They say you can travel anywhere you want if you read a book. The same thing holds true when it comes to music. Coming from the gritty streets of NYC, Charles Perry found and claimed a sound that was much bigger than the world he saw day to day. He was educated by listening and paying attention to the best such as Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Doors, The Beetles, Michael Jackson, Rick James, and more. Charles understands he is taking a big risk by just being bold enough to be himself and big enough to reach the stars. But for this singer/songwriter, with a voice and personality to fill a room, he is destined for greatness. We introduce you to the evolution of a sound that metamorphosed from Jazz to Rock to what he has created.
Working Like Django … I’m working like Django! But that is the nature of the business. Nothing changes, but the work load … it increases. We recorded two albums back to back. I recorded this project in four days, the other in a week and then the other in two weeks. The writing process is the longest. The recording is very fast. It’s my instincts that always makes sure I know where things need to be. I would say the poetic portion of the project took until December. Now until March I start planning the live show… its definitely organized chaos.
Alter Egos … I have three characters. The Soul Super Hero is more glammed out. The Rock Warrior has a lot of grudge in the music. It’s different. It’s the more organic sound which is a tribute to the folk side. There is also the Soul Jedi which is the electronic side and it is a tribute to the sounds of artist such as Rick James. I still call all of my characters Charles Perry. They are all sounds of me, but its just entertaining to have those alter egos.
Must Be Iconic … I will do a double album one day, but right now its going to be more of a rock, organic sound. I grew up playing Jimmy Hendrix’s "Purple Haze," John Lennon and the Beetles, Janis Joplin and the Doors. I grew up loving to listen to Jim Morrison and Queen. I heard the Ike and Tina Review and it was raw! It was rock. It was sexy and it was clever. It had a sound like nothing else that was out. I know that’s what I wanted. I never wanted to be a squeaky clean singer. It always sounds boring to me and I decided after turning down a couple record deals if it wasn’t going to be iconic I didn’t want to do it. This is what I want to do.
Embracing A New Sound … Sometimes our people embrace it and sometimes they don’t because its something different. Now, it’s the same, shit same fucking shit … shinny suits! No offence. I enjoy and I’m a fan of a lot of the artists. Just because it doesn’t work for me it might work for someone else. I knew this was the time where we needed something fresh and different. Let’s go back in history to Buddy Holly, Howling Wolf, Dells, Beach Boys, Little Richard and Ella Fitzgerald. It was always about pushing the envelope a little more. I have to be the one to push it a little more.
Risk Taker … People told me, “I want you to know your taking a risk.” Sometimes they receive you and sometimes they don’t like I said before.
My New Sound … Old wisdom with new revelation because there is nothing we haven’t seen. I’m just a little different, very soulful and I have a very high pitch sound. We haven’t seen that in a long time. I’m different because I use different parts of my voice.
Pain & Struggle … People can relate to pain and struggle. A lot of my experiences have not been easy.
Finding An Audience … I was not trying to target the youth, but what I found was the younger audience also related to the music. Children that are nine and ten years old love it. It is often the people you least expect that gravitates towards your music. Music is spiritual. It’s about the soul. People relate to what they feel. Music has always been like that even going back in the days. When Michael first started with “Dangerous” and “Bad,” we didn’t know if it was going to work, but when we saw the soul and spirit of the music that’s when we took to it. We are in a nation that is fearful of what is different.
White Music? … I was in the barber shop and I heard some ignorant stuff. They were talking about Rock music and they said that Lenny Kravitz sings “white music.” Because we don’t think its “cool” we dismiss it. We are more concerned with being cool than being heard. I think a lot of our artists are becoming extinct because its all about impressing others and being “cool”. Everyone wants to be cool. We don’t want to make an impact. I’m about the impact. I think that’s important and I try to promote that. I’m trying to be apart of the fabric of history that helps to make a difference.
Motivations … Some artists are here for the money, some are here to be seen and some want their voices heard. You have to make it up in your mind and make sure your in it for the right reasons.
Nothing Is Worth Your Soul … I don’t think the music industry is for everyone and that’s the reality of it. Everyone says they are an artist; they come into the industry and end up just partying and doing drugs. This industry can be a monster. A lot of artists have nervous breakdowns. Sanity is a mindset. Nothing is worth your soul. Before it takes over my soul I’ll leave it alone. If it cost me more to be in it, its time to get out of it if it. This is God’s gift! I don’t care who signs me, its still Gods gift. Artists become famous and feel like they are Gods, but the reality is that they are human. Sometimes this money gets to people and cats go crazy. It’s dangerous. It’s dangerous when you let your soul go for the mighty dollar. Nothing is worth your soul. I haven’t seen a record deal that is worth your soul. If it gets to that point you need to get out of it. I’m watching these celebrities; you crazy. They don’t come in for the right reason. I do music and I would do this for free. Anything that is not natural is an act. I love to do this.
Stage Is My Sanctuary … I feel safe on the stage. It’s a sanctuary for me. I’m closest to God on stage. I find refuge there and I’m able to share my soul through the avenue of performing. For any performer, the stage is the ground where my testimony begins. It’s my outlet where I share my ideas. It’s my ray of light. You haven’t seen me unless you seen me on stage. There are certain things you have never felt until you made love … intimacy with someone. The stage is a place I can be intimate with my audience. It’s real and it don’t get any realer than that. I’m more comfortable on stage then off stage. That’s very weird. It’s artistic madness.
Life’s Pressures … It’s hard to deal with everyday pressures compared to creating, singing and performing. I’m a person that enjoys life, but stardom is different. Star spelled backwards spells out RATS. Everyone wants a piece of the action and that becomes overwhelming. When you add regular life to the equation it’s difficult. Learning the everyday shades of living … just having friends we have to watch the man that’s watching the man. I understand what Michael Jackson was saying, children can’t harm you adults can. I do have a problem dealing with the everyday grind of life. Just being in love is hard. All I want to do is do what I want to do. I’m beyond the looking for this and that. I’m about being content and I feel I’m at the greatest place I ever could be.
Rich … I’m rich because I love what I do. We define rich as material, but its not just about material things. If your bills are paid, who can tell you your not rich? My bills are paid. I believe that God responds to our needs
Mentors … I’ve had a lot of knowledgeable people in my life. I try to keep wise people in my path and that’s important. I turn back to my mentor's wisdom. When people like Clive Davis talk, I shut up and listen. I hear old people talk. I listen to my grandmother. Luther said, “You can learn a lot by keeping your mouth shut.”
Candy – Peanut M&M
Restaurant – TGIF (Fridays)
Sitcom of 90s – In Living Color
Comedian – Steve Harvey
Group of 90s – Jodeci
Hobby – Collecting records, CDs and music literature.
Movie – The Professional
Dance – Moon Walk … No one does it like Michael Jackson
Saying – “He who can’t hear must feel.”
“If I can’t inspire then that means I’ve expired.”