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Today in our Spotlight – Nuela Charles. On the heels of her newest release, Nuela comes to chat about music, family, and more. Check it out now.

Canadian, Swiss, and Kenyan singer Nuela Charles is joining us today. We are giving her our warmest Hidden Beats welcome. Could you give us a small intro about you and your music to new readers?

Thanks for having me. My name is Nuela (new-ella), I am a singer/songwriter and have been making music for the last 10 years. I was born in Kenya, and lived in Switzerland, Canada, and the Bahamas before coming back to Canada. And I have been fortunate enough to have some of my music placed in TV shows.

How did your cultural influence help shape your unique music style?

For me, having experienced so many different cultures definitely has given me a wider worldview. I’m very open to trying new things, and I think that translates into my music. I always strive to do better than the last thing I did, and I don’t ever want to do the same thing twice.

How did family and friends back home react to your 3x JUNO nominees? Your biggest supporters must have been so proud.

Yeah…LOL. Don’t get me wrong – they’re very proud. It’s just a different world. Sort of a mystery, and they’re ultimately happy if I’m happy, but are the first ones to bring me back to reality.

The majority of your listeners come from Canada which is expected, but then you also have almost a thousand in Japan!? So far from us with such a difference in their pop culture. What about your music do you feel is so universal?

I strive to write songs with messages that everyone can relate to. I never know where these songs will end up, and I can only hope that wherever they travel to, the people hearing them are open to receiving a message of hope, love, self-confidence, and strength.

Your music can be described in a plethora of genres. Soul, R&B, alternative pop, indie, maybe some jazz infusions too. What genre do you identify with and why?

I say I’m alternative/soul. The alternative captures everything a bit left of center, and the soul is the heart of the message and the delivery. I think music today has become very genre-less so it’s tough to try and put yourself in a box.

Let's get into the juice of this interview, your new album was released on Sept 16th. This is your 4th album released and the nerves must be setting in as we approach the drop. What can we expect from listening to it? What moods, feelings or messages should fan be taking away?

I think when you listen to this album, you’ll hear self-discovery and acceptance. It’s moody but uplifting. Self-reflective but happy. I think with the last few projects I had this protective shield over everything and I never went super deep. With this album, I just said what I wanted.

What is your favorite song on the album and which was the hardest to bring to life?

“Alive” is definitely my favorite. And “Awakening” wasn’t necessarily the hardest to bring to life, it just wasn’t clear at first. I had the verses written, but the chorus and the entire feel of the song were different. Once we established the feel, the chorus became this anthem for empowerment.

You collaborated with producer Matt Parad. How did you come to be acquainted? Did you work well together?

Matt and I met during a Zoom writing camp, in early 2021. He was based in LA and I was tuning in from Toronto. It was my first session, and we just clicked. He understood my musical references and really allowed me to just be me.

The music video for “Top of the World” is a blast. Nothing but positive dance vibes. Was it as much fun to film as it looks?

YES! I didn’t have much of a budget for that one, and it seemed like a fun idea. I did a lot of changes that day. But it turned out great, and Tatiana Zagorac did a great job with the edit!

This year you won the “Her Music Awards” which highlights female-identifying Canadian musicians. How important do you think this organization is in raising young Canadian artists?

I think the SOCAN Foundation is amazing in what they do. Championing songwriters and uplifting homegrown talent. I am very grateful to have been chosen as one of the recipients of this, especially knowing that it was juried by other women in the industry who I look up to.

Do you have any formal music training? How important do you think that is when pursuing a career in the arts?

I went to school and got a Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in Music, but I honestly don’t think it had much impact on my career. Most of my learning happened after I really dug into the industry. I read a lot of books on how labels work, and how to successfully market yourself independently, and so I think unless you have a program that incorporates real-life world scenarios, most programs are a bit dated and not relevant to being an artist in today’s climate.

Are you going to tour after the release of this album? What does a Nuela show look and feel like?

I won’t be doing a major tour, but I will be in Germany for the Reeperbahn Festival and then in Calgary for the Breakout West Festival. My shows are fun – I think HAHA. The ebb and flow, and are moody but again uplifting and I hope people leave feeling just a little bit better about themselves.

The promotional picture for “Awakening” is reminiscent of The Weeknd’s “Starboy.” Are you a fan?

Oh, I didn’t even realize. I had to check it out just now. I like the Weeknd. I think he’s cool. I’m more of a passive fan of most artists. Only a diehard for a couple of acts – Arctic Monkeys.

What do you think it takes to stand out in the industry now with it being saturated with so many talented artists?

Definitely patience. I’d also say, don’t be afraid to try new things if you don’t know who you are as an artist yet. Some people know exactly what they want to sound like and for some, it might take a few years. As long as you’re willing to put in the work, and are kind to the people you work with I think you’ll be good.

Thank you for joining us today. Before you leave, what is a message you want to leave for your fans?

Thanks for having me. Stay true to yourself and don’t dim your shine for NOBAWDY.

This Spotlight – Nuela Charles has come to an end and we want to give a big thanks to Nuela for taking the time to chat with us.

Check out music from Nuela right here

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