Hardly Understood: An Interview with Charlie Korman

CHICAGO-BORN musician Charlie Korman joins us on Close-up Culture to tell us how he went from singing in his basement with a $20 microphone to releasing one of the hottest albums of the summer.

Q: Can you talk about your journey putting together the Hardly Understood EP?

A: HARDLY Understood was my first EP and it was about not just my journey through life, but me knowing what I wanted and fighting for a reality I wanted to create instead of living in the one everyone else lives in.

I, like everyone else, have been through hard times, but for some reason I have always been looked at as different so I decided to own being different. Just because you have met me or heard things about me doesn’t mean you know me as a person, some of us don’t even know ourselves, so judging people isn’t in my thought process.

Q: Options is a very catchy summer track and the lyrics relate to a past relationship of yours. What do you want to inspire with your music?

A: OPTIONS was such a fun song to make. I had a bit of a negative “situation” that was happening in my life at the time and I wanted to turn it into something inspirational and positive with my music. I wanted to inspire a different sound and idea that is relatable to anyone and everything listening.

Using songwriting and singing is a way for me to share with others. Its a fun and upbeat sound, I wanted people to know that I they aren’t alone in this journey and at the same time bob their heads with a smile on their face

Q: You worked with Grammy-nominated Marcos ‘Kosine’ Palacios of Da Internz. What did he bring to the project?

A: HE is amazing! Marcos is basically a big brother to me and incredibly talented. I was very lucky to work with him, he brings nothing but great vibes, creativity and a unique sound that compliments the music we make – such a crazy sound!

Q: What is your creative process like – both writing lyrics and when you start recording?

A: MY process for writing and singing is very broad. I’ve written songs in class, on planes, on the beach and other random places including the studio, where all of it comes together. Everything I write is a real story of my life behind a powerful feeling and I wanted to share it in my music.

When I record in the studio it’s also very random and creative. I/we sometimes just hear something being created and throw lyrics on it right away. We take our time waiting for the right vibe and work what we feel is best for the project to come together naturally.

Both ways are difficult though because I am a perfectionist and I sometimes get told it sounds great when I want to try again and again.

Q: What joy does music bring you? Is it therapeutic, bonding or something else?

A: MUSIC is probably the most therapeutic thing for me, no question asked! And the fact that I love doing it is just a plus, I can connect on so many different levels with not only myself, but with others.


Q: Can you tell us about your early years and how you have developed as a musicians?

A: IN my early years, I sang, all the time! Sang my heart out to any song I grew to or if my parents were playing it around the house or in the car. I always found some where and something to sing.

One day, my friend caught me singing, after my family told him how talented I am was. Eventually my friend had me sing for him and I was in a studio the next day with a $20 mic in my basement. I had passion and a dream and was going full steam ahead!

Q: What do you want to achieve as a musicians? Do you see live performances in your future?

A: AS a musician, I hope to achieve this never ending beautiful feeling of writing, singing and performing. It brings me so much happiness and I want to be able to share that same feeling with the world, where ever it might take me.

The journey of life no one knows, you just have to buckle in and hold on tight. With a lot of hard work, growth, passion, I can’t wait to better myself musically and personally.

I think live performances is definitely in my future. The world just has to be ready to laugh, cry and dance when I go on stage to these songs I hold so close to my heart.

Listen to Charlie’s music on iTunes


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