Get to know our latest Center Stage artist, Charles Wiley.Charles has been playing music for over 20 years, starting out playing with his father and brother as a child. He wrote his first piece of music before he even became a teenager and has written hundreds more since, always working on improving his craft. Some of his music has now been featured on television shows like Oprah and The Dr. Oz Show, and he continues to compose music for television and film.
Charles studied musical theory at Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona, and later studied with drummer Gil Sharone, who is known for his work with Dillinger Escape Plan, OTEP, and Stolen Babies. More recently, Charles studied with legendary big band drummer Ed Shaughnessy, probably best known for his years as the drummer for The Tonight Show Band on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
Charles has a wide range of influences and experiences in the music world. His background and greatest strengths are probably in rock and progressive rock. Charles also enjoys composing his own solo pieces and working with other musicians and artists on creative projects, such as his wildly popular music video Amadeus. To Charles, the drum set is a musical instrument that he feels needs to be explored and tested further. "I'm not a drummer," he will tell you, "I am a musician who plays the drums."
Charles also spends a lot of time touring with other bands as well. Check out his website to see tour dates and for more information: http://www.charleswiley.net/
Describe your sound in one ramble-on sentence..
I try to take a unique blend of instruments, mix them together and hopefully create an enjoyable listening experience.
What inspires you to make music?
Sounds – whether the sounds are in my head or outside of it – they inspire me.
What aspect of making music excites you the most right now?
I am really excited that the music business is changing so rapidly; since the industry is in a constant state of flux, it forces me to constantly be thinking of different ways to get my music out there and make a living playing and making music. That’s exciting because I feel that now, more than ever, artists are in charge of their own path.
What are the biggest challenges you face as a musician?
That the music business is changing so rapidly; since it is constantly changing, it can definitely make it a little more challenging to map out the best course to reach a certain goal. But that’s also the fun part!
What's one of your all-time favorite recordings?
Tony Williams – Believe It
Name three people who have influenced your music, and tell us why- Living or dead.
Miles Davis – not only was he an amazing musician but he wasn’t afraid to try new things with his music. From album to album there was always something new and different. The point was the doing, not the outcome.
Rush – they aren’t a person but they are a band that I am extremely influenced by. I am influenced by them in the same ways as Miles; they keep evolving as musicians and as a band. Every album is different and they aren’t afraid to take chances and try new things.
Beaker, my cat: he’s not afraid to speak his mind no matter the time of day.
Do you have any recent or upcoming projects you'd like to share with us? Tell us about it.
Yes. I have a new single out, it is called “Voices” and it can be heard here:
What is your ideal or target audience?
I am trying to reach people that enjoy instrumental music in the rock, jazz fusion, new age and prog realm. If you’re a fan of Weather Report, Yanni or OSI my goal is the same; I want to engage an emotional response out of the listener. My music is a little varied; my EP “Transmission Complete” is definitely new agey, while “Amadeus” and “Voices” are more in the rock realm. That being said, I feel stylistically it all works together and fans of one will like the others. At least that is my hope!
Do you write/compose your own songs? Briefly describe your songwriting process..
I do write and compose my own music; if I am working on my own music then I basically start by noodling on my keyboard until I come up with an idea that I think is interesting. It’s usually sparked by the sound or patch I am playing in and then it just goes from there.
If I am co-writing then my process is a bit different; it may just start with bouncing ideas off of one another or we may start with one of our own ideas; and then just take it from there.
What do you like the most about Radio Airplay?
I love that Radio Airplay gives me the opportunity to connect and meet new fans of my music that I would not have had the chance to connect with. Radio Airplay provides a great platform that is easy to use while making it fun and engaging.
Here’s the link to my first single “Amadeus”
I will also be doing a video for my new single “Voices” that should be out by August.