Charlie Brown in Dubai

Up-and-coming UK urban star to play Supperclub at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray

Interview, Hot seat, The Knowledge

Peter Feely catches up with the up-and-coming UK urban star ahead of his visit to Supperclub at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray on August 15.

Congratulations on your UK top 10 hit [‘On My Way’].
Thank you.

Have you celebrated?
Do you know what – we all talked at the label and with the management about having this big night and we still haven’t done that yet, so you’ve reminded me we need to do it. We just got so busy after that [single] and especially with the festival season over the summer, the diary went
into overdrive.

Where have you been performing?
Mostly in the UK. I have an up-tempo single coming out next [‘Bones’], so I think that a lot of the European stuff is suited to that.

Is it your first time in Dubai?
I’ve never been before – I’ve been getting really excited. I just found out that Angel (a mate of mine) is performing in a club [in Dubai] on August 16 so I’m going to check him out.

What’s your relationship with Simon Fuller [Music entrepreneur and Pop Idol founder]
He signed me as a writer in 2003 and he has since sold the publishing arm of the company. He was there when I started out. Mark and Danny from the Script were two of the first writers I ever met – it was through Simon – he sent me on a writing trip for one of the Pop Idol projects – and Mark and Danny weren’t in the band then – they were on the writing circuit and I met them then. He had a really brilliant team.

Frank Ocean…
I was lucky enough to write with Frank a few years ago in LA. He was already a really successful writer – he’d had a cut with Justin Bieber and Brandi. It was about a year after I met him that he changed his name and started the whole solo project – he is brilliant. I’ve also worked with RedOne [the producer of ‘Poker Face’ by Lady GaGa] – after I met him once in New York.

When you first went to the studio to record your solo work it coincided with a break-up, is that true?
Yeah, when I wrote ‘Dependency’ I was super depressed that day. In retrospect, it was kind of strangely helpful. I’ve since heard that a lot of artists write from that space – they find those extreme emotions helpful and I can definitely relate to that now. With the track ‘On my Way’ I was in a really bad place when I wrote that too. I tried to write it to feel conscious even though I
didn’t really.

And what about fame
I’m not too worried about fame – I just want to travel; be performing, releasing tracks and creating an album. Living the dream.

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