Charlie Puth has become a force in the music industry.
The 26-year-old has found commercial success with the singles “One Call Away,” “Marvin Gaye” and “We Don’t Talk Anymore.”
And the singles were just from his debut album.
Puth released his sophomore album, “Voicenotes,” on May 11. The album has already spawned the hits “Attention,” “How Long,” “Done for Me” and the “The Way I Am.”
Puth co-wrote every song and recorded and produced the album entirely himself – except one song he co-produced with Max Martin – mainly at his home studio in Los Angeles.
On the lyrical front, Puth says, the album is largely about his struggle to find a normal relationship when his own life has hardly been normal since finding multiplatinum success, and the anxiety that pursuit has induced.
“I wanted it to be a story of my travels from the East Coast to the West Coast and how my growing fame has affected my mind in good and bad ways,” he says. “Whenever I met anybody, they often knew more about me than I knew about myself. I’d never dealt with anything like that before.”
Puth began studying jazz at age 10 and attended both the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College, where he majored in jazz piano, and Berklee College of Music, in Boston, where he graduated with a degree in music production and engineering.
His classical training is on full display, along with his impeccable influences – which range from jazz greats Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Bill Evans to R&B songwriters-producers Babyface, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and Teddy Riley.
“I was influenced by artists who were proving something when they broke off from their groups,” Puth says, citing Bobby Brown and Ralph Tresvant after New Edition, Steve Perry after Journey and George Michael after Wham! “When George left Wham!, he wanted to show the world that he could produce records like ‘Careless Whisper’ and ‘Father Figure’ on his own. He didn’t do it in a vengeful way. He was just showing people how musical he was. That was really my goal, as well.”