At 28 years of age and already an acclaimed singer songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, it’s safe to say that music pulses through Angel’s veins. Born Sirach Charles, he spent much of his childhood in a small, two-floor terraced house in Shepherds Bush, West London, where he was one of five siblings. As a youngster, music was ever present; and he was raised by his Grenadian mother and his father, Tendai Charles, a popular figure on the UK reggae circuit, who would often play sessions with Bob Marley, Dennis Brown and Kaya in the 70s.
“When I was young, as soon as my Dad finished working on or listening to music in his room, I would sneak in, switch everything back on, and just zone out in there,” he says. “I know he came in and saw me but he just left me. He started it and I picked it up organically, passionately, willingly.”
As an eager, self-taught student, the young Angel would mark his progress through trial and error, eventually acquiring a gift for layering the same kicks, snares, strings and percussions that he would go on to vocal over. “Any instrument I pick up I play by ear: piano and guitar mainly, but drums too. If there’s a particular sound that I need for a tune then I pick up an instrument and do it. It’s like a heavy drug, if I go into the studio and make music I’m at peace.”
After penning songs for Wretch 32 to Devlin, Pixie Lott to Cheryl Cole, it wasn’t long before record labels again came knocking. And before long his song writing and production group ‘Parallel Music’, formed with friend and co-producer Kassa, had signed a publishing deal with Universal. Then, shortly after, Angel scored his first number one single. ‘Green Light,’ a song he had written for Grime collective Roll Deep, was a 2010 summer anthem and has since gone on to sell over 400,000 copies. That was just the beginning and further chart success would soon arrive. In 2012, furnished with a single of his own, Angel again breached the top 10, with the anthemic ‘Wonderful’ peaking at number nine, eventually shifting over 250,000 copies.
Now, at 28, Angel is ready for more and is preparing for a solo career that, after inking a record deal with iconic US label Motown Records, is at last ready to be realised. Trips back and forth between home and America have since followed, as have studio sessions with Pop & Oak and Swizz Beatz with Angel looking to make his imprint stateside.
“It’s an honour to sign to a label with such an amazing legacy and to have the platform to really show what I can do in the US,” he said. “It’s a blessing to have someone like Swizz on board, someone who understands exactly where I’m coming from, which will give me the opportunity to show my culture in the most authentic way.”
Supporters caught a first glimpse of Angel’s new, refined sound on the rebellious ‘Rude Boy’, which featured WSTRN’s Haile, and amassed more than 300,000 views in a matter of weeks. “That was a statement,” he says. “Let me show you where I’m coming from. I don’t want to do anything that’s compromising.” And so, with an album on the way, a new record deal in place and a renewed sense of purpose, Angel is at last ready to spread his wings.
Stream Angel’s new EP ‘Her’ below via Spotify.
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