Entretien avec Charlie Winston

Suite à son passage à Paris pour sa tournée « Square 1 », Charlie Winston a eu la gentillesse de repondre à quelques unes de nos questions ! Il commence une tournée intimiste européenne dont vous pouvez retrouver les dates juste ici : 

Bonjour Charlie, tout d’abord comment vas-tu ? Ta tournée se passe bien ? 
Hello Charlie, first of all how are you ? Is your tour going well ?

I am pretty well thank you !

The tour before the Christmas break was superb, the audiences came out in numbers and gave us all a warm reception. This coming year I have already been working hard on my Solo performance as I am heading out solo for a new challenge for a few shows as its been such a long time. Also I am introducing 2 new Band members for the festival shows and some others as both Danny and Sam have gone to pursue their own projects. They do so with my best wishes.

Tu as une vraie facilité pour communiquer avec les gens sur scène d’où vient cela ? 
You have a real ease to communicate when people on stage. Where does it come from ? 

I would say that in part that is my DNA. As its been written about often my parents were performers, my brother and sister are both artists and even my eldest brother plays drums. But I also have worked hard over the years on my stage craft. It cant be taken for granted. But I do feel comfortable on stage. Especially because in the industry now it is the only place left for an artist to be in control, so you must make the most of that.

Tu as fait le choix de faire participer les gens à la sélection des chansons à interpréter sur tes réseaux sociaux ? Cela t’a-t-il inspiré ? Etais-tu d’accord avec eux ? 
On social networks, you asked people to participate in the choice of the song to be interpreted. Did it inspire you ? Did you agree with them ? 

For touring this album I wanted to review all my songs since the beginning (Square 1) and to know that I remember the ones that people love, in case they ask. From that exercise, i discovered that a lot of my fans like it when I sing the more intimate tunes.

Revenons à la sortie de ton album, il n’était pas prévu pour sitôt mais un problème de santé t’as cloué au lit te permettant de te consacrer à l’écriture est-ce bien cela ? 
Let’s get back to the release of your album, it was not planned for so soon but a health problem confined you to bed allowing you to dedicate yourself to the writing, is that right ? 

Well that is partly right. I had actually planned to leave music for a lot longer. I needed a break as I had not really taken a proper break in 10yrs so you need to live to have stuff to write about. After some personal and family health issues it forced me and us to live through quite a tough time and at that moment I was indeed confined to my bed pretty much. So while laying on my back the guitar just seemed to find its way to my hands and the pen too. The outcome is my album, Square 1.

Tu t’es beaucoup inspiré de l’actualité politique et sociologique pour cet album, dans une continuité de Curio City et notamment Say Something ? 
You were inspired a lot by the political and sociological current events for this album, is it as the continuity of Curio City and in particular Say Something ?

I wouldn’t say I think, or write politically. Sociologically, perhaps, but I’m not so sure. For me, a song must have the element of human experience. It’s that which I am more interested in, and it has always been that way. On Hobo, I wrote in your hands – the story of a African refugee, whom I had met while travelling. Also, Generation Spent was taking about feeling lost in such a material world. So on this album, songs like Losing Touch and Airport are the same approach, but it all comes from something which can be applied to the individual, before the masses.

Par contre on retrouve des tonalités qu’on retrouvait plus dans ton premier album ? 
On the other hand we find tones that we could hear more on your first album, is that what you wanted ?

I think by the nature of the album being called Square 1 (a return to the beginning), there was always going to be a reflection on my past works and to a place where things just seemed more simple. The Album took a very organic way to come to being. We jammed the songs until they informed me what they should be.

Square 1 signifie revenir à la case départ, est-ce un sentiment général de notre monde ambiant ou un sentiment personnel ? 
Square 1 means going back to the starting point, is it a general feeling on our current world or a personal feeling ?

I would say that it’s more a persona one, but everything small can be magnified.

Tu as dit cette très belle phrase lors de ton concert à Paris « je ne veux pas être une victime mais une victoire », cette idée représente bien la totalité de l’album ? 
You said this very beautiful phrase during your concert in Paris « I do not want to be a victim but a victory », does this idea represent the whole album ?

Absolutely. It is the seed of the album and the root of my reason to be. Self pity, as good as it may feel in the moment, is a destructive, ugly emotion. We only lose out by complaining that life is not fair, missing out on all the beauty. Yes, life is hard, but it’s worth it. Gratitude helps understand why. Being grateful is giving love to my inner world and, consequently, my outer world too. It is also taking responsibility for my life and finding where the real strength lies. I’ve done a lot of work on myself to help me get there, from the Wim Hof Method, to Dr Sarno’s mindbody medicine, to writing Square 1. Songs are mantras after all, especially when singing them every day.

Tu es heureux de l’accueil réservé à cet album ? 
Are you happy of the welcome you are getting for this album?

Very much so. The public and my fans have shown great support as always. What I am most pleased with is the emotional resonance that people are picking up on.

Le premier single, The Week-End, est très différent du reste de l’album pourquoi choisir de mettre cette chanson en tête de l’album ?
The first single, The weekend, is very different from the reste of the album, why did you  choose to put this song ahead of the album ? 

For me, it’s not so different. If you mean not so deep as the other songs, I understand it looks that way, but it came from a much deeper place: Through the challenging times I had with the  health of my family during 2017, there was a lot of suffering and many reasons for life to be deep and complex. However, whenever we played music, my kids would start dancing, even at 7am. One big lesson I have learned in these last years is that being a complicated adult is necessary to get through life, but  also, lightness and forgetting all of those complexities is essential to good health and happiness. In fact, I put it at the top of the pyramid, so releasing the The Weekend first was a kind of declaration and reminder to myself, that I should never forget to have fun and be light, as well as deep and complex.

Je trouve d’ailleurs le clip magnifique, entre différents univers, c’est très cinématographique … As-tu écrit seul ce clip ? 
Moreover, I find the video magnificent, between various universes, it is very cinematic … Did you write (the idea for) this video alone ?

Thank you. It was fun to make but long shooting days. The Director Ian Roderick Gray and myself went through so many possibilities for the video. I know I wanted there to be dance and I wanted to have that in a way that was a little different as it seems most videos have dancing in them nowadays. The video has been nominated for quite a few awards which is always nice. Especially when a lot of effort is put into it.

Serais-tu inspiré pour du cinéma ? 
Would you be inspired for cinema ? 

Yes, very much so. I worked in the Prince Charles Cinema (2000-2002) – an independent cinema in Trafalger Square, London. Since then, I have had a great love to world cinema and an aspiration to work in it.

Y a-t-il un sentiment particulier à chaque concert ? 
Is there a particular feeling at each concert ?

A very good, intense feeling. I am lucky to have such

Que voudrais-tu transmettre à tes spectateurs sur scène ? 
What would you like to transmit to your audience this evening ?

Be the victory and not the victim …

Merci par ces réponses !
Thanks for these answers !

Thank you too. It is always a pleasure.