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King Charles Speaks To Stereoboard About His Debut Album ‘LoveBlood’ (Interview)

Sunday, 26 February 2012 Written by Rob Sleigh

Last month, London-based solo artist King Charles fought off competition from the likes of Lana Del Rey and Michael Kiwanuka to take second place in MTV’s Brand New For 2012 poll. Having just headed out on another tour of the UK last week, the king is now readying himself for the long-awaited release of his debut album ‘LoveBlood’, which is due out on 7th May. Taking a break from his recent tour preparations, King Charles spared a few moments to tell Stereoboard more about his music and about the new album…

After previously being called one of the acts to look out for this year, you’ve now been voted into a commendable second place in MTV’s Brand New For 2012 poll. How are you feeling about this response?
I’m pleased about the whole thing, and grateful to voters. It’s good to know your place.

It was recently confirmed that your debut album ‘LoveBlood’ is due for release in May. How does it feel to see it finally being released?
I’m still crossing my fingers that the day will come, the world won’t end, I’ll be alive, so will everyone else, and the moment doesn’t freeze at 23:59 on 6th May. If the day does come, I will know I’ll have all the authority of sweat and swagger to hold my head high and kiss the dust of the day.

How long have you been working on ‘LoveBlood’ and what was the overall experience of creating your first album like?
Overall, it has gone from hobbying to business time and, as a result, my world is now pushing on its horizons to bulk up for the summer sun and bask in glory of finishing something I started five years ago.

Who else has contributed to this album and how did their input help to shape these songs?
Mathew Wilder and the Mi7 [Records] boys both played very defining roles in the production of the album and has helped it go from being a purring kitten heavy on my lap to a roaring lion stamping out his cage. The Nashville boys of ChessBoxer played on it and I couldn’t have dreamt what they would do.

How would you describe the overall sound of the album to someone that is new to your music?

Looking at the tracklisting, a few of the songs have the word “love” in their names, most notably the title track of the album. Would you describe ‘LoveBlood’ as an album of love songs?
The album is full of love songs. While writing it, love was the only thing that interested me - exploring the personality and shapes of love, while seeing how it can change the shape and colour of your world and survival is a massive driving force behind my whole life.

The songs that have been released so far have revealed you as a gifted lyricist. Where do you find inspiration for your songwriting?
God, Girls and The Passage Of Time.

ImageThe music itself has been recognised for the use of a broad range of influences. What would you say were your key influences in terms of musical genres and other artists?
When Vampire Weekend came out, I was blown away because all those sounds and styles and techniques of production were what I felt were ideas that were about to come to me. They got there first.

Obviously, something else that causes you to stand out from other artists is your striking appearance and distinctive name. Do you think your image reflects your music?
Yeah, I think it’s all the same thing.

How have you learned to develop this style?
If you’re talking about sartorial persuasion, Doc Holiday, Bugsy Malone, Grace Kelly, Beau Brummel and Dorian Gray have all been enormous inspirations.

How did you first gain an interest in music and what were some of your earliest experiences of making music?
I started to play cello when I was seven and that was my main exposure to music until I was 15. Orchestras and choirs were my earliest training.

What did you first hope to achieve when you originally started out on your present solo career?
I wanted to honour what life was calling me to.

A few years ago, you became the first British artist to win the prestigious International Songwriting Competition. What was that experience like at such an early stage of your career?
It was absolutely fantastic. Competition is an interesting way of giving tangible value to a very subjective puzzle of art. The competition has helped my career enormously and I’m very grateful to them all for that.

Ahead of the album’s release, you have some tour dates coming up in the UK during February and March. How are you feeling about those shows?
Stoked, totally. I was built for the road, I can’t stand being stagnant. Loads of the places I’ve never seen before, so it’s all new territory to be marked with ‘LoveBlood’.

For those who are still a bit new to your music, what can they expect from your live show?
By the end of it, they can expect to have an opinion whether I’m doing it right or wrong.

What else have you got planned for 2012 and what are you looking forward to the most?
After getting the album out, mostly I will be looking forward to the summer, champagne, sausages, rides on my brother’s motorbike, building a chariot and matching armour for me and Azealia Banks to roll through London on before we haul ass to the Mediterranean and do a tour of the rivieras on a yacht.

‘LoveBlood’ is due for release on 7th May.
King Charles is currently on tour in the UK – see below for dates.

King Charles ‘LoveBlood’

King Charles UK Tour Dates are as follows:

Mon 27th Feb 2012 - o2 Academy 2, Oxford
Wed 29th Feb 2012 - Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton
Thu 1st Mar 2012 - Sugar Mill, Stoke-on-Trent
Fri 2nd Mar 2012 - Sonic Zoo, Barrow In Furness
Sat 3rd Mar 2012 - Live Lounge, Durham
Sun 4th Mar 2012 - King Tut's, Glasgow
Mon 5th Mar 2012 – Fibbers, York
Tues 6th Mar 2012 - The Cluny, Newcastle
Thu 8th Mar 2012 – Leopard, Doncaster
Fri 9th Mar 2012 - The Boileroom, Guildford
Sun 11th Mar 2012 - The Portland Arms, Cambridge
Thu 15th Mar 2012 - The Hippodrome, Kingston

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