Some of you may know Charlene Soraia as the voice behind the animated Twinings advert, which featured her beautiful cover of The Calling’s Wherever You Will Go, a song that went to number three in the charts. Since then, Charlene has released a debut album and has recently been readying her second album, Love Is The Law. We caught up with Charlene prior to the release of the new video for her single Standing Stone, to chat about her music, inspirations and aspirations.
CF: How would you describe your music?
Charlene: I think my music is like Impressionism, I like to create a colour and space musically and take people on a journey through it! I’m predominantly a guitarist, so there’s usually a really interesting guitar motif or riff or thing that I do. I like layers in music, it makes it a new journey every time you listen!
CF: What do you find is your biggest inspiration?
Charlene: I’m very autobiographical with my music so I usually write about what I’m experiencing. I’m very emotionally based, a sort of introverting introvert who just wants to share what I’ve experienced. I picked up a guitar when I was about 5, so it’s always been my way of expressing what I’ve usually been unable to say. It’s like escapism from reality, which is a very healing thing – we all need some sort of outlet to release what we subconsciously hold back I think. A lot of the time I write songs that I only understand a couple years later once I’ve been through whatever I’m going through. At the moment I get more inspiration from films than music.
CF: You lent your voice to the whimsical Twinings advert with a cover of The Calling’s Wherever You Will Go, what was it like hearing your music on television?
Charlene: Yeah that was nuts! The advert didn’t have someone talking over the top of me trying to do the big sell so you were only left with this animation which was a completely beautiful vision of beauty and then the piano and my voice so there was a lot of space which allowed my voice to really just be there alone! Yeah it was weird… What’s more weird is that I have a gold disc that’s been sat in its box for over a year – where on earth do I hang it?!
CF: You’re readying your second album at present, has your sound progressed since your debut Moonchild?
Charlene: Well I always thought Moonchild and Wherever You Will Go weren’t sonically that close in vision, so I’ve tried to bridge the gap between the two for album two. I’ve been working with other people for the first time in my life – Justin Parker, John Fortis, Ian Dench, Guy Chambers, Cathy Dennis. I’ve always been extremely precious with my music, my songs are my babies y’know, but it’s been wonderful to experiment with new people. Album two is definitely less introvert than Moonchild.
CF: Do you have any plans to do more covers? Are there any songs that immediately spring to mind that you’d like to put your unique spin on?
Charlene: I don’t feel like I really “do” covers, despite the fact I’m basically known for one! I’ve had No One Knows by Queens of the Stone Age going round my head recently and No No No by Dawn Penn for some reason. I’d love to know what my fans would like to hear me sing!
CF: Which band or artist would you like to duet with?
Charlene: I’d love to spend a night exploring psychedelia with that guy from Tame Impala. Although I’m too shy to ask him and he’d probably say no, but I don’t know many people my own age who really get into 60’s psyche… I feel like I’d get on with him. But who knows. That would be awesome though… Mmm yeah Tame Impala…
CF: If you could perform anywhere in the world where would it be?
Charlene: Can we organise an intimate gig in the great pyramid? That would be cool. I collect 60’s band posters so would love to have played Filmore East or West or like the Avalon Ballroom. I’d just wanna know what my poster would have looked like for the gig!!
CF: What artists are you listening to at the moment
Charlene: Stina Nordemstram, Tame Impala, Orla Gartland, Paul Thomas Saunders – he’s incredible. His new single Good Women came out last month, have you heard it? You’ve got to… It’s just so wonderful. I went and saw him recently, amazing gig… His band are insane. I love his guitarist Max, I geeked out over guitar pedals with him!