Five Questions with Charly Black
Charly Black has several accolades and achievements to his name, but his raison d’être is far from fulfilled. When the gravelly voiced entertainer was asked if he had specific goals set to achieve with each milestone year, he said: “It wasn’t a situation where I laid out that I wanted this or that to happen at this or that age. I never put no time on anything. Each year is a milestone, and I am just giving thanks to survive all that I have and to make it to another year.”
The reggae-dancehall entertainer and songwriter received a major breakthrough with the 2015 single Gyal You A Party Animal and went on to release many more hit singles, all while journeying across South America and other Spanish-speaking countries where his following has reached skyscraping numbers.
Earlier this year, Charly Black presented a début EP titled So Many Reasons, which, although it did not get as much promotion as he would have preferred because of the various restrictions on travelling across the world, has provided enough exposure. He said: “I’m doing great by myself … meaning, without an album … by releasing singles. I see where persons appreciated the body of work on the EP when it was released in February, and what’s coming next is going to be even greater.”
What’s it like for the 41-year-old travelling performer? These days, instead of touring, he is more likely to take in the beautiful views from his balcony and stick to his regular workout routine. Still, Charly Black is all about taking it easy and working hard — recording music and investing heavily in philanthropy, especially in the parish of Trelawny where he calls home — all while getting ready to give fans more of himself next month via the Rio Bueno album. He recently spared a few minutes and sat down on his balcony to meditate and get deep into Five Questions With.
It’s hard to believe you’re in your 40s, what’s the secret?
God bless me. I can’t say I have any secrets as to why me nuh look like 40.
Were you ever fearful of ageing or simply wondered how you would navigate this stage in your life?
I can’t fear ageing; it is a blessing to age and a blessing to live past [a] certain age. I have just been living and giving God thanks. To celebrate turning 40 in April 2020, I linked up with my team and hol’ a vibe. As you know, we couldn’t do much because the pandemic was brand-new. However, this year, I took advantage of a trip to Atlanta and enjoyed myself there.
Performing and the entertainment lifestyle can take a toll on an artiste’s body and mind. How do you monitor your fitness, including physical and mental health?
Well, me is a man who will wake up in the morning at 5:30 or so, go on my balcony, inhale and exhale and then do some sit-ups and press-ups. Every now and then, I may make the drive to Negril and use the seven-mile stretch as my workout space. I also do some swimming. The type of lifestyle can change or interrupt all of that too. Even though I may drink and smoke, I make sure to drink a lot of water and eat up the fruits and eat healthy as possible … me have a time when me nuh consume starchy foods like rice and flour. When you pass a certain age, you just have to be careful with what you eat. At all given times, health is wealth.
What makes excersing on your own the right fit for you? Have you ever thought of attending a gym or hiring a trainer?
I don’t too go the gym side. I take on some things pon myself and do my regular exercising, sticking to my routine. If me have a big belly this week, [it] is something me can remove fast, and it won’t be there the next week ‘cause me exercise a lot. If me even maybe drink a lot and my belly start [to] show it, I just work it off. I know what my body is or what I am capable of doing.
As a young man growing up in Rio Bueno, Trelawny, did you have a dream of becoming a star? What childhood dreams did you have?
One of the greatest achievements I wish to accomplish is winning a Grammy Award and to bring it home to Rio Bueno. Yeah. That is my biggest dream. I had a dream as a likkle yute to have a convertible vehicle, I have achieved that. I had a dream to become one of the best artistes out of Trelawny; I know I’ve achieved that. I had a dream to put my parish on the map, I achieve that already, and I am still doing so. I had a dream of helping others and make an impact on lives, and I do that. Now is Grammy time.