Take a dash of R&B, combine that with a sprinkle of neo-soul, and add a little funk and you have the recipe Retro-Nouveau. A new emerging genre created and spear headed by leading lady and vocalist Charlie Vox of the band Randomaxofcharlie. By fusing together these genre’s and more, the sultry voiced powerhouse delivers songs with melodies we can groove to and an eclectic sound that’s sure to take music to a new level. Having penned songs for top artist such as Rihanna and Melanie Fiona, Vox has put in the work and is ready to share her story on her newly released anti-mix-tape, BPMs. Check out what she had to share about her love for music, work, and image below.
Parlé Magazine: After hearing your music I must say you have an incredible voice. Have you always wanted to be a singer?
Charlie Vox: Actually when I was younger I never really thought I could sing. It was my mom who discovered my talent. I was actually scared to sing. I grew up singing in the church choir and you know when you’re really into the song people would start catching the Holy Ghost and that was tough for me. That was a really scary thing for me. (Laughs)
Parlé Magazine: (Laughs) I’ve known many artists to start singing in church but not very many afraid of it, how did you get past that fear and get into the music industry?
Charlie Vox: Well, I knew that there was something special about my voice but I didn’t know I could “sing-sing” but my mom kept pushing me and helping me grow my talent by getting me into pageants and competitions, which helped build my confidence and stuff like that. I also had a cousin who encouraged me to get into the studio and start writing some songs and basically that’s how it all got started.
Parlé Magazine: Is your cousin an artist as well?
Charlie Vox: Not anymore, he was a rapper at the time with the rap group the Double X Posse, which had a successful single called “Not Gon Be Able To Do It.” So he was already in the studio and told me I should get into the studio and write my own songs. It was around then he pushed to get started.
Parlé Magazine: Going into a studio to write for the first time must have been hard to do. Did you have any specific inspiration to help you get started?
Charlie Vox: Well, being a teenager you can only really write about things that teenagers go through. You know love stuff and teenage feelings and things that I may have seen or gone though. Also I was overweight as a child and wasn’t always the prettiest girl so I pulled a lot from those feelings and experiences around that.
Parlé Magazine: Clearly your emotions were a great jumping off point as it’s led you to write for some of the world’s most successful singers. How does that feel to come from so far from doubting your talent to accomplishing that?
Charlie Vox: It makes me feel awesome (laughs)! You know sometimes you look at your dreams and think “oh my god I cannot believe that!” When I started off as a little girl singing with the brush in the mirror I thought I was just going to be a singer and had no idea it would unfold like this. I never knew I would be a songwriter and write for major artists or that I would start my own label and produce my own music. I just had no idea.
Parlé Magazine: To keep pushing forward in creating so much for so many others and yourself must take a lot of dedication, what keeps you going?
Charlie Vox: I think at this point this is so much bigger than me. You know I see a lot of urban girls that would come to me with issues and I would tell them “listen you don’t have to stay stuck in your small community, you can chase your dreams and there is a whole world out there.” When I went on tour with Estelle I saw the world and I feel like I have to let them know that you don’t have to be confined to just this (small urban communities). And I feel like if I give up that gives everyone else the right to give up on their dream. I have to hold true to my promise to myself and keep on going forward.
Parlé Magazine: It sounds like you are setting yourself up to be a mentor to other artist and just youth through your career, would you say that you hope to be a role model for others in the industry.
Charlie Vox: Oh Absolutely! Whether you’re an artist or you’re just in school trying to make the grades to graduate I feel like there’s a race to be ran and we all have to run. Don’t focus on anyone else, just run after your goal and whatever god has promised you (you) will get it in the end and it will be where you want to be.
Parlé Magazine: In this day and age it’s great to hear an artist promote living one’s life as best they can when there’s so much negativity in music. How do you convey these same messages in your album BPMs and how did you come up with that title?
Charlie Vox: Well, I feel like the title of BPMs is a double meaning. You know there is a beat for the song but I also feel like every minute of our lives or beat there’s a story to be told and I want to tell my story. In doing that I feel like it’s your story too. We all go through heartache; we all go through feelings of love so I feel everyone will have a song on this anti-mixtape that can help them get through stuff.
Parlé Magazine: So you know I have to ask, why anti-mix-tape? (Laughs) Are you calling for an end to the mix-tape marketing era? (Laughs)
Charlie Vox: (Laughs) It first started off as a mixtape, just a collections of songs we were going to give away for free just to give the fans a sample of the music. But then it started to become a little more personal and I was like “oh no this is more than a mixtape” (laughs). It became a group of original songs that was so much more so we decided to throw “anti” in there because this is just an appetizer of what’s to come on the full EP. I promise you there’s so much more of what I have in store.
Parlé Magazine: Continuing your trend of forward thinking I understand you’ve also coined a new phrase to describe your genre of music. Can you tell me more about how that?
Charlie Vox: (Laughs) Well you know growing up we use to listen to everything. My mom and dad would play Roberta Flack, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and Anita Baker. I remember the feeling that old school music like that had and I want to bring that back. People can say what they want to say about music today and like what they want to like, but it’s missing that feeling. So I want to marry contemporary and old school or retro so that’s where you get Retro-Nouveau.
Parlé Magazine: Recently there has been a slight trend of unique artist in today’s music scene that have an alternative take on R&B and soul, would you say Retro-Nouveau is a part of that movement or something more?
Charlie Vox: I think it will be an enhancement. It won’t take away from any other artist that are out there but will bring an element of excitement to music. We were talking earlier about being honest with your lyrics and I really want people to get more into lyrics and the feelings from it and the soul factor from Retro-Nouveau will do that. I want people to say “Oh my god she’s saying some real stuff on here.”
Parlé Magazine: And do you have a favorite track on BPMs that bring about those feelings?
Charlie Vox: It will be on the EP I do and it’s called Longer. It’s a song where the lyrics just started coming to me and I talked about a relationship with someone and you jump into something else but the old situation doesn’t go away and deciding what to do with the two.
Parlé Magazine: You mentioned old school artist that have similar stories in their lyrics and feelings that produce in your music but are there any new school artists you also think may have the same Retro-Nouveau swag.
Charlie Vox: Yes. I love Brandy, I feel like when she opens her mouth there’s so much behind her vocals and stories. Also, Keke Wyatt I feel like people have slept on her for so long. I go to her YouTube channel and literally practice her runs (laughs). They are amazing singers and talents.
Parlé Magazine: Who doesn’t love those too! Are either of them someone or is there anyone else in the music industry that you would like to work with to create some great music?
Charlie Vox: Definitely all of them (lol) but I’d like to work with Melanie Fiona again. “Monday Morning” was really cool and I think we work well together. There are also a few producers that I would love to work with that make a similar style of music.
Parlé Magazine: I’m looking forward to all the collaborations and new music.
Charlie Vox: Thanks, I’m looking forward to creating it!
You can download BPMs: (Beats Per Minute) from Randomaxofcharlie’s website http://www.randomaxofcharlie.com/.
And keep up with all things Retro-Nouveau by following Charlie on Twitter @randomaxcharlie
Check out the video for “Try Again” from the BPMs anti-mixtape below: