Charlie Berry is on the rise in Nashville, and I believe he is a force to be reckoned with. He began releasing new music last year and came out of the gate strong. Berry’s music is a refreshing change compared to many male country artists. So, if you are new to Charlie Berry and his music, please keep reading to learn more.
Music Connected Charlie Berry’s Family
Charlie Berry cut his musical teeth in Dallas, Texas, before moving to Nashville about twelve years ago. His family played a significant role in Charlie’s musical beginning. Berry said, “I grew up with a dad who was a singer in a cover band, and my mom played guitar. In 5th grade, I got my first guitar after my mom got sick of me trying to play her guitars. Immediately, I began trying to learn and write songs, and I have been at it since. I was lucky because some people who strike out to make music may be the black sheep of their family, but in my family, music was a way to connect.
Charlie Berry on Moving to Nashville and Country Music
Being from Texas, you might think Berry would have tried his hand in the Texas Country scene. However, Charlie chose Nashville. The singer/songwriter said, “Why Nashville? I needed a change. Jumping into country music was a shift for me regarding music identity. It felt good to start in a new place. Before moving to Nashville, I played rock music. What began as pop/punk music moved into something heavier but got to where it wasn’t enjoyable.”
The move from rock to country has worked for Charlie Berry, and his transition seems seamless. Berry said, “I got a country gig as a guitar player. Everyone was dancing, girls were in the audience, and everyone was having fun. If you zoom in close enough, all genres are pretty close. So, it wasn’t a crazy leap for me after growing up around the singer/songwriter genre and even pop music. But I’ve always liked country music and lost money as a guitar player. So, I decided if I was going to lose money, I wanted to do it with my name on the ticket.”
Adjusting to Life in the Music City
Nashville is a large city, but the music community can feel small. However, as a songwriter, adjusting to life in Music City can be challenging. Berry said, “My first year in town was lonely because I had just moved here, but I began going to writer’s rounds, which are fantastic for new people. Then, after a couple of years, I was at an event and looked around to see many people I knew. At that moment, I was like, I live here now. The first year was about figuring it out because I didn’t show up here as a fully developed artist or songwriter. I had always been in bands, but there is something different about a Nashville co-write.”
Everyone wants to see Music Row when they come here, but a lot has changed. The singer/songwriter said, “The first time I drove down music row, I felt a couple of things. One, this is it? So, when I moved here, there were all these houses that companies had moved into, which was cool. Then you see these big concrete buildings like BMI and Sony Publishing, which was intimidating. I thought I had an idea of how the business worked, but I was wrong? So I had to get over feeling intimidated, jump in and get my hands dirty. I expected there to be some path, but there is no path you have to walk. You have to do what you do and keep going. It can be exhausting because you cannot see much more than your next step, but you keep taking it.
Everyone’s journey is different, and that is okay. Berry said, “My mentality is if we’re going swimming, I am probably the first in the pool, and I’m going to cannonball. So jumping in before I was ready is a huge part of my story.”
Charlie Berry, the Performer
When you see Charlie play, he seems like a natural performer. But he had a great teacher. The Dallas native said, “Watching my dad sing and growing up around a guy who was an entertainer. If we were at dinner, he was an entertainer. I don’t mean in a phony sense; it was who he was. So, learning how to be comfortable performing, I had a lifetime education watching my dad. I call myself a songwriter first because I have to remind myself of that. The truth is I wanted to perform, and I started writing songs because I needed something to play. I had to be a songwriter because I wasn’t being pitched songs I wanted to cut, and the producers I wanted to work with were unavailable to me for different reasons, so I learned to produce my music.”
Many of us could never imagine being in the spotlight on stage, but Charlie Berry and others love the energy. Berry said, “Performing is the best part of music for me, and country music has more of a community experience. But performing can be scary. You are in front of people who are judging what you are doing. So, to be at my best, I must think beyond that. I am here to take this music I have worked on and give it to the audience as a gift.”
Charlie Berry on Chasing Music Dreams
In my experience, we can learn so much from one another. In the Nashville music community, this is a big part of it. We can learn from the mistakes of others and the triumphs to help us on our path. Charlie Berry offered great advice for those new to Nashville. The singer/songwriter said, “Don’t be surprised when you are disappointed. But don’t think you have done something wrong. It doesn’t matter how good you are; you will hit walls. Then, you will have the option of going home, and sometimes that may be the choice. However, if you really want it, take the loss and get back up. Keep showing up, writing the next song, and playing the next show. Disappointment is the most challenging thing about this business, but you must take the next step even if that’s all you can see.”
Charlie Berry Releases “Be Somebody”
In the bro-country era, many male country singers sound the same. But Charlie Berry offers something different. His music is relatable and offers substance, and I am a fan. Previous releases such as “Wish I Woulda Said That” and “Outskirts of Grace’ put Berry on Undiscovered Nashville’s radar. Berry said, “Outskirts of Grace” is the most vulnerable song. I was honest about what happens inside me and how I look at the world.”
“Be Somebody” was released on June 17th. The song was written and produced by Berry. Charlie said, “It’s rare for me to write alone because I have been co-writing for many years. But I felt myself needing to finish something on my own to reassure myself that I could do it. Also, I loved this idea so much that I wanted to write it for myself. So, I wrote it five or six times until I finally got the version I wanted. After that, I self-produced the song with help from a few friends. Pete Wilson played drums, Alex Wright played the keyboard, and Jamie Tate mixed and mastered the song. It’s a fun song that’s a pep talk to convince yourself to talk to a pretty girl.”
Charlie Berry has all the tools to be a star in this industry. His music is catchy, relatable, and just plain good. But, from playing college football to playing music, Berry has learned that to be successful, you must put in the work. Interesting that Sam Hunt had a similar path, and coincidentally Charlie Berry played guitar for Hunt at one point. I first saw Berry play a little over a year ago at The Round Downtown at Assembly Food Hall and walked away impressed. Since, I have invited Berry to play our Pre-famous show. Undiscovered Nashville hopes you enjoy Charlie’s music as much as we do. I believe the future is bright for Charlie Berry, so please follow his journey.