Charli Haruhi is a singer, songwriter, and producer based in Hampton Virginia. Drawing from indie rock, electronic, prog,
and dance influences, Haruhi creates a diverse, immersive world of music all held together by one distinct vision. In their writing, Haruhi takes inspiration from their education in psychology and religion, and their fascination with the bridge connecting science and spirituality. Introspective, adventurous, and sometimes surprising, they explore
what it means to be a human being in a world which defies explanation.
94.7 The Link had the chance to ask the singer some questions.
What first got you into music?
The beginning of my relationship with music began in elementary school. I really enjoyed singing in the choir at church and joined my school chorus as well.
What made you come up with your stage name?
Charli is a nick name I came up for myself before I started creating music. When I was in middle school I wanted a nick name because I hated people butchering my real name (which is Selathia). There was a girl name Charli in my 6th grade class and it was the first time I met a girl Charli. I really loved how it seemed to be a gender neutral name, and I just really identified with it. Haruhi is the name of the main character of one of my favorite animes (Ouran High School Host Club). They don’t identify as a boy or a girl, and they were the first character (that wasn’t a villain) I saw that was non binary (like myself). Their character inspired me, and once I finally did start making music and began thinking about a name for myself, putting the two names together, Charli Haruhi, instantly felt right.
Whats your favorite fashion trend to wear ?
I love a lot of 70s and 80s fashion. I wearing really bright, vibrant colors. Also really love bell bottoms.
What was life like growing up?
Both of my parents were in the Army, so in my early childhood years I had to move around a lot. It was hard on me during the time but I’m definitely grateful for the experiences I had now. By the time I got to high school I started to deal with health problems that had started to appear. I was diagnosed with narcolepsy, along with vasovagal syncope, which, with other conditions, had my passing out a lot. I missed a lot of days towards the end of high school but I still made it out ok.
Tell us one of your best memories with music and without music?
When I was in high school I sang “Don’t Know Why” by Norah Jones while the rest of the jazz band played the accompanying music. It was the first time I sang with a live band. I remember feeling so thrilled and relieved to finally have some positive attention (my health conditions got me a lot of unwanted attention back then). My best memory not involving music is when I graduated from VCU’s Honors College with my Bachelors in Psychology (minored in religious studies). I had went through so many medical problems and health scares (I had to medically withdraw 3 separate times) that at one point I thought I’d never reach the finish line of graduation. So finally being able to graduate is definitely one of my best accomplishments and memories.
Who inspired you to make music?
I can’t say one person in particular inspired me, but more so seeing my friends and peers starting to do music. Seeing them pursue music made me realize that I could do it too.
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
Most of my songs are songs you can dance to. There are a lot of electronic, funk, r&b, and disco elements in there, along with house and trance vibes.
What is your creative process like?
I usually produce my beat first. Then I focus on creating a melody I like, usually by humming or just singing made up words. Once I created the exact melody I want I write my lyrics to fit inside the melody. My lyrics are mostly inspired by the things that I learn in my spiritual journey, and come the most naturally. I A lot of my music friends say my process is backwards but it works for me.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Sunny & Gabe! They are from around here and I have been a huge fan of there’s since before I started making music. It would be so amazing to work with them.
If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
Florence + the Machine
What is one message you would give to your fans?
Try your best to pursue your highest passion. Pursue your dreams! and enjoy the journey along the way. Enjoy the process.
What is the most useless talent you have?
I’m double jointed in my shoulders so I can technically use my arms as a jump rope.
What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?
I would have probably finished graduate school and became a mental health counselor.
Do you have any upcoming shows?
I’ll be performing on Happy Hour Live’s White Wall Session early February, the exact date hasn’t been set yet.
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
The internet has made certain aspects of the music business easier to navigate than ever before, artists can really use their creativity to grow their fan base. On the other hand, I have watched social media destroy lives and careers. So I think the internet can be as negative as it is positive
Which famous musicians do you admire?
Daft Punk, Florence Welch, Kid Cudi, Julian Casablancas, Willow Smith
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
A story would not be a story without conflicts and obstacles. Your life is a divine story. So there’s no need to define yourself by the conflicts and obstacles you have. Your story is your’s not your obstacle’s.
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
I would change how record deals get made. It’s kinda crazy to me that a lot of lately expect you to sign your masters over to them for money that you’re going to eventually have to pay them back any way.
What’s next for you?
I finished writing my first full length album last year so now I’m focused on recording it so I can release it this year. Also planning on finally doing live shows in 757! Starting to collaborate with artists in the area as well.
Stay tuned for 94.7 The Link in studio interview on air live interview with upcoming singer Charli Haruhi