You may not know her name yet, but if you have a thing for beautiful voices, you will.
When listening to SuCh's first single Robbed, we didn’t get the impression of listening to a new talent, but rather an old soul adage filled with youthful energy. The same description applies to the song’s singer/songwriter SuCh, born Su Charles. Her words and delivery are those of someone with a world of experience while her movements, infectious smile and exuberance are as youthful as her 26 years of age. Her experience comes from singing in church with her sisters and directing choirs. SuCh claims she did not stand out in a pastor’s household, but she is standing out now.
Music was a staple in her life, but not her only road to take. Su’s work as a physical therapist aide led to her a nursing career at the urging of physical therapists who believed in her abilities. Following the advice of those who believed in her musical abilities would have to wait a bit longer. Her trip to her parents’ native Haiti with her husband in the wake of the country’s devastating earthquake in 2010 helped Su Charles take a chance to turn into SuCh. Friends and family finally got to see Su Charles on tv when she made it to American Idol’s Hollywood week this year. Becoming a mother to her son confirmed what was made clear to her in Haiti: life is short.
“As I thought about how I wanted to raise him I realized that I didn't want to live vicariously through him because I had never accomplished my goals and dreams. I knew that I would be a better more fulfilled mother due to the fact that I knew I was living my dream. And so the decision was made that I would pursue every avenue of singing I could find, namely American Idol. It's funny how life can work that way, sometimes what you thought was a detour was the right way all along.”
Once she made it to Hollywood Week on American Idol, SuCh knew that there was no turning back and although she didn’t make it past that week, she did take the leap from being a nurse who sings to a singer by quitting her job. Once she took that step it was easy for SuCh to start working on her album with her biggest supporter and collaborator, her husband Jodel Charles.
Stretch Marks debuts on May 5 which is also SuCh’s birthday. The album’s feel is soulful, but not in the bitter woman scorned type of way. The lyrics of fan favorite Robbed where a woman is duped into thinking she’s entering a relationship when all the man wanted was a one-night stand, SuCh has us singing along “I was feeling you, thought you were feeling me too”. We feel, understand, believe and identify with this woman’s words in the song, but we also hear the empowerment and self-love in her voice. They don’t sound the same, but SuCh’s and Jill Scott’s voices give us that same desire to nod our heads and smile. That comes as no surprise since SuCh names Jill Scott as an inspiration, along with Mary J. Blige, Adele and legends Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder. SuCh has the ability, much like the artists cited, to relate to a mainstream audience as she offers a more authentic sound. This is demonstrated in the video for Mesmerized. Classic furtive glances are exchanged between two potential lovers and we also get to watch a glammed SuCh onstage. American Idol was just the beginning and as she sells out small shows others are starting to take notice. Her successful rendition of the national anthem at the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets game on Saint Patrick’s Day makes it clear that SuCh’s larger than life smile and confidence on stage will be reeling in audiences for years to come.
One thing we can count on as SuCh evolves is that she won’t succumb to the cookie-cutter audio tune/ghostwriting side of the business.
“There's something extremely powerful about singing your own songs. It's like telling a story; it's usually better told from the author rather than another person. The beauty about this album is that I am a completely independent artist. I'm not signed to a label (nor do I) have a record deal. What you will get is 100% me and I am so excited to share it with the world.”
Robbed and Mesmerized are currently available on itunes.