American heartthrob to woo Phnom Penh

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After his YouTube videos went viral in 2009, Charlie Puth is now unstoppable in making music that defines him and his life. Photo: Reuters

‘One Call Away’ hitmaker Charlie Puth, on his Voicenotes tour, is set to conquer the big stage at Koh Pich tonight. Through Smart Axiata, the 26-year-old American singer, songwriter and producer will take us to his journey in music. Charlie Puth, who first made a name through his viral YouTube covers, has grown to become one of the most sought-after young American artists. But before we hear Charlie Puth scream ‘Hello, Phnom Penh’ tonight, Agnes Alpuerto talks with the talented star as he shares his excitement to sing for and with his Cambodian fans.

Good Times2: It’s going to be your first time in Cambodia where thousands of your fans are waiting to see you and sing with you. How do you feel about that?

Charlie Puth: Every time I go to a new territory or new country, I feel good and I get new ideas for new songs. I’m not only excited to play for that many people, but also to see what my creativity will bring while being in a place where I’ve never been to before.

Good Times2: What song from your latest album, Voicenotes, would you dedicate to your Cambodian fans?

Charlie Puth: It’s hard to pick just one. I would love that when I get to Cambodia and do the show, maybe I’ll sing them all. Maybe all the songs?

Good Times2: How different is your Voicenotes album from your 2016 release, Nine Track Mind, in terms of style and musicality?

Charlie Puth: In terms of style, it’s a little bit more genuinely me. I produced this album from start to finish. When making this, it made me think of the kind of music I really grew up with. And I thought that I had to make an album just like that.

Good Times2: How keen are you in writing songs and choosing the tracks for your album?

Charlie Puth: Well, I’m nothing without it. There’re no songs without me putting effort to it. I genuinely enjoy producing the record and writing songs because it kind of feels like I can’t do music without me personally producing it.

Good Times2: What does it take to become successful and stay relevant in an ever-evolving industry such as music and entertainment?

Charlie Puth: The answer to that is to always make music that’s genuine to yourself. Never just follow trends or pretend or make a half-baked thing. Since the very beginning, you just need to be true to yourself because as humans we evolve but music will always stay so let it speak to you.

Good Times2: The music industry in Cambodia is a little too young compared to US and other countries, but it surely is moving forward. Can you give our rising local artists some advice on how to effectively use music to express themselves?

Charlie Puth: I think the music industry in Cambodia may be very young, but it looks very exciting. I’m happy to see artists beginning to grow.

Good Times2: Will there be any chance you’d write a song for Cambodians and shoot the music video here?

Charlie Puth: Every song that I write is kinda about me in a way. But I am pretty sure some of my Cambodian fans have similar experiences in their lives and can relate to my songs, in some way. So my songs are kinda also about them, about my listeners.

Good Times2: What’s the song of your life right now?

Charlie Puth: All my songs, especially on Voicenotes. What’s interesting is that, not too many people know this, all the songs I wrote here are similar to each other. If you listen to each of it, you’ll hear melodies and you’ll realise that they are kind of married to each other. That’s why it’s really difficult to pinpoint just one song because I really focused on making the entire value of the work rather than just one song and seeing how it goes. They’re all kind of tied together.

Good Times2: You’ll be celebrating your birthday exactly a month from your concert in Phnom Penh. What do you wish to get on your birthday?

Charlie Puth: I just wish for everybody to be a little bit nicer to each other.


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