Charlie Winston is an English singer-songwriter who travels the world and calls Paris his home. He may be uncoventional in his music and personal stylings but those unique qualities make him all the more brilliant, inspired and damn seductive (it's all about the eyes and smile with Mr. Winston).
I've had my musical crush for Mr. Winston for a while now...I mean really how could one not? So I squealed in utter delight when I got the chance to ask him some questions during a gig here in Ottawa.
But to get you in that proper Charlie Winston vibe here's the video for his single ' I Love Your Smile'
Q&A with Charlie...
On your website - under the 'My Life as A Piano' bio you wrote: 'I worked in the Premises Studio café, making bacon butties for the likes of David Gray, The London Community Gospel Choir and Jamie Oliver (I taught him all he knows). It became my second home, where I ate, played, recorded and painted walls.' So who was the better tipper David or Jamie?
Jamie. He came back one day and told me that I made a fantastic bacon butty.
So why did you choose Paris as 'home'? And why do the French love you so?
All roads lead to Paris... or something like that. At least that's what it seemed like when I was deciding whether to learn Spanish and live in Spain, or French and France. I made more friends in Paris and it was closer, so just kept going back for gigs. The French have a thing for discovering artists too.
You obviously have a ton of musical influences (rock, blues, soul, reggae, folk) - it reflects in your music style - but it you had to come up with a Top 5 playlist of your favourite songs that shaped you as a musician/artist what would they be?
1. Big in Japan - Tom Waites
2. Tiger Rag - The Mills Brothers
3. Power of Equality - Chilli Peppers
4. Walk this way - Aerosmith/Run DMC
5. A Case of You - Joni Mitchel
The clothes - very vintage / bohemian inspired - is that a result of the Paris lifestyle or have you always been all about that unconventional style/vibe?
It was my style before I arrived in Paris. I think that's another reason why they liked me; I had an interest in more classic tastes, as opposed to just following fashions. I wasn't interested in following fashion and always liked the shape those clothes give the body on a man. You could say for me wearing those clothes and developing that style it was a realisation of boy to man.
J'adore the song 'Like A Hobo' - it's like you looked in the mirror and stripped everything down - and really saw yourself for who you were - where you came from, your life experiences, how you grew up, your values - so if you had to describe yourself, what are the first five words that pop into your head?
Since you can't believe everything you read - is it true that you did some babysitting for Peter Gabriel and managed to get a copy of your demo to him and that resulted in an opening spot on Peter's summer tour in 2007?
Yes. That is true. (But you still haven't heard me say it.)
When and if you become a 'papa' down the line are there any values you'd want to pass along to them?
Yes. To be a teacher you gotta be a pupil too. I'm only gonna have kids to learn some more.
And finally favourite curse word?
The replacement of 'god' since he died: Fuck.
Charlie's live DVD, 'Hit the Road', is now available in Canada. It was filmed in Paris earlier this year and word is it was one hell of a show (so it's a must check out for all Winston fans).
There's also a new 'Generation Spent/Life's A Bitch (Digital-45)' available on iTunes and it features an unreleased track.
And as if that wasn't enough, the Charlie's HOBO album will be priced at just $6.99 on iTunes throughout November."