Social maker

Charlie Puth is still a hit-maker whether he tries or not | New

Candid might be the best word to describe Charlie Puth. The Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter shares a genuine approach to all aspects of his life, even if it’s often filtered through the isolating lens that is social media. On Twitter, he shares his unfiltered thoughts on other artists’ music. He posts shirtless selfies on Instagram. And on TikTok, he invites his fans into his creative process, sharing intimate behind-the-scenes looks at how he works in the studio. The openness of the 30-year-old artist naturally also extends to his art. “I’m a real person going through real things like you are,” he told MTV News in a phone call from Los Angeles. “The only difference is that I put a bit of rhythm into it.”

Puth is excited to discuss his third studio effort, Charly, out today (October 7), a collection that aims to make you “want to dance and cry” through candid memories of someone letting go of their past hurts. Originally from Rumson, New Jersey, Puth found his first success thanks to the virality of his videos on YouTube. After playing on Ellen’s show in 2011, he signed to DeGeneres’ label Eleveneleven. He released his first single, the soulful “Marvin Gayewith Meghan Trainor in 2015. Her first studio album Nine track mind dropped the following year, including the escape song “We don’t talk anymore” with Selena Gomez. Although the collection received a largely negative reception, subsequent projects fared much better. 2017 “How long” peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, and prior to its release, his latest effort had already garnered attention with “Left and rightfeaturing BTS’s Jungkook, amassing over 88 million global streams and 85 million video views to date. Today, it is Puth’s highest charting debut single.

Indeed, the singer once felt his work was driven by the need to crank out hit after hit, following the unexpected early success of his career-defining song “See You Again.” The pressure often left music created in a “last-minute rush,” he says, which set him apart from early collections like his 2016 debut album. Nine track mind. On this latest project, backed by Atlantic Records, he was given the time and support to explore his artistry in his own unique way – outdoors and in conversation with his fans – for the first time. “It was the perfect time to be honest about everything I had been through in the past two years,” he notes.

The musician took to TikTok to share videos of himself as he produced various tracks on the self-titled album. There are “Switch“, which sees Puth humorously navigate all we do to capture unrequited love, and”It’s hilarious“, who shares the pain of feeling betrayed by a breakup. Both were designed in real time with millions of fans watching. He opened up a dialogue about what he was going through, which made him realize the importance of community in creating art, as it infuses the process with deeper meaning. “I felt like the only way to write a song was to go and hide and come back with 12 songs ready to show the world,” he says. “Maybe it works for some artists, but I took a different approach. That way when people heard the final product, they felt like they were with me from the start.

Fan involvement in the creation of the album replaced the energy of concerts, which had been put on hiatus during the coronavirus pandemic, reinvigorating the songwriting process for him. As well as going through heartbreak while writing the record, Puth also wanted the “tempos to be obnoxious and danceable”, he says, similar to an early Phil Bailey record. Puth had long been fascinated by the artist’s use of drums, and his vocals fire up as he delves into the instrumental behind the single.”marks on my neck.” The drums, he says, are “in your face,” as is the lyrical content. “I wanted to make sure that all of these records had the drums in front of my voice and that the message of the song was loud and clear lyrically.”

Charly sees Puth exploring loss, longing and finding his way through it all, it all came from having conversations with himself. “With the pandemic, I couldn’t be around too many people or songwriters to write songs, so I had to talk to myself and think about things.” It gave birth”It smells like me” and “I don’t think I like it”, the last of which discusses heartbreak. When writing the album, Puth says the lyrics and feelings came first, whereas his previous work was driven by a youthful self-awareness, concerned about how he would be perceived. “I’m happy with these albums, but I was a very different person at 25,” he adds.

Alongside the musical journey of Charly came a staff. At the start of 2020, well into the process of creating music, Puth gave it all up. He released singles”Girlfriend” and “deceive you” in 2019 but decided not to include them and other material on the next recording. The artist was reeling from the end of two relationships and navigating the fallout of these romantic and platonic splits. This is reflected in “That’s hilarious,” which Puth revealed to 16 million fans on TikTok in February. “When I listen to it, it takes me back to the hardest time in my life when I couldn’t let someone go,” he said at the time. “Don’t give your heart to someone who still has a broken one.

“Smells Like Me,” written after breaking up with a partner, is equally intimate for Puth. He said the track was built around outrage. “Whether it’s a romantic relationship or a working relationship, if it doesn’t end ideally, you think about all the things you could have said to ‘own’ that person, to really get them back. .” Finding himself “resentful and restless” about things ending, Puth withdrew into himself and reflected on his feelings, ones that seemed to linger long after the relationship. “I found myself in my bed at night thinking ‘I hope they’re still clinging to me somehow’ and I can feel they are even though they don’t. don’t say.”

The music bridged the gap between Puth’s grief and the difficulty of getting his questions answered regarding his former flame’s feelings. It is here that a connection between the personal and the professional has been established for the musician. First, a lyric referring to an object from her partner came to mind, one who hopes a pillow carries her scent. Then he wanted to make it more personal, so he focused on something he and the former lover shared: a jacket. “I was hoping that same jacket smelled like me, not out of love, but out of resentment. It was very toxic and I regret thinking that, but a beautiful song came out of it.

For people to care about his personal life is not normal for Puth, as he thought he was only seen as a performer on the radio. Puth thinks it happened because of what he was broadcasting musically. “I was releasing music that was doing really well on the charts and people seemed to like it, which made me happy. But it really wasn’t about me. I’m selfish for the first time in my life, making songs that I don’t care if some of them don’t get on the radio. I feel like I have interesting things to say and I feel similar feelings to what people feel. Therefore, radio stations radio seem to be playing it more, with “Left and Right” debuting at No. 22 on July’s Hot 100 chart and No. 26 on the Global 200. Billboard graph in September.

For Puth, this album is about embracing growth and being able to heal ourselves from the wounds that life can give us. In the year it took the artist to make it, Puth went through some ups and downs, some of which caused him to question his purpose as an artist. Reflecting and growing from his experiences, “I’m just trying to prove that we are capable of healing ourselves,” he says. “People can create their own art that explains what they’re going through and color it with their personality.”