Charlie Winston won in 2010 the European Border Breakers Award for the best British artist in Europe. His debut Hobo and eponymous single went on to top the official charts in France, and the album went platinum. His catchy songs have been used in commercials and TV series. Charlie’s image inspired various fashion brands; this British busker and troubadour, however, is not just a well-dressed songwriter: he also directs the attention at poignant environmental and social issues. He was supposed to perform at Pohoda last year but cancelled the tour due to personal reasons. In a short video last April, he outlined the reasons why he wanted to have a break from playing, and he slowly disappeared in the water at the end of the video. On 1 January, he published a photo showing him coming out of the water. We are delighted that Charlie's return to the scene means also his Slovak premiere at Pohoda 2018.
Charlie Winston gained some popularity in 2007, when Peter Gabriel invited him to tour with him around Europe. He also allowed him to use his own personal studio where Charlie recorded some tracks, and it was the combination of these records and ones he recorded at Londonʼs M17 that became the basis of Charlieʼs platinum debut Hobo (2009). The album, as well as the eponymous title track, was a great success in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and Canada. The debut was also praised by Nick Barraclough of BBC who wrote it would have been a loss for the British to have Winston on the list of artists who only cracked it abroad, and he added: “though he shouldn’t really complain: euros buy yachts just as easily as pounds”. Charlieʼs genuine outfit brought him to the attention of fashion icons such as Jean-Paul Gaultier, Trussadi, and Jean-Paul Goude – the latter one used him in an advert for Galleries Lafayette, the biggest fashion mall in France. The GQ magazine declared him in 2012 the best dressed man in France. Charlieʼs tracks have been used in commercials (the cover of the track “I'm a Man” in a VW Polo ad) and TV series (“She Went Quietly” in Greys Anatomy). In September 2010 in Paris, he and Patti Smith headlined a global telecast for the international day of peace Peace One Day with Jude Law and Sharon Stone.
In 2012, Charlie released his second album Running Still, in cooperation with producer Tony Berg (Beck, At The Drive-In) and star choreographer Ryan Heffington (Arcade Fire − ‘We Exist’, Sia − ‘Chandelier’). The album was recorded again as “nomad” in studios wround the globe. If Hobo was a romanticised “sepia” image and Running Still a punk and hip-hop influenced album, his latest album Curio City (2015) is framed by electronica and futurism. Curio City is also the result of the evolution of a musician, producer, and publisher. It is mature, contemporary, and undeniably his own. Charlie Winston is also an extraordinarily committed artist. Last year he recorded the track Say something to support people on the run. He surprised many of them in the Calais camp, where he gave concert. Before that, the played at a refugees welcoming march in London and Red Cross concert in Tunisia “Stop indifference – protect humanity”. His busker experience showed him what it is like to be homeless for some time, and he draws attention towards this issue especially in winter.
What is common across Charlie Winstonʼs broad scope is empathy for the world around him, unmistakable outfit, and mainly his specific voice and natural songwriter talent. In April last year, he conquered Pragueʼs Lucerna. The first Slovakia concert, where he will play his excellent indie-folk songs, will take place at the beginning of July at the 22stPohoda.