Tommy Charles shares debut single, “Lookin’ Like That”

Tommy Charles is an up-and-coming country artist, originally from Quebec and now calling Langley, BC home, that has been newly signed to Vancouver-based label Crank Music. His sound is country classic with a soulful touch. His debut single, “Lookin’ Like That,” was released, via Crank Music, on June 17. His music video was also released on the same day.

Both the song and music video are great. The song is upbeat in the country classic style, “reminiscent of a time when people knew how to have fun.” This one will be on repeat all summer! The video is just so fun and has a touch of something magical about it. You can’t help but smile when you watch it.

Now, on to the interview I had with Tommy Charles via email. This was a great opportunity for me, through Canadian Beats, to chat with him about his single, his music video, and more. We thank him for taking the time to hang out for that. Check out our questions and his answers. It’s a good one. He is humble, appreciative, and grateful to those who helped him get to where he is today.

Hi Tommy. It’s great to be conducting this interview with you. Here we go…

For those of our readers that don’t know much about you, would you please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us how you decided to take the leap into the world of country music.

I grew up in semi-rural Quebec. My mother is a hardcore Elvis worshipper and was the one to introduce me to all the musicians I consider my greatest influences now. My dad is a blues savant, and he certainly played a great part in shaping my musical DNA, too. As a teenager, I sang with a Big Band who played ballrooms and first delved into the crooner repertoire with those amazing local musicians. As you might know, Sinatra and Bennett are closely related to country legends like Jim Reeves, Marty Robbins, Eddy Arnold, etc. Therefore, the connection was made there for me, and I slowly shifted to country music in my performances.

For some years, I toured across Eastern Canada with Laurence Jalbert, a very well-known Quebec artist. She took me under her wing, to say the least. She taught me a great deal about the industry and the scene.

Then, I had the Nashville gig for some time, like many new up-and-coming artists, and wrote with some guys there. Those years were amazing because I was travelling all across the Americas, down to Uruguay and back up to Texas.

Finally, the pandemic hit hard, and I started working as a high school teacher for students with special needs. About a year ago, the phone rang, and I had a call from Crank in Vancouver. It changed my life.

Can you tell us a bit about your music – how would you best describe it?

It’s country music, with a touch of crooner and vintage. It feels like ’90s Texas honky tonk, with a lyrical interpretation that hints at all the hidden influences I unconsciously have. I listen to many World, Latin, and Eastern music, which sometimes shows. The first sip you take is very much American, though I can’t deny it.

Let’s chat about the release of your single “Lookin’ Like That.” Wow. You got some pretty heavy hitters behind you on this one. It was written by Jim Beavers (Chris Stapleton, Luke Bryan), Drake Milligan, and Grammy-nominated hit songwriter Deric Ruttan (Eric Church, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley). The track was produced by Gold-certified producer Mitch Merrett (Chad Brownlee, Aaron Pritchett).

How did this song come about, and what does it mean to you?

It’s pretty crazy, right?? That song is a gift from heaven to me. It’s all the gratitude, passion, and love I have for this journey into one song. Plus, it’s funny, clever, and makes you want to take your other half and make her spin on the dance floor. Are you ready for it?

Where did you record this tune, and who did you work with?

The song was recorded at Armoury Studios in West Vancouver, and Mitch Merrett was the producer and the brain behind it all. The song was mastered at Barrytones Studios by Jason Barry. It was a blast working with all of them.

What was it like working with these industry greats, and what did you discover about yourself during the whole process?

It is very humbling and inspiring. Everyone who worked behind the scenes to bring “Lookin’ Like That’’ to the people has been 100% dedicated to the process. It is fascinating how people who have seen it all in the industry, artists and entrepreneurs who have been doing this for ages, still honour this song as if it was their very first breakthrough project. Being around them has been so inspiring and felt so right to me that I can say now, without a shadow of a doubt, that I want to do this wholeheartedly for the rest of my life.

Tell us what you hope listeners will take away from this single.

To have fun, to not take ourselves too seriously, and to cherish the people we have in our lives for the time we’re allowed to spend with them.

Now, on to your video for “Lookin’ Like That” …

How did this video come together, including the concept and anything else you want to share with your fans? Give us an insight into your creative process.

It really is putting into image the spirit of the song. When Alberto, the director, and I talked about it, we wanted the video to convey the humor of the lyrics and its easy-going vibe. It took about a full day to shoot it with the crew, mostly the Crank team members! It almost felt like all of us were hanging out together at a bar, which is what the song is about. Aside, all the shots where you see me dancing and fooling around are exactly that!

Where was the video shot, and who produced it?

Alberto Marenco and the film team at Crank Media are behind this work of art! It was shot in Vancouver in a secret bar. I’ll let the fans try to find it.

Do you have any fun stories to tell us about the making of “Lookin’ Like That,” and what was the most special highlight for you?

The owner of the secret bar was a lovely man with many stories to tell us about many celebrities who had come to his venue. The place is full of pictures of very famous people, and it was really entertaining to hear him tell us about his favorite memories. He really made us feel comfortable because he was quite a character. He was charming and welcoming. It’s something and someone I’ll remember.

If any of you guess where this secret bar is, please let us at Canadian Beats know!

To finish this interview, a few more questions …

Congratulations on being a finalist on the 2019 hit show “La Voix” and the 75-date tour that followed. Tell us a bit about that experience.

It was an amazing experience that taught me a lot about myself, my expectations, and why I wanted to be in this industry. It was an eye-opener and not always an easy trip. I am grateful for the people who supported me in that journey, the fans and the friends, and I realized that there was still much to be done once it was over.

The tour you mentioned didn’t have anything to do with the show, because Laurence Jalbert invited me on her own tour, first as the opening act and then as part of the band. It was the beginning of a great adventure, and I can see now that it was my training as a performer. We played kinds of venues and festivals and in front of various audiences, making it very down-to-earth and organic.

Now that “Lookin’ Like That” is released, what does the future hold for you regarding getting the world to hear and catch hold of and love what your music is all about?

The future looks bright! I am more inspired than I’ve ever been before. I have just moved to BC to be in the heart of the action, and I’m working with an AMAZING team that makes it all possible. Hopefully, I will meet everyone on the road very soon as more singles are released in the coming months. I wish to invite everybody on board for this country music road trip of a lifetime!

Last but certainly not least. If you can have one thing that your fans could remember about you, what would it be?

Their support and faith in what we do, my team and I, is the greatest gift in the world.

Download or stream “Lookin’ Like That” here.

Watch the video for “Lookin’ Like That” here.

We at Canadianbeats.ca, thank you, Tommy, so much for taking the time for this interview. We wish you much success with all the great stuff that is coming your way. I’m very excited to see what the future holds for you.

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