Inner Circle : Charlie Tunes
Had the chance to kick it with Charlie Tunes this summer, read more after the jump!
What got you into DJ-ing?
I’ve always had a “digger” mentality. I learned early on that a lot of the lesser-known records resonated with me and were just as amazing as the more popular ones. I found satisfaction exploring and discovering new music, so I kept digging. Discovered SoundCloud in 2012 and that's where my likes or crates first started. Fast forward to 2015, I attended the Sango and Stwo show at Middle East and that’s where everything hit me. Bought a controller not too long after and started practicing every night. I really just wanted to create and express myself and DJing is my tool of expression.
What defines your sound?
Ahh man there’s so many sounds and influences. Always rooted in Hip-Hop and RnB, throughout the years I’ve applied Afro, Baile funk, House, UK Garage, Funk, Soul and anything Feel Good. Tons and tons of edits. Whatever to keep everyone dancing while staying true to self..I try my best to stand out with my selection and leave you with a piece of me.
What keeps you motivated?
My family, my friends and my support system. My city. The music. The feeling I have internally that I’m supposed to be here, I’m supposed to create these experiences. Music is magic, it can create and heal anything. When I look up from the booth and I see people reacting, genuinely having a good time. Knowing people can leave their problems and release it in these moments, that's what keeps motivated.
After The Wave I had someone DM me saying “Your set brought me back to why I love music.” Connections like that are what keep me on this path.
Is there anyone/anything that you look to for inspiration?
My biggest inspirations in music are Jarreau Vandal, FS Green, Jaël, Kaytranada, Pat Lok & Jared Jackson. These dudes are rock stars to me. Their approach, appreciation and the way they move through music, from the selection to production and innovation are who inspire me the most as a DJ.
Aside from music, being fortunate enough to travel around the world has kept me inspired. I make it a point to find a connection in every city I visit. Observe, learn and connect and bring that energy back home with me.
Other inspirations would be Soulection, CLLCTV.US, Stay Silent PVD, The Love Below, The Nu Wave, Open Source and KLEAR Amsterdam. These collectives are all from different parts of the world but have similar foundations in creating community and contributing to culture.
What kind of music do you feel the most connected to?
I think that’s something I’m still trying to figure out but I try not to be boxed into one specific genre. I may listen to UKG one minute and Baile the next, then Bossa Nova then RnB- although different genres but they all have rhythm. I guess anything that inspires movement is what I feel connected to the most.
Who’s on your radar that’s up and coming from your area (or in general)?
I’m a firm believer that Lily Rayne is a star in the making- Her recent work on ‘Femme’ showcases her artistry and endless potential, really excited to see how far she goes. Nino Francis, Israel Wusu both have a light and Khary is one of my favorite artists local or not. You’ll often catch me playing their music in my sets.
Favorite thing or artist to listen to right now?
I’m constantly listening to music but two albums- Snoh Alegra’s ‘ Ugh, those feels again’ & SiR’s ‘ Chasing Summer’ have been in heavy rotation for me lately.. Aside from that, I’m always on SoundCloud running through mixes and edits so anything from Don Mayor, Omar Duro, Sirene, Tera Kora, Chamos, BRII, Uki or anyone out of the Netherlands posts a track on SC, I’m taking a listen.
Favorite spot to grab a bite in Providence?
Anyone who knows me or has ate out with me knows I'm a big foodie. It’s a blessing to be from Providence, Rhode Island, the food scene here is boomin’ and every neighborhood has something special. Some of my favorite spots right now are Chengdu Taste, O’BOY, North, Apsara on Public, Nice Slice, Garden Grille, Slow Rhode, Nicks on Broadway and Ebisu. Anyone reading this in need of recommendations, hit me up!
What are some things you notice that set PVD apart from other places?
The biggest thing is the community and the love and support within that community. We’re a small city with big dreams and tons of talent. Everyone here is doing something creative. Whether it’s art, music, clothing, food or bringing people together we really have something special here. Go to PVDFest, go to Daytrill, check out all the events we have going on a weekly basis and you’ll start to get it. Unfortunately, It took me leave Providence to really appreciate it. My love for Providence runs deep.
What interested you about playing The Wave?
I started going to The Wave in 2015, it was the first place I heard a Sango track at a party and it blew my mind seeing people alike having the same reactions as me. Throughout the years, I watched some of my favorite DJ’s from all over step into that booth. I had real goals of being in that booth. I even created a playlist years ago called “The Wave” before ever playing it haha. Y’all could imagine my reaction when Paul reached out.
What I love about that party is that people really come to dance. You can walk by someone and accidentally bump into them and instead of getting upset, they’ll signal you to dance. It’s really love here. Energy unmatched.
What was your perception of Boston before you played The Wave?
Being only 45 mins away, I’ve spent a lot of time in Boston growing up so I was already connected to the city. As a kid, my parents would bring us to Chinatown every Sunday for dimsum and groceries that we couldn’t get at home. I got older and ventured out to different parts of the city- specifically to hit up all the sneaker and streetwear spots and MANY basement parties. Went to countless shows at Middle East, eventually discovering CLLCTV Boston & The Wave and other creative outlets. Fast forward to curating my own events at The Market and becoming immersed with the creative scene.
I was always attracted to the energy of the city, the faster pace, the diversity, culture and it’s resources. Although, PVD isn’t too far off. Boston was my first exposure to a big city. I learned many things from this city and it remains a big part of my life.
ENERGY. The reception I received after my set was EVERYTHING. I was super nervous going into it but once I found my rhythm it was a wrap. Paul killed it, Vick killed it. I was just happy to be a part of it. I have so much love for that crowd.
After it was all over, I had a convo with Paul and he told me my set was a reminder of the reason why they started doing The Wave- that meant everything to me. Being someone that first started in the crowd, learning and then going home to practice to now being on the lineup and making an impact was a dream come true.
Digital or vinyl?
I’m digital based but have the utmost respect for DJ’s that play vinyl. Planning on getting a setup in the near future.
One thing you can’t travel without?
Headphones and a portable charger.