Interview with Charlie Void
Hendrik chats to Charlie Void, an upcoming South-African artist from Cape Town.
For bookings contact:
I was born to a suburban family in Cape Town. When I was 3 my parents got divorced, I spent most of my childhood living in between them. Didn’t have a particularly happy childhood either. When I was a child music wasn’t encouraged by my parents but when I was 15, I remember seeing Lady Gaga perform on SNL and I knew then and there that’s what I wanted, to make an audience feel so much joy for a brief moment. I began playing piano and took up vocal lessons. I saw 4 vocal coaches who all refused to take me on because they didn’t feel like wasting their time with such an unaccomplished singer. Eventually one vocal coach took me on for a probationary period. After 3 months of the most excruciating vocal training she saw some improvement but nothing significant.
After 2 years of training I finally reached a point where I could legally call myself a singer, but my coach was still adamant that a career in music might be out of my reach. In this time, I also stopped with piano lessons to focus exclusively on vocals.
In 2015 my father emigrated to the United States and in 2017 I did the same. I lived in the US for 18 months and while I was living there, I took up vocal lessons with Sarah Van der Pool, one of the lead singers for the well-known American Folk band, The Well Pennies. It was with her in 2018 that I learnt to compose music and write songs. She taught me how to arrange chord progressions on the piano for pop music and taught me about the mechanics of song writing.
In June 2018 I composed my first song, Ecstasy, that will be my next single release. I recorded with the record label that managed The Well Pennies, Golden Bear Records. It was here that I learnt everything I know about song-writing and the music industry. In April 2019 I decided to return to South Africa because I had missed my birth country immensely.
I had been back for about 3 weeks before starting to record Just Dance with a local studio in Oranjezicht called “Cosher Recording Studios”. I wrote Just Dance on Christmas Eve 2018 because we had been snowed in and I had nothing else to do so I began playing around on my electronic piano and I came up with the catchy riff you here in Just Dance. That same night I did the arrangement and the lyrics for the song.
I released Just Dance on 30 September 2019 and I’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback. On the 3rd of October I decided to come-out to my family as gay, some of them took it well and others not so much but I feel if I can’t be honest, I can’t be honest in my music either. It’s not like I want my sexuality to be a focal point of my music, but it is who I am, the same way my music is.
Music has helped me deal with a lot of my insecurities despite it also being a major insecurity of mine. I want my music to do that for others as well, if one of my songs just help one person smile or find a reason to just dance then it’ll be worth it for me.
Looking back on my life, I do think I came far. From being told I would never be able to record a song in my life to doing just that, all through being relentless, vicious and fearless