The inspirations behind Charbel’s ‘Passionfruit’
18 year old CHARBEL might be barely able to legally have a drink, but his age does not define him, and this year saw him release his second album. Having been in the pipeline since 2015, Charbel wrote from a place of raw pain, and because of this, was riddled with insecurities as he got further and further along in his creative journey. This is completely understandable and relatable- as we open ourselves up more and more, the anxiety that comes with this openness can become almost too much to handle, and Charbel nearly deleted the record entirely.
Thankfully, he didn’t, and went onto drop the album last week in all its glory. Titled Passion Fruit, it’s a raw and vulnerable snapshot into the pain behind Charbel‘s experiences, underpinned with Frank Ocean, Blood Orange, Pharrell and even D’Angelo influences to create an electronic and RnB soundscape. Having worked with the likes of Kid Pharaoh, Rei So La, and his sister Jessicca, Charbel is on the rise, and the ambition that is on display here in Passion Fruit has well and truly paid off in his sophomore release. According to him, strange fruit must be allowed to grow.
To get to know him a little better, we had a quick chat with him about his top five influences behind the record. Keep up to date with him on Unearthed here!
WWE ATTITUDE ERA
While writing this project I got back in touch with things I loved as a kid, and as a result, I began watching classic Attitude Era WWE. One wrestler that really stood out to me and really inspired me was Mankind (Mick Foley). He was my favourite as a kid. I actually wrote ‘Courtside’ while watching his match with the Undertaker.
I grew up playing all the best Nintendo classics! From Super Mario World to Ocarina Of Time. Playing video games when I was young made for very fond memories and really inspired me to create a project that truly captures myself. While creating this project I played many classic Nintendo games that I think helped me creatively with songwriting and creating a concept for the album.
STEVIE WONDER – IN SQUARE CIRCLE
This album is so awesome. Everybody has that one artist they truly love and identify with, and for me, that is Stevie Wonder. He has always been a very important artist to me. He makes music I could only dream of making. In Square Circle really helped me through some tough times and inspired me a lot in writing as well as production. With beautiful synthesisers & glorious chords, Stevie Wonder and this amazing album are a huge inspiration to me and this project.
DRAGON BALL Z
I have always been a big DBZ fan and admire the colourful animation. The animation really inspired the first half of the album. The main inspiration for the song ‘Blow’ was the Nimbus Cloud that Goku rides.
I wanted this album to be a lot like the fruit itself. The more you open into a passionfruit the more funky and tangy it gets! That’s how I want people to feel when listening to this album.
Passion Fruit is out now.
All images supplied by Charbel.