Charlie Pughe, the talented 15 year old singer songwriter from Bristol has been wowing judges at this years Open Mic UK competition and secured his place in this years final at the Birmingham NEC.
When I caught up with Charlie I was keen to find out how he was feeling about getting through. “It's Incredible! It's quite emotional when you get through and then it sinks in afterwards. To get down to the last 30 in the country out of 10,000 is quite mind blowing to be honest.” Charlie could soon be joining a host of other unsigned UK talent to be discovered by Open Mic UK.
In preparation for the final Charlie has written a new song, but is still
undecided if he will perform this in January. “I've got three songs at the
moment that I'm playing to various friends and family and getting them
to tell me which one they think is best.” Naturally Charlie has his favourites too, but he is wise enough to realise that at the end of the day it comes down to which song the judges prefer. “I've got a singing teacher provided to me by Open Mic and she's giving me huge help with my vocals a choosing the right songs.” As a performer picking the right songs are of paramount importance to engage your audience and the judges. “If I was making the decision myself I don't think I would make the right one because I'd pick the song I think is best not what's best for the show.” Performers can really underestimate how hard it is to pick the right songs, so it's great that he has somebody as a mentor to help him make those vital decisions.
Charlie says that his classical background has helped him to compose more complex melodies in his writing, coming from this background also shows his diversity and musicianship. In the modern musical world he takes his inspiration from Kelly Clarkson, George Ezra and Ed Sheeran “people who are different and unique." Open Mic have recently announced a new competition to discover the UK's songwriting talent, will Charlie be interested in this? “It's something definitely like to get involved with. It would be good to see how my songwriting compares to other people of my age and improve my ability as a songwriter and to get experience.” Coming face to face with the other finalists throughout competition made Charlie realise just how tough the contest is and how daunting it can be, especially the further you get into it and the larger the audience gets, but he's learnt to just relax and relish the experience. “You've got to get up there and enjoy it, if you do the audience will too.” At the end of the day the best performance and best song will be the one that gets through, but all contestants get a lot of support and feedback which is essential considering some of them are still very young. Charlie, who is also entering Britain’s Got Talent this year, has been getting a lot of help at school from his music teacher too, which can only stand him in good stead for the future.
Whatever happens in January at this years final, Charlie is certain that he wants a career in music. For someone who demonstrates such passion and talent at a young age he's sure to have the future he deserves. Good luck in the final Charlie! The Open Mic UK Grand Final is taking place at Birmingham NEC on the 24th of January 2015