder and I do everything in my power to make sure I feel as good as I can including drinking raw cacao drinks and being cosy at home. A song like Powerhouse can turn your day around and thats what I want to give to people now to support them through until spring clears the way for our new beginnings.
What are 3 things you’ve learned this past year..
Keep learning, there’s always someone who can help you reach a new level.
Don’t blindly trust or see the good in everyone – some people are going to cheat you or make you believe that they have your best interests at the heart or just selfishly get what they want without a thought for you. This was a really hard lesson to learn but even though I’ve been burned recently both in my productions and in my personal life – I really wouldn’t change a thing. We live and learn and we become stronger because of it & I can always manage to find the positive in the worst situations and always have done even in very dark experiences.
Continue growing your social media presence and finding new ways to post raw honest real content even when you don’t seem to see much engagement or following, it’s all practice to find your best direction. I am privileged to have made connections with a Female Musicians Community and Jacqueline Jax & some of my pod group members; we offer support and ideas to each other which is invaluable.
What are you most looking forward to this next year?
Completing my album, performing in exciting places & working with more amazing artists. I feel like 2019 is going to be awesome & I wish to reach many people with these songs 🙂
Song name: Powerhouse
Music Genre:: Pop, PowerPop, PositivePop, 70’s FunkyDiscoRetroStyle, EmpowermentMusic, Singer Songwriter
This song is about…
Powerhouse is a song about the force that we all have inside of us, our body is our house where we reside in this life; it encourages us the let the light shine out of our soul and radiate out into the world.
Written in a small village in Nepal whilst on a self imposed healing retreat I had embarked on after a challenging time in my life, as usual I composed the song by singing to myself one day; I then wrote down the words I had so far and took them to an Open Mic night in one of the cafes in the evening.
I had planned to sing some of my own songs with the aid of my Boss BR600 Home Studio which also double’s up as my own performance equipment, where I store my playback tracks and am able to control everything from myself when on stage. There was a problem with the connections in the audio system so the musicians who had been playing together before offered to play for me, following my lead.
I was unsure but as I started to sing the first song my fears melted away as it just seemed to flow. Everyone in the audience loved my songs and the way we jammed, just as I about to thank everyone in attendance and leave the stage they shouted encore; so I thought okay I’ll try out the new song even though it was unfinished!
As I sang the first lines and got to the chorus I was surprised just how great it sounded and as happens often on stage, I felt so in the moment that I made up some more words that fit so well I hoped I would be able to remember them later. The song finished some time after the musicians had continued jamming; to a great applause and Namaste prayer to all the players I left the stage.
Heading straight to the bar to get a pen, I wrote every word I could recall onto the sheet I had printed out with the first lyrics on and when I got back to my room I had to record the words on my Boss quietly, it was already well past midnight. I knew then that when I made this song it would be one so full of power and emotion that it had to go onto my debut record because the sentiments were actually very much connected to the album’s concept of empowerment & motivation.
When I arrived in Vienna to start what would become a new life journey it was the first song that I practiced and made a much better recording of, in what became my mini studio for a time; the acoustics were perfect to bring the feeling of strength to my vocals. I had a meeting one afternoon with a couple of local musicians, one of whom played a great guitar riff along with my voice and then the next logical step was to try to recreate that kind of sound in a studio to support the lyrics and make what is a song to make you feel the power of and one which you cannot help but groove to.
The song was recorded in 2017 for the album and was due for release but I didn’t have enough money at the time to pay the label for release, promotion & music video, I then fell ill and had to cancel my plans anyway; everything for a reason I guess and now seems like the perfect time to release the song.
This time I am prepared, I even have a wonderful lyric video to coincide with the release and have worked tirelessly to increase my social media presence & create my own website with Bandzoogle.
Powerhouse is the ideal song to play when you need a reminder of the star that you should know you are. The words I sing to you are meant from my soul to yours, YOU are strong, YOU have heart; YOU are love .
Describe your songwriting and production process..
Charleesa has a rare talent for composing in the moment using her instrument; her voice, singing to herself to express thoughts, feelings and observations. When the song flows from her she is in a peaceful yet powerful place where lyrics both lead and follow the melody she feels; words and sound created in the same time. She makes an audio recording using her Boss BR600 and documents the lyrics; later in the studio she directs the productions by sharing her inspirations with the musicians and producers.
She explains the sounds and styles she wants to hear in the music and refers to her design book containing images showing color schemes, outfits, pictures and notations relating to the lyrics. This alternative approach provides a deeper insight into how each song was born and gives a visual idea of how the music should capture & convey the essence of the theme.
I sing songs to myself and the sound and lyrics just flow through me from feelings or experience or things that made an impression on me.
Who have been the most influential in your music and why..
Madonna I loved her when I was growing up she has had a huge influence on me because she is constantly changing her genre, performance and costume style & this inspires me to be who I am – always changing & diverse even in my daily life & wardrobe.
Lauryn Hill because she spoke her truth and her album ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ was one that I played over and over again, she was all about empowerment.
And The Beatles because they were so iconic for their time, they have produced great songs that are so catchy and still amazing now & I love the more political songs that John & Paul wrote.
Overall though I am influenced by so many artists for different reasons and I think that I bring elements of everyone Ive loved and listened to in different songs of mine, though it makes it difficult to pinpoint exactly who my sound is like!
Favorite music or success quote…
Just do it – Nike … because we often get stuck behind our fears and forget to just do it, bring it out; no matter if it’s perfect or not – perfection is difficult to attain anyway and being a perfectionist is wonderful but also like a curse 😉
Of course we want our creations to be the best thing since sliced bread (English saying) but whichever way you slice it – there will always be a thicker or more tasty piece so just toast it – it will surely be delicious, until you find another bread to try !!
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