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Charles Perry – The Genesis of Soul
Charles Perry – The Arrival
Friday, July 9th, Rock and Roll, Soul, and Funk singer, Charles Perry had his album release party at Harlem’s elegant and inspirational place, Gu Live.
A red carpet stretched from the entrance of Gu Live down to the streets of Harlem as family, friends, fans, and supporters packed the house. As the DJ played popular music from the eighties and nineties, the crowd eagerly awaited the introduction of artist, Charles Perry. The lights shined bright onto the dark stage much like a bioluminescent organism does in the deep sea. The flashing lights from photographers and smiles of spectators stretched across the venue. While monitors on the walls of the establishment caught every moment from the amusing outfits the Master of Ceremonies wore to the delicious cuisine being served by the waiters and waitresses.
A well groomed and fashion savvy Perry graced the floor occasionally with his assistant, peering through his flashy shades at the 500 plus people that came to see him. “It superseded our expectations. It was an overwhelming response. We expected 300 people, 100 people got turned away, we are grateful for the people that brought tickets,” said an appreciative and humbled Perry. In fact, a staggering 522 attendants piled into the event that night making history by having such a large crowd; a feat that even American Idol, Ruben Studdard could not accomplish at his show at Gu Live.
Before the album, ‘The Genesis of Soul’, the sold out shows, and supportive fans, Charles Perry, also known as the “Soul Super Hero”, was taking a more behind-the-scenes approach to the music industry.
Since he was eight years old, Charles has been singing his heart out and let him tell it, he started singing before he could talk. He started his career in a Baptist church doing Gospel music and has been in a total of nine choirs. No matter when or where he started to sing, his success has been 22 years in the making. With a persistent grind such as Perry’s, it explains the amount of supporters he had at the party. It is no surprise that he has built such a solid fan base, considering the fact that he has sang background for big names in the industry such as the late and legendary Michael Jackson, Usher, Whitney Houston, Jill Scott, Estelle, Marc Anthony, and Dave Hollister, as well as a host of others. In addition to singing for some of the greatest voices of our time, Charles also got involved in acting.
It is apparent that his ability to perform stems from a background in acting. Perry actually got his start in the world renowned musical “Mama I Want to Sing”, which starred Sherrley Caesar. With the powerful combination of a great voice and the ability to act, Perry found himself in a bidding war with labels. His talents had gained him great recognition and despite the efforts of A&R’s, Perry turned down seven record deals.
After being content with not being a solo artist for years, Charles finally said to himself that it was time for him to embark on his solo journey. It was his love for the fans and his eagerness to do things his way that pushed him to be a solo artist on a label and drop his first album. It was a humbling experience that he had with Luther Vandross, whom Perry has a great deal of respect and admiration for, that lead him to adopt the name, “Soul Super Hero”. Luther asked to meet up with Perry after a show and he exclaimed to Charles that he had “soul power”. It was that experience along with a comment that Wayne Brady made about one of his shows that made the title of the “Soul Super Hero”.
Hailing from the Planet Soul, the “Soul Super Hero” has been sent down by the Four Fathers, Otis Redding, James Brown, Sam Cook, and Marvin Gaye; to rid people’s ears of music that has lost its integrity over the years. Perry believes that a lot of musical content today does not equate to the content that listeners of the Four Fathers heard. As a result, he has made it an obligation upon self to bring people back to that time. Just like a super hero from a comic book, Perry has set out to save the people by using his music to touch their soul. “Spiritual soul food, that’s what I’m serving to people. I want to bring back the integrity,” said Perry.
The time had come for the fans at Gu Live to see Perry hit the stage. However, before his show, the crowd was warmed up by some seriously talented opening acts, such as April Owens, Nicki Darling, David Moses, Malik Heart who is a student of Perry’s, and Tiffany Stevenson, as well as many more. It was the great performances of these artists that set the tone for a great show and acted as a proof that the headliner, Perry, would definitely be the icing on the cake. “Its a crazy turn out, standing room only as you can see, which added some exposure for me as well,” said Tiffany Stevenson after her graceful solo performance.
The room lost the little bit of light that it had, while a deep voice echoed stating that “the Soul Super Hero was needed.” Like a flash Perry darted out onto the stage receiving heavy applause as he sported his newest all white blazer that was covered in black and white faces. His outfit as well as the ones worn by his models and back up singers commanded all of the attention. As his models seductively walked around peoples tables wielding his album, Perry took the time out to thank both the “haters” and his fans. After that the “Soul Super Hero”, found it fitting to begin his intense and intriguing performance. His powerful voice coupled with his live band astonished fans. From rolling around on stage to sipping on people’s drinks in the crowd, Perry began to show his comedic side that he attributes to his father. “My dad is my Richard Pryor,” said Perry as he reflected upon his childhood memories. Perry performed popular tracks from his album such as “Legs” and “Heaven’s Door”.
The song, “Heaven’s Door” speaks about love as well as the concept of life and the life after death, which are subjects that Perry has creatively chosen to raise awareness of in his music for the people. “A lot of people believe that I cannot do it, but I’m touching people with secular music,” said Perry. It had become clear that Perry’s voice is as big as his heart. He announced that despite the fact that on that night they were celebrating his birthday and album release, the event was raising money for the non-profit organization, Cutting for A Cure. Cutting for A Cure is an organization that helps with fighting Cancer. After about an hour of performing, the night had come to an end and friends and family gathered around Perry as he was wished a happy birthday.
Charles Perry has definitely shown a great deal of patience, after waiting the amount of time he did to drop a solo project. With time, Perry has been able to perfect his skill on all levels, which was evident. Now after spending a significant amount of time behind other heroes of people such as Michael Jackson and Usher, Perry the “Soul Super Hero” has stepped forward as the newest artist that will touch people with his music. “I’m not doing this for the money, I have been chosen, I’m anointed to sing,” said Perry. Now that he has released his album, Perry is working on a short film, comedy show, a “Soul Super Hero” cartoon, as well as a watch and sun glasses line. “I always take the attitude that I’m a nobody. I’m honored and grateful, I’m not a star I’m a spirit,” said Perry. It is that attitude that seemed to show during his performance and it will make sure that even for a super hero, the sky is the limit.