[INTERVIEW] with... Charlie Straw

Originally from The Wirral in Merseyside, Charlie Straw is an artist with an exciting 2019 to look forward to. His outstanding blend of indie-leaning-pop is focused around some of his incredible stories, whether that’s experiences in Thailand, working from a basement or sofa surfing on tour for 30 days. It’s a method that’s lead the songwriter to support the likes of James Bay, Marika Hackman and James Morrison - his latest single was also supported on New Music Friday. We had a chat with Charlie below.

Hi Charlie, how's your week been? You released your new single this week, congratulations on the NMF support.
Yeah, it’s been great! It’s been a while since I put anything out, so to come back a have the song received in the way it has is great. I think anyone who doesn’t put music out worries that no one will be there to listen when they do.

This single represents a slight change in sound to previous work, talk us through your thought process there?
It’s definitely a reflection of where I am at. Whilst I love my sadder songs, it didn’t feel right to write about being heartbroken when I’m not, or being down when I’ve got a way of life that I love. So I went into the writing sessions wanting to talk about that and it was just a case of matching a sound to the messages.

You recently toured the UK for 30 days sleeping on people's sofas. Why put yourself through that?
It was such an important experience. I’d been very risk-averse up to that point and whilst I loved writing I hadn’t really tested how people reacted to my songs. It made me enjoy my music more and taught me about how important it is, to be honest. If you’re playing to a room full of prison inmates, they’ll see right through if you’re not telling the truth.

Do you think it's important for artists to go the extra mile on ideas such as your "Road to St Ives"?
100%. My favourite songs are ones that have interesting stories around them, whether it’s the politics of Bob Dylan’s ‘Hurricane’ or the mental struggles at the root of Keaton Henson’s ‘Do You Know How Lucky You Are’. I find the song’s context is really important. Hopefully, when people listen to that song they think of us on that tour, getting back to St. Ives!

How is 2019 looking for you?
Really exciting, I’ve more music ready to go and loads of exciting bits in and around that. I can’t wait to see what the reaction to the video for Light Up For Me is like, it’s definitely “out there”

Where can people catch you live next?
This Thursday I’m supporting Joe Doleman at The Social in London.

Charlie Straw online: