Today’s POP is Alice and Tash, Hanging with His Royal Highness…
As summer (supposedly) approaches and the festival season looms, it is about now that the music pundits proclaim ‘the Sound of 2012’. Thus, we’d like to introduce King Charles. Not only a pianist, cellist and pertinent lyricist, with an idiosyncratic style and sound, Charles is ready to break into the mainstream. With the Jubilee celebrations well underway, Queenie can take a back bench as it’s time for King Charles to reign (over the radio-waves at least). Fast garnering a massive fanbase of civilians (like ourselves) and celebrities alike, we caught up briefly with the musician.
Suit is Charles' own, white shirt by Reiss
Glam folk/afro beat/ psychedelic rock are some of the genres you've been categorised in. How would you best describe your sound and what have been the primary influences on your music?
I began writing music to emulate the awareness of Bob Dylan and continued to try and manifest this with the strength of country music melodies and perform it like a king in a stadium.
If we were asked to describe your style we might refer to your look as a sort of Rastafarian Flâneur – you have a great, individual style with both a strong sound and strong image. Has fashion inspired you musically or do your sartorial choices have an impact on your music/performances?
It has definitely had an influence on directing and pursuing my taste for glam, and I very much enjoy both subtle and ostentatious celebrations of cloth and cut that are specifically designed and shaped to return the celebration.
Jacket & trousers, both by Paul Smith, white shirt by Margaret Howell
Your music stands out for having quite a social or moral message. There's a sense of profundity in comparison to the transient pursuits that feature in the lyrics of the songs that dominate current charts. Would you say that's true and if so is it a conscious choice?
I’ve always been more interested in pursuing real life; what defines it and how it shapes our identity as mankind – then talking and singing about it. I think we have a responsibility to navigate our existence and, to the next generation, pass on, through arts and lifestyle, a rounded attempt to refine our definitions of our potential and survival – that seem to me to be continuously redefined by love; something the stirs me enormously.
White shirt by Reiss, multicoloured floral trousers by Prada
So the album's just been released, what next? Who would you like to work with in the future? David Guetta perhaps? He seems to pop up on 1/3 song releases….
I want this album to introduce me to the pop world, I want to work with the biggest big timers on the planet and see what I can do with them. If you're a banker you go where the money is; if you're a king, you go where the people are. I want this album to be a stepping-stone to the world; that's what folk music is for, the people are the kingdom and I’m building what I've got.
LoveBlood is out now on Island. See King Charles live at Heaven on May 31.
Photography Tom Beard
Fashion & Words Natasha Howard & Alice Casely-Hayford
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