Getting to Know Trey Charles - An Interview with One of Charlotte's Fine R&B/Indie/Soul Talents

Growing up along the East Coast – from Upstate New York to Birmingham, AL – Trey Charles has been exposed to a myriad of different cultures. It is from these experiences that he has cultivated a sound which pays homage to his nomadic upbringing. With hints of avant-garde R&B, modern/indie rock, and southern soul, Charles’ relaxing & elegant music has a lot of people listening. The talented artist recently took to the CreateMorning Charlotte stage where he caught the attention of several listeners as he teased songs from his upcoming EP.

We were fortunate enough to catch up with Charles since his recent performance, and he graciously took the time to answer some questions for us. Check out the full interview below as we got to know Charles, learn about his story, and discover the roots of his music.

Who are some of your biggest musical inspirations?

“D’Angelo, Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, Kid Cudi, Adele, John Mayer, and Nirvana. Basically the 90’s, but also the staples of the 60’s, 70s, 80s, and the unsung heroes and sheroes of the 2000’s.”

If you could tour with any other musician or band, who would it be and why?

“That’s tough. I think it would be a toss up at different points, but right now I’m between Tank and the Bangas, The 1975, Cautious Clay, Masego, and Hiatus Kaiyote because of the energy they put in their performances and how I feel like we could compliment each other as a total show.”

You mentioned you will be releasing your debut EP shortly. Can you provide a look into what fans can expect to hear when it drops?

“Listeners can expect to get a glimpse into a deeper side of me through warm, soulful undertones and melodic harmonies on this EP. These songs have been written about different pivotal points in my life. I wanted to make sure my sound encompassed all the elements of me; from the raw expression of emotion to the adventurous leaps in my production.”

You had noted that a recent life changing event helped you to find your voice. What was it that transpired to help you chase your dreams as a singer & songwriter?

“Well, in the beginning of 2019 on a work training trip, for a career I really wasn’t feeling, I got into a bad accident that could have ended my life. The accident left me in bad shape and forced me to basically sit still for  6 months. I had to rehabilitate myself on how to use my legs to walk, run and jump. While sitting in the mangled wreckage and as the cold January air hit my face through the broken windshield, I resonated on the things that truly made me happy. Music, family, love and true friends were the things that gave me the strength to hold on until the paramedics finally arrived on the lonely scene. From that divine intervention I knew I had to fearfully but fiercely pursue my passion no matter what, because tomorrow is not promised so you better shoot your shot if it’s open.”

What is your favorite part about performing at bars, breweries and coffee shops in the Charlotte area?

“My favorite part of performing at these spots is the genuine connection I see my performance can give listeners, as well as them coming up to me and telling me about how it made them feel.”

Trey Charles performing at New Sarum Brewing in Salisbury, NC.

Which Charlotte venue is a milestone goal for you to perform at?

“I would love to perform at the Neighborhood Theatre. One of my friends from high school used to work at the Theatre and he was one of the friends from the beginning that made me feel like it was cool to be me. So I would love to perform there in memory of him. We were not best friends by any means, but he definitely made an impact on my life even if he didn’t know it and he left us way too early. RIP brotha. Also the Theatre has a special spot in my heart because…. She knows why.”

What is your favorite part about the Charlotte music scene?

“My favorite part of the CLT music scene is the fact that there are a lot of supportive artists out here that will encourage each other. Some more than others, but nevertheless support.”

Is there anything you would like to see improve within the Charlotte music scene?

“I would love to see more intimate spaces pop up, and more fests for sure so local up-and-comers can show their stuff. All in all though, I love the direction the city is moving in.”

What are your goals for your music in 2020 and beyond?

“My goals are to drop my music and visual art of course, but to also get on some of those bigger stages and to cultivate those relationships with my fellow creatives.”

Is there anything else you would like to highlight about your musical journey, upcoming shows, or anything else?

“The only other thing I would like to highlight is that this is only the beginning and there is more to come. Also there is a show coming up at Noda Brewing on March 6th, please come through and chill.”