Yesterday, we ran some incredible, exclusive coverage
of the first North American concert of up & coming pop star Charlie Puth
. The photos (and the write-up) are a delight, and you should all check them out. We were also able to sit down with Charlie right before he went on stage and ask him a couple of questions.
Describe your songwriting process. How does it start? Melody/Music first...lyrics?
Charlie Puth: [It] usually starts out with me figuring what the chords are. I try to listen to really good older music to listen [to] certain chords changes and sounds. From there, it will inspire a melody and then from there it will inspire a lyric...usually always happens in that process for me.
You have relocated to LA; how has the studio process worked for you out there vs say your home studio. Do you like to work at one particular place or change venues?
I usually don't like to create or work in studios because it can become very sterile. I mostly like to write in my living room or some other creative place that gives me inspiration. That way I don't have to worry about spilling my coffee on the sound board *laughs*. Once the music is recorded, I will usually go into the studio for touch ups to what I am working on
You seem like the type of person that knows exactly what you want and how you want to do it? Has it been an adjustment becoming an artist vs a songwriter and listening to outside creative opinions?
At first, I wasn't used to it. I wasn't against it...just not used it. With everything in life and repetition to the process, I get used it. I am still in control of the process , but I have learned to trust the value and opinions of Mike Caren and my A&R Team at APG. The thing that took most getting used to was other people producing the track. That has always been my strongest focus area; "that was my thang," as they say, but when they do a great job producing, I am happy!
Tonight is your first night of your tour. Whats going on in your mind? It's now Charlie time...feeling any pressure to pull if off live?
I come from an environment where I am always behind the computer and producing where I can perfect the music. I can spend hours doing it, but you can't do those things live so its a little bit more forgiving. So, it's going to be exciting. We have spent a lot of time rehearsing and I have a tremendous band. I am excited about touring and playing live. As long as I relax and don't get my voice strained, I will be good to go.
You have worked with and for some very talented artists. Who has stood out to you and why?
I recently worked with Fergie and that was fun. She has an interesting way of writing a song. She started off with a vision of what the music video would look like before she even wrote the music. She would write the song from what she was thinking of in her head about the video.
The person who you may not have heard of is J Cash. He writes the lyrics for a ton of hip hop songs all over the world; he is a behind the scenes guy and the way he writes lyrics is incredible.
You seem to love social media and have really utilized for a very long time before if became the thing to do, especially YouTube. Do you miss sitting in your studio and cranking out cover tunes?
Of course, I miss that. Sometimes, I wish I didn't have anything to do but homework and putting a cover song on YouTube. Of course, I can no longer do that because I need to put my own music out which should be sometime this fall.
How much has your Berklee NYC Music education influenced how you write? What advice would you give someone who wants to be an artist as well?
Don't worry about what other people are going to like. I tried to make music that worked for other people or at least make them happy and it didn't connect as much as it did when I wrote my own stuff. So just believe in yourself and your vision and you can make it happen.
Be sure to pick up Charlie's music here
and if you want to catch him on tour, you can find those dates here