Charlz came to songwriting early on in life. Studying at a progressive arts-based school in Melbourne she was encouraged to explore her talents from a young age, by the time she’d graduated high school she had a publishing deal and was being flown around the country for songwriting camps and tours. It was at one these camps where she met M-Phazes, aka Mark Landon, a producer best known for his work with the likes of Eminem and Madonna. The pair soon became firm friends and formed a creative partnership that lasted even throughout Charlz’ brief hiatus from the music industry. Now back on her game and back in her hometown, Charlz is picking up where she left off. Last year she linked up with the UK’s own Maths Times Joy (the producer behind some of Mahalia’s greatest) and Grammy-winner Latroit and even opened for Notion 79 cover star Khalid on his Melbourne date where she debuted her single ‘Feathers’.
Today she releases its follow-up ‘Colors’. Premiering on Notion and produced by M-Phazes, the story goes that the melody came to Charlz while she was sitting on a Sydney balcony at sunrise and there’s definitely a kind of dawn twilight feel to the whole thing. M-Phazes’ beat is whispering but warm, melting in and out of Charlz vocal seamlessly, echoing the melancholy of her lyrics as she sings “you’ve got the saddest face around this town”. Speaking about the track, M-Phazes said “I don’t think I’ve harassed an artist to put out a song more than I have with ‘Colors’. I still remember hearing the demo Charlz sent me, which could have been recorded on the oldest laptop in the history of the galaxy, and being floored. Charlz is a very special artist and I’m so excited for people to hear this music.” We also caught up with Charlz herself to find out a little more about her and the track, listen to ‘Colors’ below and read her interview after the jump.
How did you end up working with M-phazes?
Charlz: Me and M-phazes were paired together at a songwriters camp in Melbourne a few years back. We had never met before and spent a day together in an old convent making music and sipping wine. We became close friends over the years and starting working on tracks together.
How often do you two work together?
We’re musical pen pals of sorts, regularly sending each other things we’re working on for critiquing and touch-ups. When we’re in the same city I often drop into his studio to lay down backing vocals on tracks for him.
As we’re often on different sides of the world, I will send him stems for my tracks and get him to go and in work his magic.
How much of an influence did your school have on your creativity?
My schooling gave me the freedom to pursue my creativity without hindrance. My teachers were my front row biggest fans, and having people around you who believe in you has a massive impact. I wrote songs all day at school and then I wrote songs all night at home. I was really able to live and experience my creativity all the time.
What was the inspiration for ‘Colors’?
Some extremely heavy events occurred at a point in my life that caused me great sadness. My experiencing of life after that was dulled and grey and for a long time I was wondering if I could ever see things beautiful and joyful again. At the point of deciding to fight to get back my wonder, I wrote a song about it. That was Colors.
There seems to be a lot of great music coming out of Melbourne at the moment – do you think the city’s having a moment?
I think Melbourne is exploding with great music. There is so much good stuff. I don’t know why, but I think it certainly is having a moment. I’m excited to keep hearing what is being made and to collaborate with artists in my hometown.
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