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Shocking Bobby Brown stories and a Q&A with singer Charis

LIFE LESSONS: The Bobby Brown Story is a real representation of the dos and don’ts of the music business, says Mr Play

I ATTENDED BET’s exclusive screening of the Bobby Brown documentary on his life and marriage to Whitney, The Bobby Brown Story, last week. Bobby Brown never once spoke badly about Whitney Houston in public in all of the controversy they went through. A lot of accusations were made at Bobby for doing drugs – I guess you can make up your minds on that one…

The Janet Jackson revelation in the biopic probably didn’t go down too well with her, and many were indeed surprised to hear about it so long after it allegedly took place!

The two-part series is a real representation of the dos and don’ts of the music business, and the importance of having the right individuals around you, especially a manager *hint hint*. It also was a great reflection of how someone can lose their way on their journey but, by the grace of God, come back on track and be a living testimony despite the adversities and trials and tribulations they’ve faced. There’s definitely a wealth of life lessons being embedded into the series, that not only a musician but everyone can appreciate and benefit from.


At the weekend, I hosted at Drama in Park Lane. It felt like forever since I’ve been in the West End, so it was a great nostalgic feeling to make an appearance.

PARTY PEOPLE: Little Mix's Leigh Anne Pinnock (left) and Jesy Nelson (right) with Mr Play

I also had a chance to catch up with Leigh Anne Pinnock and Jesy Nelson from Little Mix – proper cool ladies, working hard and living out their dreams! Respect!

As always, I like to showcase the up-and-coming talent from the UK music scene. This week I caught up with Charis, here’s what she had to say:


Q: Who is Charis?
A: I am a singer/songwriter from east London. I am of Guyanese, Trinidadian and Greek Cypriot heritage.

When did you realise you wanted to do music?
A: I literally grew up in church, I was there three times a week and was always involved in the choirs and performances. I really enjoyed taking part and would always say, ‘I want to be a singer when I’m older’. When I did get older, I took a lot of time to actually gain the confidence to actually pursue it. Around two years ago I started to surround myself with the right people to get the stage I’m at now of actually releasing my art.

Q: Who are your influences?
A: Most of my music influences are women because of their vulnerability that they show in their music. Jhene Aiko’s music really resonates with me as she always wears her heart on her sleeve. Her lyrics are raw, emotional but savage at the same time. I feel like this encapsulates me as a person also. Both of us being Pisces, we are very sensitive and this plays out in my music . I have a big heart that can easily be hurt. This gives a lot of material for my songwriting. I also love Ella Mai. As she is a fellow London girl, she inspires me a lot as she shows that anyone can make it big and have international success.

HEARTBREAK AND HEALING: Charis puts her emotions into her music

Q: Who would you like to collaborate with in the UK?
A: I would love to collaborate with Haille from the collective Westrn, he has the sweetest voice and every song he touches is literally pure magic. Also, he doesn't know it yet but S.N.E. He is literally so smooth and cheeky with his lyrics. I used go to college with him and he would always [tell] me to come studio but I was too shy. I appreciate his encouragement and his artistry.

Q: How would you describe your music?
A: My music is all feelings, heartbreak and healing. I feel everything strongly and I need to write to release these emotions. In terms of genre, it is mainly alternative R&B with trap elements and also some afro swing inspiration. It’s a real mixture, which will be out in my next project!

The song I have just released has a Latin feel to it as I wanted to encapsulate the feeling of a summer love in the capital of Brazil – even though this love story didn't end so well!

Q: Tell us about your new single?
A: My new single is called Copacabana. This was inspired by my trip to Rio de Janeiro, where I stayed in Copacabana. One of the lines, “left me in the pouring rain in Copacabana” came from me actually having to make a mad dash in the torrential summer rainstorm one day!

It’s also an accumulation of how I felt in different relationships in my life. I have found the song resonates with a lot of women where they put their all into someone or an idea of someone, but at the end of the day you have to let them go to be happy.

Q: What else do you have coming?
A: I have been working with two very talented brothers, Andre and Dayna Fisher. They are both producers and amazing musicians. Andre plays drums for some amazing artists and Dayna plays the base for the likes of RAY BLK, and Yxng Bane. We are working on a project that is very close to my heart as this will be my very first EP! All the songs that I have written over the years will have a chance to finally be heard. This project is going to show the two sides of me, the sensitive side plus the crazy, fun side, which I know we all have.

I will be performing at the #GRLGANG showcase, which is a platform just for women, so keep an eye out on my socials for the confirmed date.

Q: Where do you see yourself in the next three to five years?
A: I see myself happy as this journey in music has to be one of self-discovery and will be. Harnessing my talents my dreams. I see myself with an amazing team around me who understand my vision, whether that be with a label or independently. I want to travel every inch of this beautiful world sharing my music and my story, which is so similar to others.

Q: Where can we find you?
A: My Instagram/Twitter are Charis Callia and my Facebook is Charis Nicholaou.

You can watch the video for Charis' song Copacabana here.

Additional contributions from Steph D’Sa and Lateef “Toks”.

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