Charles Perry, or the Soul Superhero as he has been dubbed, embarked on a mission to save your ears and mine. Since the age of 10 he’s been heard on gospel recordings and traveled with some of the biggest names in music, now the “Soul Boy” (another alias) is ready to step out on his own and bring his brand of gospel tinged soul music to the masses. His life has turned into something like a movie; he stars as the protagonist out to save a seemingly defenseless public from the evils of soulless music.
Hailing from Brooklyn, NY by way of Planet Soul, The Charles Perry graced the New York stage as part of the cast of Born to Sing (sequel to Mama I Want to Sing) and that led to sharing stage time with Shirley Caesar, Stephanie Mills, Lisa Fischer, Luther Vandross, Regina Belle and ultimately a job backing Michael Jackson for his 30th anniversary special. Not a bad group to count as mentors. But the story of Charles Perry is much deeper than the Soul in his voice, it’s in the depth of his character, his beliefs, and his vision; he introduces himself as the Intergalactic, Spacetastic, the world’s greatest Soul astronaut ever created, the Soul Superhero, The Charles Perry and the trip is just starting from there.
There’s so much life in his words that it’s hard not to be drawn in to his world, completely enthralled by the way he whimsically describes his birth as landing in Central Park wrapped by microphone cords, then talks about the need for originality in contemporary music. He ponders, “Could you imagine if Michael Jackson never put on those glitter socks or if James Brown didn’t have legs like spaghetti strings? If those guys had not dared to be different, we would not have legends today”. It’s his reverence for history that fuels his originality, the way he melds soul, jazz, funk, pop and rock to create a sound all to his own and a persona to match. He believes there’s nothing wrong with being unique, that being different is to bare your soul.
The one-liners, quips and other mechanical language devices screeched to a halt when he began talking about his wife and son. “One of God’s creations” is how he soberly describes his wife and says she along with his son inspire him. He says his family is the definition of love and through them he is willed to push forth with his mission. He’s putting the finishing touches on his album, The Genesis of Soul and we played phone tag through a few top-secret meetings.
A YouTube clip finds Charles Perry singing the timeless “A Change is Gonna Come” with such vigor that it can’t be mistaken for anything but soul, because it’s gut-wrenching and passionate, reaches a real place for people familiar with struggle. Those are the people Charles Perry is singing for, those are the people the Soul Superhero has landed on Earth to save, and those are the people he wants to embrace his movement.
The Soul Superhero has also landed all over the internet: follow him on Twitter @thecharlesperry, find him on Facebook.com/thecharlesperry or take a trip to Planet Soul at www.thecharlesperry.com. If you’re near New York City on Halloween, drop in to Joe’s Pub and check him out with Rob Lewis.
Until then, may the Soul be with you…
Between rhetoric and reality is where you’ll find The World According to Teef. Plainfield, NJ native Al-Lateef Farmer is a self-styled social documentarian that tackles everything from politics to pop culture, Reality TV to relationships with a brand of social commentary rooted in independent thought that is unfiltered, uncensored, unforgiving, but never unreal! Follow him on Twitter (@wrldacrdng2Teef) or take a trip to his world at worldaccording2teef.com