Although singer/songwriter, Charlie Vox lead vocalist of Random Ax Of Charlie, was born in Philadelphia, PA and raised in New Jersey, her musical impact reaches far across the Atlantic. Under the pen name of C. Gilliam, Charlie has collectively sold in excess of 8 million records worldwide. Def Jam’s former Senior Vice President of A&R turned President of Roc Nation, Jay Brown, personally hand-selected her song, “Final Goodbye” for Rihanna’s sophomore album, A Girl Like Me. Hit songs she’s written for Melanie Fiona (“Monday Morning”) and Japanese superstars Kumi Koda, Naime Amuro and Crystal Kay have charted at #1 on the International Billboard Charts.
As part of the songwriting team, The Conglomerate, she has co-written songs alongside top producers: Stargate (Ne-Yo, Shakira), Kosine of “The Interns” (Nicki Minaj, Big Sean) Steve McKie (Jill Scott, Estelle), and spent much of 2012 touring as a background vocalist for Estelle.
Music fans in the U.S. and abroad, who have been anticipating her debut release will be delighted to know that Charlie will be releasing a mix tape entitled BPMs. The first song released from the project is teaser track, “You Should Let Me Love You” with music video directed by Serringe. Breakout tracks produced by The Conglomerate include “Try Again,” “Sorry I” featuring 20 Grand Pikaso, and a cover of “Will You Still Love Me” originally recorded by The Shirrelles (1960).
Recently Charlie Vox spoke with Aries of UrbanBridgez.com and spoke about her upcoming mixtape “BPM’s,” her latest single “Try Again,” writing hits for other artists, her definition of R&B and much more!
UrbanBridgez.com: I have to start by saying how much I love Try Again,
Charlie Vox: Thank you, I’m so glad.
UrbanBridgez.com: No problem, the sample of course but vocals and everything is just dope! What inspired that song?
Charlie Vox: Honestly, I just write from real life stuff that goes on. We heard the song and said we should do something with that track. That sample we just had to do something with the track. So we said let’s just write something and “Try Again” was born.
UrbanBridgez.com: Tell us about your upcoming mixtape “BPM’s” and what we can expect?
Charlie Vox: You are going to get some soul, I have a few songs that I wrote for other artists, original demos, Final Goodbye, Monday Morning, which should be really good for you guys to hear. You Should Let Me Love You, Try Again and I have a new video coming soon and that’s going to be the lead off single to the mixtape. It’s going to be nice, good music. Really good music for the summertime.
UrbanBridgez.com: What made you want to cover Will You Still Love Me” by The Shirrelles?
Charlie Vox: I really love that song, I think it’s such a great song. I feel like it’s something we can jam to, our parents can jam to, we got some grandma’s that can jam to it too. It’s kind of bridging the gap between everybody. We put a nice little spin on it, I don’t want to give too much away. I kind of want it to be a surprise. It’s current and I think everybody will think it’s popping (laughs).
UrbanBridgez.com: When are you planning to release a full-length album?
Charlie Vox: I would love to put a full-length album out at the end of the year in the fourth quarter. I really want them to get into this mixtape BPM’s. I feel like it will be a great introduction and you’ll get to know who I am. You guys are going to meet my band, which I’m excited about. So this is like hey, my name is Charlie and this is my music. Take a listen, I’m just trying to hook everybody in.
UrbanBridgez.com: Who are some producers and artists you would like to work with for your album if given the chance?
Charlie Vox: Oh wow, I would love to work with Timbaland at some point in my career. I love his work and think he’s amazing. Steve Mckie who I’m working with now, he’s done some stuff for Estelle & Jill Scott and has a really, really soulful sound. I really enjoy working with him so I would love to do more work with him. Salaam Remi is another favorite of mine. I like really soulful producers that I can like mesh with and we’re kind of on the same vibe musically.
UrbanBridgez.com: How did you come up with the name Random Ax Of Charlie for your band, I love that?
Charlie Vox: It’s kind of funny, I feel like I write all kinds of genres for so many artists. In trying to find my voice, I found that each genre is my voice. So instead of just saying this is going to be strictly pop, why don’t I do a mixture of everything and add soul to it. And Random Ax of Charlie was born, basically doing random acts on each individual genre. Which is pretty interesting, like adding soul to a pop song or soul to a country song.
UrbanBridgez.com: You’re a very successful songwriter and Rihanna’s “Final Goodbye” started it all for you. What inspires you when you start to write a song, specifically that one?
Charlie Vox: What’s so funny is I was in a session and there was an amazing guitar player name Luke McMaster and he was playing around on his guitar while I was in another session actually. I was like wait play that again, it was just so beautiful. Honestly the lyrics started coming out of the sky. I actually put that in the song in the lyrics. I read Romeo and Juliet really quick, and in the scene where Romeo commits suicide – that whole moment I took and said okay let’s write a song about it.
UrbanBridgez.com: Who would you want to write for?
Charlie Vox: Wow, that’s a great question. I love Erykah Badu, I love love Erykah Badu. I feel like she’s from another planet. I would totally work with her, just to sit with her in a session. I think that would be like a hot point in my career.
UrbanBridgez.com: That would be dope!
Charlie Vox: It would be dope, I saw her in concert and you’re talking about can’t sit down. Oh my god, just jumping around like crazy.
UrbanBridgez.com: What was the best part for you going on tour with Estelle as a background singer?
Charlie Vox: The best part about touring with Estelle, of course aside from seeing all these amazing places. Going to these amazing places and seeing how well received our music is. American music, like international music. Music just crosses all translations. It’s like a smile, a smile is the same in any language. I feel like music is the same. It’s translated throughout all countries. I think that tour was amazing, it’s a big world out here but small at the same time. Music brings everyone together.
UrbanBridgez.com: I have to say I interviewed her last year and she was such a pleasure.
Charlie Vox: She has great energy!
UrbanBridgez.com: What’s the best part for you doing “VEVO’s Hot This Week?
Charlie Vox: The best part is I get to catch up on info before everybody else does (laughs). And I feel like there is this inner announcer in me. I get an opportunity to showcase that girl. It’s a lot of fun.
UrbanBridgez.com: What’s your definition of R&B?
Charlie Vox: My definition of R&B, of course it’s Rhythm and Blues. The rhythm and blues to your life, it doesn’t have to necessarily be words that someone else put together. It could just be the beat that you live everyday. I feel like life has it’s own soundtrack, your life doesn’t have to be the soundtrack to mine. That’s where I feel R&B kind of has it’s own meaning for everybody.
UrbanBridgez.com: Outside of music is there anything else you’re working on you want to share?
Charlie Vox: Yes, I have a beauty blog which I am currently filming episodes for. I’m always looking for amazing products to showcase on my YouTube channel. I also have some things going on with VEVO, I have some television stuff that I’m working on as well. So just look out for me, I’m trying to take over all of the media (both laugh).
UrbanBridgez.com: That’s right! What’s your goals for the next 5 years?
Charlie Vox: Is to work! I’m jumping in head first in my work. Writing for some more artists, writing is my second love. I love performing, I would love to be a part of a tour. I can’t wait for you guys to hear BPM’s, then the full-length album. I just want everyone to really, love love my music. I can’t wait for everyone to hear it!
UrbanBridgez.com: Anything else you want to leave with your fans?
Charlie Vox: I love everybody to follow your dreams. Whatever you have in your heart to do, don’t be afraid to go the distance. Don’t be afraid to do the work. Don’t be afraid of the time it may take. Keep on going and you’ll get there!
[mark]”BPM’s” Available for [Download] on July 29th![/mark]