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CHARLIE FARLEY: DEBUT SPOTLIGHT
Charlie Farley began his musical journey in the tiny town of De Queen, Ark. By age 12, to help him cope with the death of his sister, he began writing poetry. As he nurtured his way with words, Farley discovered and started channeling the energy of early Country rap, drawing especially from the facility and attitude of Bubba Sparxxx.
By the time he was 16, Farley had filled stacks of notebooks with material and begun setting them to beats in a local recording studio. Eventually he decided to look into cutting an album, so he emailed Phivestarr Productions (J Fresh and DJ KO) to ask how much they’d charge for use of their studio. In May 2012, he was in their Atlanta studio, laying down 13 tracks in just two days.
With his debut album, Hog Heaven, available now from Average Joes/BackRoad Records, Farley claims his territory in the growing world of Country rap – and speaks out for its redemptive potential. “Music is missing artists who talk about real-life things, stuff that really goes on in life, the hard times, the good times,” he insisted. “Not everything is about a party. … I really do love all the styles coming together, and I think the more open-minded people are about it, the better it will get.”
What CD is in your stereo?
“I rarely listen to CDs since I discovered Bluetooth. I just listen to everything off of my phone while I’m driving now. Some of the artists I listen to are George Jones, Eminem, Shinedown, Nelly and Garth Brooks.”
Who is your dream duet partner?
“Would have to be Garth or Collin Raye. Collin was actually born in the same town that I grew up in.”
What do you sing in the shower?
“Most of the time I’m singing new tunes. New ideas normally start coming to me while I’m freshening up.”
What’s your pet peeve?
“People loudly crunching ice or chips or talking with a mouth full of food drives me absolutely crazy.”
What song do you wish you had written?
“‘Dirt Road Anthem.’ I knew that type of song would be a hit. Everyone I grew up with in southwest Arkansas listened to rap, and they listened to Country. So it was only a matter of time before the two elements combined. I wish I would have written it, but Colt (Ford) and Brantley (Gilbert) did an amazing job. Then Jason (Aldean) did as well.”
What word or phrase do you find yourself saying over and over again?
“‘Ain’t it, though.’ My brother got me saying that years ago and I guess I will say it forever.”
What mode of transportation do you prefer?
What moment in your life would you relive if you could?
“I would have to relive two. That would be the days my two kids were born. I was young and dumb back then, and if I could erase the alcohol and replace it with more memories of them I would be happy.”
Do you have a lucky charm?
“Nah, but I need to get one. That way when things don’t go my way I can have something to blame it on. HAHA!”
What do you hope people will say about you when they look back on your life?
“‘There ain’t but ONE Charlie Farley.’ I’ve always been different and want to be remembered that way. I don’t like genres in music because everyone is different. We are all unique in our own way, so we shouldn’t categorize our music or our styles.”
What would you put in your personal time capsule, for future artists and audiences?
“My notepads. That way, people could see the growing process that I went through and that all artists go through. You don’t just wake up great. I’m not saying I’m great by any means because I am far from it but I am a lot better than I was when I first started writing poems and songs back when I was a kid.”
Where was your first gig?
“My first gig was in Texarkana, Texas, at a Relay For Life (American Cancer Society) event. Me and my producer then, Russ Cain, stayed up the night before drinking and making the ONE song I had to perform with my buddies Lyzation and Flownman. I got onstage that night and didn’t remember ONE lyric. I just turned around and started dancing like I wasn’t supposed to be singing. Not too many people get a second chance at a first performance, but I did. LOL!”
What can you tell us about yourself that we’d never guess about you?
“I’m really down-to-earth and laid back. I think most people listen to my music and expect me to be this cocky or arrogant guy. I’m the complete opposite of that. I remember my mom telling me when I was young, ‘Son, you ain’t better than nobody else but ain’t nobody else better than you.’ I took that to heart then and still do now. I treat everyone the way I would want to be treated whether they are 80 and broke or 13 and rich.”
Watch Charlie Farley shoot his video for “Backwoods Boys” here: