Alt-R&B composer & singer Charlie Is Ready talks the creative process & inspiration behind latest release ‘PARADISE’ ft. M.K.R + more


Photo credit: Simran Kaur & Georgie Prow

Melodic and ever-evolving are but 2 words to describe the artistry of CHARLIE IS READY. Hailing from South London, the alternative R&B composer & singer began releasing music professionally in 2020.

What or who inspired you to begin a career in music?

Music was a constant in my household, whether it was Garage compilations burned onto CDs, vinyls or the radio, something was always being played. Thinking back though, I always remember listening to Disco in the car, and being embarrassed at the time… but the female vocalists from that era had a lasting impression on me & I would always end up singing along, trying to belt and reach for those high notes.

What differs you and your sound from other artists in the music industry?

I’d like to think from the way I process music. I tend to think and see in terms of colour, symbols, sounds and our connections with each other and the natural world. So music for me comes out in this way, which allows me to flesh out songs organically.

Your latest release, ‘PARADISE (feat M.K.R)’ is out now. Can you please describe the creative process and inspiration behind the project?

Yesss! PARADISE began with me playing guitar until I settled for a simple 2-chord structure. From there, I started writing lyrics once I had a strong idea, recorded a demo and sent it to M.K.R. I channeled Sade and Cleo Sol with instrumentation, collaborating with friends for the bassline and saxophone, while M.K.R worked on percussive elements and keys.

It took some time to get every aspect recorded and sound right collectively until it was ready to master (done by M.K.R). It was a really intentional and smooth process.

In your own opinion, what is the most meaningful song you wrote? What makes you say that one?

TBA… 😉

How do you handle the balance between artistic expression and connecting with your audience?

It’s something I’ve learnt over time really. I used to focus solely on the art because I found connecting with audiences to be quite overwhelming, especially because the music I make is vulnerable. However, once I dropped my debut EP, CYCLE 1, it became alot easier to balance. I created a limited run of zines to accompany the project which was a collaborative effort between me, friends and supporters of my journey so far. I think investing that much time, effort & back and forth conversations was very freeing – I wasn’t just living in my own world anymore.

Can you share a memorable or defining moment in your career so far?

Being invited to a studio jam by one of my good friends. It was the first time I’d recorded in that format and sung in front of professional musicians (offstage), so it was a real challenge. Also because we’ve remained close collaborators and always support each other whether it’s recording, gigs or music advice.


Photo credit: Fozia Kauser

What advice would you give to aspiring singer-songwriters who are just starting their musical journey?

Don’t wait until you’ve got the perfect setup/equipment – just start recording. You need to start putting music out there as soon as you have ideas, otherwise you can lose your spark. Create Create Create!

What does the foreseeable future hold for you as an artist?

Recording more music! I’m really proud of what’s to come after PARADISE – the next project is the most transparent and confident I’ve been with releases so I’m excited to share it!

Anything else you would like to add?

Big ups to Niji Magazine for supporting independent artists and asking great questions 🙂
Keep up to date with my journey on Instagram & go stream ‘PARADISE’ everywhere!!

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