Char­lene’s fu­ture was pre­dicted in the tea leaves

Char­lene So­raia maybe best known for a tea ad­vert, but she tells Sarah Mar­shall why she’s much more than a one-track mu­si­cian.

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - MUSIC -

CHAR­LENE So­raia first pricked the na­tion’s con­scious­ness when her cover of The Call­ing’s Wher­ever You Will Go was fea­tured on a Twinings Tea ad­ver­tise­ment. How­ever, like most mu­si­cians cred­ited with overnight suc­cess, for the 21-year-old, who first picked up a gui­tar at five, the at­ten­tion she’s since en­joyed was hard-earned.

“I started play­ing and writ­ing mu­sic straight away,” says the London-born singer who taught her­self to play gui­tar. “I just found play­ing so ex­cit­ing be­cause to me each note and each chord rep­re­sents a dif­fer­ent colour, feel­ing or ex­pe­ri­ence.”

So­raia’s mu­si­cal ed­u­ca­tion con­tin­ued when her fa­ther in­tro­duced her to David Bowie, who she cred­its along with King Crim­son and The Bea­tles, as a ma­jor in­flu­ence on her work.

De­scrib­ing her school days as “lonely”, mu­sic has al­ways been an es­cape, but when at 16 she won a schol­ar­ship to London’s BRIT School, which has sev­eral fa­mous alumni in­clud­ing Adele, Amy Wine­house and Jessie J, she sud­denly found her­self among like-minded souls.

“The BRIT School was great. It was won­der­ful to be sur­rounded by so many like-minded peo­ple who loved mu­sic as much as me.”

So­raia be­gan per­form­ing in London pubs in her early teens and played in nu­mer­ous groups dur­ing her time at BRIT from the psy­che­delic blues out­fit Eletriq Mis­tress to rock band Ret­ro­spect with whom she recorded an EP.

“Play­ing in a band was re­ally cool, but I’ve al­ways been hap­pi­est as a solo artist,” she says. In 2008, So­raia re­turned to play­ing solo gigs and recorded three self-funded EPS: Daf­fodils and Other Idylls; Post­cards in the io and One of the Sun in the space of a year. While Daf­fodils and Other Idylls went to the top of the folk charts, So­raia craved a larger au­di­ence and ad­mits doubts about her mu­sic re­mained.

“I did ev­ery­thing my­self – from the record­ing to hand­mak­ing the cov­ers, but I didn’t mind be­cause I was just so happy to be get­ting my mu­sic out there. How­ever, it was hard when a lot of my friends were hav­ing great suc­cess with their mu­sic. There were times when I would think to my­self, ‘What am I do­ing?’”

In 2009, So­raia’s EPS

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.