Suffolk singer set to release debut single with Jamiroquai drummer
Matthew Kaltenborn 2017
Having conquered her own mental health demons, one singing star from Suffolk has penned a debut single about her recovery.
Charlie Emmeline, 26, who grew up in Bury St Edmunds, was diagnosed with clinical depression while working as an actress in London.
Charlie, born as Charlotte Palmer, worked in the studio with Jamiroquai drummer Nick van Gelder on new track Game of Blame.
“I met Nick through a friend of a friend and he was doing the music for a play I was in the cast of,” she said.
“I asked him to collaborate with me on the music for a play I had written. So we jammed and he put on this backing track he had written, gave me a set of headphones and a microphone.
“He went to the back of the studio and had a fag, and in 12 minutes we had Game of Blame.
“It was very therapeutic and cathartic. I had no preconceived lyrics or melody. It was like going into therapy but the mic was the therapist.
“If you listen to the lyrics it’s like a massive apology to myself – perhaps I hadn’t really looked after myself as I was carrying around feelings of guilt and shame. And that just poured out of me.”
Charlie, who studied for a degree in musical theatre at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London, added: “I told Nick that we couldn’t release a 12-minute track but Nick said ’yes we can’.
“I managed to get him to bring it down to seven minutes 37 seconds but he wasn’t willing to go any shorter because it’s a dialogue. It’s a conversation.
“It’s not a three minute Ariana Grande track so I’ve put my trust in him. We’ve now made a video too in which you go through quite a journey.”
During Charlie’s recovery she said she found it a fascinating process, especially in regards to the people she met.
“One person I met had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and I have never come into contact with that before so I wrote a play, The Illness Should Attend, which was a very experimental piece of theatre with an operatic musical theme and lots of live vocals,” she said.
After living in London while working as an actress, Charlie relocated back to Suffolk and moved to Felixstowe.
And following on from her own health experiences, she decided on a complete career change.
She is now in the mental healthcare profession and has worked at the Woodlands mental health unit at Ipswich Hospital since July last year, having previously worked with children teaching them the arts with singing and acting.
She went to the University of Oxford and completed a six-month course in psychodynamic psychotherapy in January 2016.
Charlie said: “My role involves using art and creativity on the mental health ward.
“It’s incredibly rewarding. As long as I am always learning and creating, then I’m at my happiest and best.
“It comes with its challenges. It can be a very chaotic environment and it’s all about self care and looking after yourself and making that a priority.”
While studying at Mountview, Charlie was personally selected by musical theatre superstar Elaine Paige OBE.
She was picked from hundreds of students who auditioned to be mentored by her.
“Elaine gave us a list of songs to audition with but I didn’t really connect with any of them so I decided to go in with my own choice from a fairly unknown production,” Charlie added.
“I thought there was no way that Elaine Paige was going to pick me, and then she did!”
Charlie’s reward was to perform one of Broadway’s best known songs, If My Friends Could See Me Now, on the Elaine Paige Show on television.
Asked if she would like to work with Suffolk’s own singing star Ed Sheeran, Charlie said: “If Ed wants to jam, my front door is always open for him. I would love to jam with him. Who wouldn’t?
“For me, I’m living my dream in that I’m working with lots of awesome musicians.
“It’s great to have people listening to and enjoying my music.”
Charlie has been busy planning her May wedding to fiancé Matthew Kaltenborn, 27, after he proposed under the Northern Lights in Iceland in October 2016.
Charlie’s single will be available to download on iTunes and Spotify on March 2.
Follow her on Instagram to keep up-to-date.