Photo: Press

Charles has creatively joined forces with Brother Zulu to perform new single ‘Boyfriend’ at the iconic Abbey Road Studios in London, in partnership with GAY TIMES.

A sweet cacophony of smooth melodies, played over a timeless groove, this new collaboration brings together two complementary rising stars in the world of funk.

Charles puts a contemporary twist on old-time classic funk. He is known for his effortless vocals and unexpected versatility across the genre, with a range that spans ballads to dance-worthy grooves.

Brother Zulu sympathetically merges “the roots of soul music, all while adding their ‘Future Soul’ twist”.

‘Boyfriend’ was inspired by a real-life experience Charles had when working as a waiter.

“A group of young women were celebrating a friend’s birthday and one kept giving me the eye,” he says. “When the ladies left to go home, one decided to slip me her number, written on the back of the receipt it said “call me”. Little did she know that I’m actually gay.

“So, I decided to write a track about how I thought she would imagine the relationship to be if we were together. The first verse coming from her perspective and finishing it in the second verse with mine and how actually we would just be sisters getting our nails done and chatting shit.”

Although the story may have pertained to Charles, the execution of the song was a collaborative one. Brother Zulu explains how “the track started when me and Alex were in the studio. I had recently recorded a podcast episode with Charles and was blown away by his vocals.

“I started the session by trying to impersonate Charles’ amazing low tones. Boy he can go low and I mean real low. Luckily after sending a demo to Charles he was keen to be a part of it. Writing the lyrics together was definitely one of the funniest experiences I’ve had in the studio.”

Watch Charles & Brother Zulu’s performance of new single ‘Boyfriend’ below.

Charles & Brother Zulu are the next exciting edition to be presented from the Abbey Road Equalise for Pride, a series of exclusive performance films in association with GAY TIMES that illuminate a diverse range of queer voices across music and the wider creative arts.

The series will continue spotlighting emerging artists in music and the creative arts through performances and interviews filmed at Abbey Road and Angel Studios.

Equalise for Pride continues Abbey Road Studios’ history and vision of celebrating creativity and queer expression. You can catch up with the series so far with Baby Queen’s performance of ‘Dream Girl’, L Devine’s performance of new single ‘Slippin Away’ and Tom Rasmussen’s live rendition of ‘Street Violence’.

Icons who have previously recorded at Abbey Road Studios include The Beatles, Lady Gaga, Frank Ocean, Amy Winehouse, Little Simz, Adele, Brockhampton, Sam Smith and Florence + The Machine.

“Over the last four years, Abbey Road Equalise has sought to inspire and empower under-represented groups exploring a career in music,” said Mark Robertson, Head of Brand & Communications.

“We’ve presented free workshops and mentoring, filmed studio sessions and more, whether via our annual events for International Women’s Day or a special event for International Transgender Day of Visibility in 2021.

“For Pride 2023, we wanted to create a season of films to showcase and elevate some of the brilliant queer artists and creatives forging their own unique path.”

Harmony Marsh, Digital Manager and member of Universal Music’s Pride Network, added: “We’re delighted to present this series of intimate performance films during Pride season, to serve as an homage to remarkable artists and a profound embrace of their queer identities.

“Our intention for the series has been to celebrate these artists foremost for their brilliance, whilst also shining a light on their queerness and personal journeys as LGBTQ+ individuals.”

Watch Charles’ interview for Abbey Road Equalise below.