Exclusive: An Interview With 2018 Juno Nominee Nuela Charles

By: Kat Harlton

Alternative soul singer/soungwriter Nuela Charles known for her soulful vocals and captivating stage presence, is nominated for a 2018 Juno Award for her sophomore album The Grand Hustle in the Adult Contemporary Album Of The Year category.  A nomination Charles wished for, but never imagined could happen, “When I started out, it was just that wish of ‘One day I’m going to get to that point where I’ll be recognized and win a Juno and all that stuff’ So when this happened it was like ‘What is going on?’ Especially considering I’m with Micheal Buble and Charlie Reed and The Tenors, they all have label deals, and there’s Alysha Brilla and myself, the two indies, the two girls, the two non-white males, and it kind of blew my mind. I guess it just made me realize that people are actually listening and they actually do see the work that’s put in. It made me really happy. One time I went to the Junos, I was living in Vancouver and I was a seat filler. My dad actually pointed out that I went from a seat filler to a nominee.”


Noted as “one to watch” by the legendary SoulTrain.com, Nuela has become an indie sync darling, landing 11 TV placements off of her debut album Aware alone. “The first placement I ever got was on Degrassi. That was really awesome because it was just kind of background and it was playing during a scene. It was cool to see how the two worlds meet, the music and the film side. Since then it’s just been continual placements, I had one on the most ghetto reality TV show, and they’re fighting and my songs are cut dramatically in among the fight and I thought ‘this song just makes the scene.’ and that’s when you know it works. Seeing the audience’s response immediately is awesome, one time I was on my Google Anayltics and I could see the views go up, up, up, up and I was freaking out. That night I think I sold over 1500 singles of that song. Recently I had one in Jane The Virgin and that’s been crazy, because I’m still getting people reaching out. I feel like before it was considered selling out or whatever, but now it’s necessary, you want that.”

Nuela’s recent single Do It Right a snappy, Bob Fosse inspired head bopper, co-written and produced by Grammy-nominated Rob Kleiner is sure to turn some heads. “I was in Los Angeles in September and I wrote with Rob, it was our first time meeting and the aim was to create something up-tempo because I do have a tendency to lean more to the ballads and drama. I wanted that snappy, kind of head-boppy, vintage feel. If I had to say one thing it’d be ‘If you’re going to do it, do it right’ so that’s kind of how it came about. It was super fun, tt was fast, we did it in a day and then I came back to Canada.”


Cited by the U.K.’s Metro publication as “cocked, locked and ready to be shot onto the world stage with a soulful voice that may one day fill the Amy Winehouse-shaped holes in everyone’s hearts,” Nuela has brought her distinct voice to various stages across North America. Over the last several years she has showcased at Canadian Music Week multiple times, headlined an evening at the Edmonton Jazz Festival, and even landed an opening support slot for Ziggy Marley. “I feel like the one piece of advice I give to a lot of people is if you really want it, you’ve got to keep going, you can’t quit. It’s when you stop that you’re going to start asking what if, what if, what if. My parent’s gave me two years to do this and now it’s eight years later. It takes time, and all these overnight successes you see are years of hard work. I also think you have to be true to you as an artist, especially in this day and age. For me it’s really important to try to stick to and develop what it is I do and what I sound like. What do I want to say?”

For more on Nulea Charles, please visit: http://www.nuelacharles.com

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