Much has changed since alternative R&B singer Charity, née Charity Ward, started playing guitar at the age of 13 under the tutelage of a folk guitar teacher who introduced her to the work of India Arie. At first, Charity’s work was reminiscent of Arie’s – inspiring, encouraging and optimistic.
Since then, Charity’s has evolved from folk songs and inspiration to an alternative R&B space merged with influences from folk, gospel, pop and trap music.
“You hear I was brought up in church,” she said. “You hear the gospel [in] the. You hear a lot of different corners of my music education coming to the center, and sometimes it’s hard to tell what that is. ”
But that doesn’t stop the artist from making his way into the music industry. As a young singer, Charity often found herself performing in talent shows and small concerts in the city of Detroit. The response of these performances is one of the influences that solidified singing and songwriting as its “calling”.
“[My guitar teacher] once said to my mother, “Charity isn’t just going to sing, it’s going to sing!” “”, She recalls.
In college, Charity moved to Tennessee to attend Tennessee State University, where she studied music full-time and continued to perform on stages around the city.
It wasn’t until her sophomore year of college that she decided to take a break from her graduate studies to pursue her passion full-time in Detroit. So she hopped on a plane, returned to Motor City, and hooked up with Drake Phifer of Urban Organic Lifestyle Marketing, LLC.
“[Phifer] is a pioneer … in terms of bringing R&B and neo-soul to the city and providing opening slots and performance opportunities for artists in Detroit to share stages with them, ”says Charity . “Drake has been so instrumental in my creation of a name and reputation in Detroit.”
The following years consisted of performance after performance with R&B legends like Eric Roberson, Angie Stone, Eric Benét and Lalah Hathaway. After some time playing in the big leagues, she decided to go back and finish her studies. But Charity said she felt frustrated at how little space she felt for a girl like her to play.
“In Nashville, with a guitar in your hand, it looked like you had to be in certain spaces that I didn’t want to be locked in,” Charity said. “So I wasn’t extremely productive when I was there, and I was always fighting people over Detroit. I was always defending Detroit to the point that I was ready to scratch someone’s eyes. about it. I realized this was going to happen. from this overcompensating of my guilt of “I’m supposed to be in Detroit.” ”
Charity returned with the intention of creating music for Detroit, Detroit. Three years, an EP and two singles later, Charity resides in the western part of Detroit, preparing for a busy fall season as she plans to release a brand new single, visuals and a new album. But it hasn’t been easy for a millennial musician making music in Detroit.
“I kind of came back with this thought that Detroit is this wide open road,” Charity said. “But Detroit, like many other black cities, is lacking in resources. So the same way we see our school system and our students struggling because there is a lack of resources, the same way we see our school system and our students struggling because there is a lack of resources. there are fewer grocery stores in our communities, there is less work to work with as an artist. There are fewer venues, there are fewer shows, there are fewer managers, there are fewer booking agents. So it’s a space you have to navigate and be creative. ”
But obstacles haven’t stopped this millennium from producing songs that embody its own experience. In fact, they only provided lyrical inspiration for his piece, “Millennials.”
“My student loans are about fifty racks now / And I’m considering moving packages now,” she sings. “Heard niggas flex hard on the internet / minimum wages, missing payments, life check to check / I still have this dream / idiot of me / Thought I would be 21 / The economy don’t screw me up / but I know I’m not the only one. ”
The power behind these relatable lyrics is the grater of an organ with familiar gospel sounds and drums.
“My father is a preacher and my mother is a devout woman of faith, so I grew up in church,” Charity says. “I grew up in a Baptist missionary church, so there are some very puristic traditional gospel music themes that you hear in music, like the organ. I try to imbue my work with what works best. . ”
Other songs, like “Black Magic”, are a celebration of Blackness, which is funky with a pop structure: an assertion that whatever you are told, you are magic. In the fall, a brand new single called “More Cake” tells the story that there is more cake than wedding cake – that there is more to aspire, that there is more to celebrate, than there is. There is more to base your value on than a man who wants to marry you.
“It calls into question the fact that we really don’t celebrate a woman’s accomplishments as much as we do, that doggone engagement ring,” Charity said.
The visuals for “More Cake” will debut after the single’s initial release date of September 13, and the highly anticipated Call for tenders The EP is slated for release in October.
“I couldn’t be more excited to finally put all the work in and talk about it and everyone has access to it,” Charity said. “My hope is that the music and the quality of the music and the conversation it creates will turn into many media and performance opportunities in Detroit – ultimately, nationally and internationally.”
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