The multi-talented singer who is just ‘One Call Away’ shows why he is the real deal
Fast and rising 23-year-old singer Charlie Puth has found himself among modern pop’s most sought-after and desired co-writers and producers for an array of A-list pop and urban artists – recent credits contain two tracks on Jason Derulo’s highly-praised new album Everything Is 4, the R&B smash single “Slow Motion” by Atlantic’s own Trey Songz, and other collaborations with Fergie and many more not yet revealed.
Charlie Puth – who just recently wrapped up his first Asian tour – has fast become a worldwide star thanks to the international massive hit, “See You Again,” with American rapper Wiz Khalifa. The 3x RIAA platinum certified track – featured on Atlantic Records’ Furious 7: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, the official musical companion to Universal’s record-breaking action-thriller – has entered the history books as one of the decade’s biggest singles, topping Billboard’s “Hot 100” for a stunning 12 weeks. The song also broken Spotify records as the most streamed track ever on Spotify in a single day, with a record-breaking 4.2 million streams on April 13th alone. Furthermore, “See You Again” official video has reached 1 billion individual views at Khalifa’s official YouTube channel – the fastest video on YouTube in 2015 to attain 1 billion views.
Indeed, Puth himself is the real deal: a multi-talented vocalist, musician, producer, and versatile songwriter who shuttles easily between the pop and urban realms. A Berklee College of Music graduate, Puth first fell in love with music growing up by the shore in Rumson, New Jersey.
“I didn’t grow up wealthy,” Puth shared. “We couldn’t even afford spaghetti sauce when I was first born, but my mom and dad worked really hard and came from the bottom up.” He credited his supportive parents for his early music education, citing his idol James Taylor as his primary influence. “My mom would put headphones on her belly and play his records to me while she was pregnant,” he remarked. Later on, Puth’s father exposed him to R&B artists like Barry White, The Isley Brothers, and Marvin Gaye, while his mother, a piano teacher, played him classical music and began teaching him piano when he was four years old.
The “One Call Away” singer played piano throughout his childhood and started studying jazz at the age of 10. As a high school student, he consumed his Saturdays commuting into the city to study classical and jazz at Manhattan School of Music in Harlem. “I thought I was going to be a jazz piano player, but I always had an interest in pop because my parents would listen to all this pop music,” he recalled, smiling. “I always tried to incorporate pop elements into the jazz I was playing.”
Puth began listening to more and more pop, mesmerized by the way it was produced, especially Max Martin’s late ’90s work, which led him to buy his first music production keyboard at age 11 and start making his own CDs.
In sixth grade, Puth recorded and produced his own Christmas album, which he sold door to door in his town. “I made $600 and donated the proceeds to my local church,” he said, laughing. “I designed the artwork and put all the jewel cases together; I was really into the whole process.” Shortly after, Puth began writing his own songs and eventually posting them on YouTube, along with covers.
In 2011, Ellen DeGeneres tapped Puth and a friend to perform on her show after a cover they did of Adele’s “Someone Like You” for a Perez Hilton covers contest went viral. Puth appeared on the show twice and watched his international fan base grow both on and offline. “It got me in front of 30 million people,” he said of the experience. “It pushed me into a different area I never thought I would reach.”
Now the New Jersey-born and bred Puth is stepping out as an artist in his own right with the successful release of his debut single “Marvin Gaye,” a sultry blend of Motown-influenced pop and hip-hop-flavored beats that feels like an instant classic. “I was a big fan of Marvin Gaye growing up,” Puth beamed.
“Some of my favorite songs of his are ‘Heaven Must Have Sent You,’ ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,’ ‘Sexual Healing,’ and ‘Heard It Through The Grapevine.’ I was inspired by the soulful feeling he evoked through his music and wanted to bring that quality to my record.”
Lyrically, Puth said he wanted “Marvin Gaye” to be like sonic courage. “I want a dude like me who’s shy to hear the record and have the courage to go up to a girl and just kiss her or something crazy like that. I want people to hear it and be spontaneous, to act on what they feel they can’t feel. It’s like musical assistance.”
On his new single, Puth channels Superman via “One Call Away,” which is the album’s opener. He sings, “I’ll be there to save the day / Superman got nothing on me / I’m only one call away.” His highly-anticipated debut album Nine Track Mind is scheduled to be released on January 29, 2016.
Charlie Puth’s Nine Track Mind is available now for pre-order at http://smarturl.it/NineTrackMind, with all orders accompanied by an instant grat download of Puth’s brand new single, “One Call Away”. The track is streaming now at https://youtu.be/GRy3e_VRYHo and http://smarturl.it/OCAspotify; a companion video is now in production and will make its premiere in the coming weeks. In addition to “One Call Away,” fans will also get instant downloads of “Marvin Gaye,” featuring Meghan Trainor, “Some Type of Love” and “Suffer” when they pre-order the album.
Special Thanks to Donna Aquino | Photos Courtesy of Warner Music Philippines