Choice Chorus w/ Charles Cleyn


Musician Charles Cleyn has put everything in to his debut single ‘Decisions’ and his dedication to the current music industry shows in every chord and chorus. Let’s get to know more about this Canadian songwriter making his way in the European music scene.


Charles CleynSB (StarBeat): First Chapter: When did you get started in music?

CC (Charles Cleyn): I got started in music when I was just a kid. I played piano when I was 8 for about 5 years. Then in high school I was busy with sports. It wasn’t until I was 18 that I picked up the guitar and started writing my own songs.


SB: Subject Matter: Where do you get your inspiration for writing songs?

CC: From real life. From the people that I surround myself with and the people I spend the most time with. People really, that’s my inspiration and where I draw from.


SB: Location: What was the strategy behind moving to Europe?

CC: I wanted to expand my reach as an artist and I actually moved to Europe for a full time job with a tech company.


SB: What: You worked at a tech company?

CC: Yes. I actually worked at Shopify. I was making six figures and I was doing quite well. I was always doing music on the side but never committed to it full time. It’s always something I wanted to do but I never gave it my full effort. I didn’t want to be 80 years old and look back on my life saying, “what if”. I know I am musically talented so I wanted to show the world.


Charles CleynSB: Your YouTube channel showcases your journey to get your music out in the world, what are your thoughts on the current music scene and do you have any advice for new artists working it out in their bedrooms?

CC: I think the music industry has completely changed but I’m very excited about it. My thoughts are super positive and I think we all have to take a positive spin on it. It’s easy to get caught up in the old ways saying, “I wish it was like the old days when people actually bought music or musicians had more power”.  We have to accept the fact that the market has changed and therefore we need to change as musicians to build sustainable careers. No one likes change and often times people are afraid of it but those that accept change and adapt are the people that win.

I think there is so much power to bedroom musicians these days because you can reach an audience of millions in your pyjamas. The opportunity lies in leveraging the infinite amounts of audiences on the internet. Every day a new audience pops up on the internet and my advice for bedroom musicians would be to constantly test new tools and platforms to build your audience. For example, I think live video is a tool that is massively undervalued right now that you should explore. In a matter of years, live shows, sadly, will become more and more less populated especially with the rise of VR and AR.

As musicians, we need to have our online stage ready for when that day comes.


Charles on Social: 

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