Sirach Charles, better known as Angel, is what one could indelibly mark as a triple threat. Singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer, 22 year old Angel is quite possibly the UK Pop and R‘n’B industry’s best kept secret.
West London bred Angel began much like many do, as a gifted child, unquenchably enthusiastic and rather uniquely, as one fifth of a family singing group. Known as The Charles Family, the group consisted of Angel and his siblings: Tahirah, Sariah, Akelle and Kassa. The young ensemble were testament to a strong genetic musical aptitude and a passionate father who managed their early careers. The Charles Family came to prominence as a result of a BBC One documentary- One Life (2004), which followed the family’s musical journey. Initially signed to Warner Music, the dynamic family group soon parted ways with the label, though by that point it was apparent that Angel had developed a thirst for making music, coupled with an undeniable talent that propelled him to go solo.
Young Sirach went about experimenting with his sound, and was particularly compelled to take up producing the music he would sing. Angel recalls, “I started producing from about 10 years old, I was fascinated with music and creating it from scratch so I’d use anything available to me, Atari Video Music, Cubase…it was all a case of trial and error[…] it was important to me to be able to create what I was going to sing over, and laying it all down: kick, snare, strings, percussion, all before I sing over it, meaning there’s a lot of heart to my music”.
Angel drew his main influence from his father, former manager and talented musician Tendai Charles, a professional keyboardist who accompanied an array of Reggae music talents including Bob Marley and Dennis Brown. “My dad was and still is my biggest inspiration” Angel asserts, “from a young age I saw him fulfilling his passion and the prospect of doing music everyday for the rest of my life didn’t seem out of my reach.”
Taking it upon himself to study music in his own time, Angel took to listening to Donny Hathaway, from whose music he picked up lessons in song writing, R‘n’B singer Brandy Norwood, whose vocal arrangements and delivery Angel would revel in, plus the record production expertise of maestros Quincey Jones and Rodney Jerkins.
The study, alongside his natural gifts paid off, as now at just 22, Angel boasts the ability to write, compose and produce his songs from scratch. A talent that was identified by Universal Music who in late 2009 signed Angel to Universal Publishing as a songwriter. Angel’s knack with words has seen him pen songs used by UK urban acts such as Roll Deep and Devlin, as well as him composing pop pieces for the likes of JLS and Cheryl Cole.
When conceptualising his own songs, Angel draws heavily from his own experiences. Not content with making fickle music, for a throwaway culture, Angel’s strength lies within his ability to make music that resonates with people’s lives. “I’m quite the story teller” he states, and nothing is more demonstrative of this perhaps than Angel’s lead single off his forthcoming debut mixtape ‘Patience Is A Virtue’. This aforementioned track is Julie, an infectious, electronic driven club track, which tells the story of a relationship gone sour, while Julie represents the remedy to a conflicted relationship.
The song, having been penned and produced entirely by Angel is the perfect introduction to who he is as an artist. The ‘Patience Is A Virtue’ mixtape is an extended allegory of Angel’s musical journey so far, from being part of his family group, through to the BBC documentaries on their lives, the continual perfecting of his craft over the years, to this point as an accomplished songwriter and musician. The first mixtape is to be followed by a second, entitled ‘7 Minutes Before Time’ followed by Angel’s eagerly anticipated debut album ‘About Time’.
For Angel, his music is cathartic, and though he makes no claims to being a squeaky clean Pop Prince (which is underlined by the tinge of irony in his name, Angel) he aims to inspire, as Angel fondly recalls, “The nicest things anybody said about my music was that they put it on when the have a headache or feeling stressed and it always soothes the headache away, for me that’s a big deal the idea of music healing pain, it can’t get much better than that.”
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