Interview with singer-songwriter King Charles, who undertakes 40 marathons and 40 concerts in 40 days
He is unfortunately not really a king, but 12 years ago King Charles – real name Charles Costa – became somewhat of a king of songwriting when he became the first Briton to win. the Nashville International Songwriting Competition.
The competition was judged by acclaimed singer-songwriter Tom Waits, guitar legend Jeff Beck, country music superstar Loretta Lynn, and one of rock and roll’s “founding fathers,” Jerry Lee Lewis.
The song that won the coveted Rather Whimsical West Londoner award was Love Lust – and listening to it now, it certainly sounds innovative, hard to classify, and ahead of its time. Since then, the classically trained singer – who also plays numerous instruments – has released three albums, the most recent of which, Out of my mind, was released in 2020.
The Portland Arms will welcome this unique and talented artist in November. Before that, he ran 40 marathons in 40 days to support the Regenerate charity. Unsurprisingly, Charles says he has done “a lot of practice”, as well as getting ready to release an EP in the fall to follow his latest singles, Animal and 12345.
Charles, who has amassed over 100 million streams, says, “I released an album, Out of my mind, in April 2020, and then I couldn’t do this tour, so I had a lot of time to write. Then when things got a little more clear, we spent a little time in the studio and then things started to fall into place and we made a plan for the new releases.
“It’s amazing to have something to look forward to and the time in the studio has been fantastic.” Charles adds, “I have a sort of home setup where I did demos on my own, and when things got a little looser, we could go into the studio.
“There were still things like social distancing, but it was a real light at the end of the tunnel having something to release at the end. It came out very positive and upbeat and a good kind of tempo, flavor, and sound – rather than just being a ruminant product on lockdown and isolation, because I don’t think anyone wants to hear that. “
Charles, whose music has been described as “indie folk,” also gave a few live performances during the lockdown “but not a lot, to be honest. I played the drums a lot, which was a real kind of therapeutic process, and I practiced instruments, sang Bob Dylan songs … “
He feels “100%” ready to go on tour again, noting, “The tour has now been postponed for 18 months, so during that time there are new tracks, there is new music to play. I think the energy is going to be out of control when October rolls around and people are sweating in theaters again, so I’m really, really excited about that.
Ahead of the tour kick off in Manchester on October 30, Charles has his racing challenge ahead of him. He started the Feel Good JOGLE, a 1,782 kilometer run from John O’Groats to Land’s End on July 25, with the aim of raising £ 100,000 for the youth charity and the Regenerate community. A small team from the association accompanies him.
It also plays a live show each day of the trip, which will be improvised daily. In short, he tries to complete 40 marathons and 40 concerts in just 40 days. The music will be in collaboration with local artists and other musician friends of Charles will join at various stages.
In addition to supporting Regenerate, the Feel Good JOGLE aims to spark conversation, encourage people to share their issues, and change preconceptions about mental health issues. This is something Charles feels passionately about, having experienced his own long-term struggle with psychological issues following a serious skiing accident in 2010.
The longer-term impact of his trauma affected the parts of his brain that controlled his inhibitions and emotions, and it wasn’t until 2018 that he was released. He is now “much better, thank you” – adding: “I have never felt better, actually, on this front.”
See Charles’s fundraising page at justgiving.com/campaign/TheFeelGoodJog. The challenge is documented throughout the course via live videos on the @kingcharlesuk and @regenerateuk social media channels.
King Charles will perform at the Portland Arms on Tuesday, November 2. For more information, visit theportlandarms.co.uk. To learn more about King Charles, visit kingcharlesmusic.com.
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