SINGAPORE – American singer-songwriter Charlie Puth became an instant star back in 2015 when his debut songs became monster hits.
That year, not only were his own songs, like Marvin Gaye, topping charts worldwide, he also sang with rapper Wiz Khalifa on See You Again- a song that at its peak was the most watched video on YouTube.
Achieving success almost overnight became both a boon and a bane for the 26-year-old, though.
“It’s overwhelming when you’re a new artist, you have to take some time for yourself and figure out what your song is going to sound like and what your album is going to sound like,” he says in a telephone interview ahead of his concert at The Star Theatre on Tuesday (Nov 13). “I had millions of people watching me and I had a lot of people judging me from the get go.”
The verdict from the fans have been mostly kind. Puth released his second album, Voicenotes, in May this year and it has already netted him four songs that have hit the charts, including the funk-pop number Attention.
“I’ve always wanted to put an album out like this,” he says of Voicenotes. “I’ve always wanted people to dance to an album like this and I hope I can make many albums that have the same effect on people, so we’re off to a good start.”
Puth finds time to compose new music even while he is on tour. He recalls writing two of his chart hits, Attention and his duet with Selena Gomez, We Don’t Talk Anymore, during his past Asian tour.
He admits to being a music nerd, more concerned about studio work rather than how well his songs are going to perform on the charts.
“I never think about how a song is going to do when I’m making it. All I ever think is, if it gives me a positive reaction then hopefully someone else will feel that same thing.”
It is no coincidence that a lot of his hit songs are collaborations with other music makers. Besides Gomez, other high profile pop singers that he duets with include Meghan Trainor and Kehlani.
He credits his alma mater, famed Boston music school Berklee College of Music, for instilling in the importance of teamwork in making music.
“Berklee taught me about networking and how important collaboration was. I would collaborate with so many people and develop my musical sound.”
He is looking forward to returning to Singapore, saying that it will be an even bigger show, production-wise, compared to his first show here back in 2016 at The Coliseum.
And like in his other concerts, Puth is set to whip out what is becoming his stage trademark, playing the keytar – a guitar/keyboard hybrid more commonly used by pop acts in the 1980s.
His was made by Roland Corporation – a Japanese manufacturer of electronic musical instruments – in 1988.
” To me that’s dope and fun, it lets me explore my inner nerd and showcase it on stage.”
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