Charley chatted to QNews to discuss her musical rise and embracing her queer identity.
Charley is the new pop sensation on the Australian music scene. After releasing her debut EP Timebombs this year she was nominated for Breakthrough Artist at the 2023 ARIA Awards.
This year was also an important year for another reason. The Gold Coast-born and raised singer very much embraced her queer identity through her music including tracks like Worst Taste in Girls.
We chatted to Charley about her big 2023 and navigating a new queer life in front of her hundreds of thousands of followers.
Congratulations on a huge 2023 all centred around the release of your EP. What was the reception like for Timebombs?
Thank you! The reception for my first baby, Timebombs, has been like the biggest, warmest hug. The whole EP is centred around heartbreak, so I think it’s been able to relate with people, especially queer people, as there’s always more room for queer representation out there.
I’m very grateful to have people support my music and one of my favourite parts is meeting the people at shows or random events, and hearing their story that relates to the songs. Music is one of the best ways to connect.
You’ve had some massive achievements this year including the EP, touring, being featured in Times Square and also an ARIA nomination, do you have a personal favourite of your many accomplishments of 2023?
It’s been a wild one. It’s actually very hard to choose. One of my favourite moments that’s happened has been connecting with my supporters this year a lot more than others.
I feel a lot closer to them all and feel and just appreciate how much time and energy they spend on making it to shows in different states and showing their love for my music.
You’ve gone on a journey discovering your queer identity and all in front of your online audience, what has that experience been like?
This has been one of the craziest things as I’m not sure I would’ve come out as soon as I did if I wasn’t releasing music about being queer! In saying that though, it’s been accepted really well and I’ve found my community probably a lot quicker, compared to if I hadn’t come out as quick and as open. I think it’s so important to just be yourself.
I’ve also realised most of my audience, pre-outing, was queer. So I think it was always meant to happen, I just didn’t know it yet.
Do you feel you’ve found your queer identity now?
I think I have, although Troye Sivan has definitely thrown a spanner in the works…
Some of your songs are about heartbreak and relationships, how is your love life at the moment?
I’m really trying to find myself through being single at the moment. I’ve been through enough chaos within the last year that has made me really wanna just experience life by myself and with friends right now.
We saw that you had to kiss your best friend for your music video Timebomb – how awkward was that?
It was so awkward at first, but after the second or third time we had to run through it, it was fine. Bri and I have been through a lot together for the last seven years of knowing each other.
So this music video is going to be the funniest thing to have when we’re 80 years old and to remember everything we used to put ourselves through back in the day.
You recently toured with G Flip, what was it like travelling and performing alongside them?
G just has such great energy and the way they perform is so themselves. It really helps when the main artist is comfy and has great energy as it affects the whole touring party and sets the tone for the whole show.
I loved these shows as their audience are my people so it felt like home while performing. Their whole team is just beautiful as well so I had the time of my life.
You performed at Popchops this year which is a heavily LGBTQIA+ audience, are you becoming a gay pop icon?
I love the Popchops fam! They’ve supported me since I started releasing music. I guess time will tell if ya’ll wanna call me that, but I’ll take it!
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You tried out for Eurovision by competing in Australia Decides, would you consider having another go?
I’d love to go to Eurovision, even if it was to just watch it! I think for the time being, I don’t have any plans to go back on the show yet, but maybe in the next couple of years I might want to do it again, if I have the right song. I loved being on the show so much, it was such a wild experience.
What does Charley like doing outside of music?
For a start, I love sleeping. I love going on walks and hanging with friends. I spend most of my time doing music, so my release is either hanging with my friends or reading and cocooning at my house.
What can we expect from Charley in 2024?
I’m so excited for 2024. I have some tours coming up, and of course working on the next project which will be a bigger body of work. I’m so grateful for everything that has happened in 2023, so I’m even more excited to see what will happen within a year from now.
You can follow Charley on Instagram @charleysux
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