What is your name?
Hello, my name is Nuela (new-ella) Charles.
What is your genre of music?
I like to say that my genre is Alternative/Soul – and that it could be the soundtrack to a James Bond film.
Give us a little bio about you.
I am a singer/songwriter, based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I was born in Kenya and have lived in Switzerland and the Bahamas. I have been doing music for basically as long as I can remember and put out my first Nuela Charles album in 2012. The lead single off of that record, “Unfortunate Love” was a retro throwback ballad and it got a lot of people interested in what I was doing. I’ve received over 15 TV synch placements to date, where my songs have been used in TV shows on VH1, MTV, Showtime, CW, ESPN to name a few.
My second album “The Grand Hustle,” was release in November 2016 and was just nominated for a 2018 JUNO Award, which is the Canadian version of the Grammy.
AND I just released a brand new single called “Do It Right.” So the last couple months have been pretty exciting.
What made you go in to music?
Growing up my parents always had music in the house. When my mom was younger she was a dancer in Kenya, and my dad did live sound for touring bands throughout Switzerland. So, music was just there. When we moved to the Bahamas, when I was 13, I began teaching myself how to play the acoustic guitar, and it kind of just went from there. After my first couple of chords, I started writing songs, and the love for creating something from nothing began.
Are you a signed?
I am currently not signed.
You have your latest track ‘Do it Right’ released, tell us more about it.
“Do It Right” came out of a co-writing session in Los Angeles with Grammy-nominated writer/producer Rob Kleiner (Andra Day, Ceelo Green, Sia).
What was the writing process?
This co-write was the first time I met Rob and I was super excited on the direction of the song and that we came out with something super solid. Once we came up with the title, the rest kind of just came together.
What was the recording process like?
The writing and recording process happened simultaneously, and we were able to get most everything done in that one day. After our session, Rob finished the production and mix and I got it mastered in Toronto.
What was the naming process like?
The naming process for most of what I write ends up being what the hook in the chorus is. It just makes it more memorable.
You also have your Sophomore record released ‘The Grand Hustle’, tell us more about the making of it.
The making of “The Grand Hustle” was a unique experience for me, as I spent two (2) weeks in Toronto with producer Ari Rhodes. We treated it like a song writing camp, and had an extra writer come in with us each day. I had the theme of the album thought out and some specific ideas, but a lot of it came out in the sessions, which was great to have everything fresh and new and not as calculated.
After my two weeks, I returned home in Edmonton and the rest of the production was completed. We did end up doing some overdubs in Edmonton, which mainly ended up being bass, and electric guitar.
You got the news your album is nominated for a JUNO award, what was your reaction?
I was pretty overwhelmed. As a fully independent artist, to be acknowledged at the highest level in my country, is pretty amazing.
What does this album mean to you?
It took me four (4) years, after my debut, to get into a head space where I knew what I wanted to say, so it means a lot that it’s been recognized and that people have been listening to it.
What is the message you want to send out to listeners?
My message for myself, that I want to convey to others – is to just be yourself. That’s the best version you can be.
Do you have any collaborations coming up with any upcoming artists?
Yup – I have a track coming out in April with hip-hop artist Josiah Williams.
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
I’m always down for a great collaboration. I prefer to co-write from scratch, but could definitely write to something already produced if I really love it. And really you can just reach out through my website /email/or social media.
Do you have gigs coming up or a tour in planning? If so where are you thinking of heading?
I will be playing some shows in the next few months most of which haven’t been announced yet. And looking to book a Western Canadian tour.
Do you play any instruments?
Yup – I play the acoustic guitar and the piano.
Who are your influences?
My influences range – from Whitney Houston to Stevie Ray Vaughan and Marvin Gaye to Arctic Monkeys. Literally anything that stands firm in who they are and don’t conform to the “trends” – love discovering new voices too! The UK has been sending out some rad artists, like Jacob Banks, James Arthur and Jack Garratt.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
Inspiration comes from everywhere. Sometimes if I’m watching a movie, a scene will spark a thought and lyric, so I’ll write it down and save it for later. Or I’ll be half asleep and a melody will hit me, so I’ll quickly grab my phone and record a voice message. But it’s all about exercising my writing muscle everyday and keeping that creative flow constantly flowing.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
In 5 years I want to be touring the world, and sharing my music with larger audiences.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
The business side of my music career takes over most of my time. So when I’m not writing and creating, I’m usually in front of a computer working on expanding my audience, booking shows, or licensing music for TV. So definitely tons of administrative work.
What was the song you listened to most, that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
That’s a tough one – I don’t think there ever was just one song that influenced me. I do think today, that there are songs that give me hope for the industry (LOL).
Rationale – Fuel to the Fire / Kimbra – Human / Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
The advice that I always give to younger artists is don’t stop. Once you stop it’s over.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Be true to yourself. Trends come and go, but you’ll only last if you stick to who you are – but don’t be afraid to experiment and give yourself time to figure out WHO you really are.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Can’t stop, won’t stop.
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
Take a stroll down Whyte Avenue – it’s cute and vibrant and you’ll find a cute store, or a great local restaurant.
Your coming off tour;
1/ Where do you go first?
I take a chill day at home.
2/ Who do you see first?
I go see my family and then head out of town to my grandparent’s farm.
3/What do you eat first?
I’ll probably get a good burrito. lol
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
My lyrics – cause that happens
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
Sure do, for everything Nuela Charles head to: