The story of Charlie Hedges is an inspiring one for anyone with dreams of making it as an artist in the music industry. It's one that's indicative of our time, and the way that a lot of hard work can create something that the dreamers and doers can be proud of. Now her pursuit of her career is culminating in a pivotal moment: her first release.
Entitled "Kaleidoscope," the single is due out via a division of one of dance music's most influential independent labels, Armada Music. A decade after its launch in 2003, Armada added a timely new division to its family, named Armada Deep. Now the label has been synyonymous with everything deep, chill and crossover pop house, and has been instrumental in the success of some of the industry's biggest new names, while bringing some of deep music's biggest names into the forefront of dance music's biggest saleable moment in proximity.
Hedges's journey to Armada Deep has been a lifelong one, starting at age 7 when she decided she wanted to be on the radio. At age 13, she was writing for a lifestyle and music magazine beyond her years, where she began making contacts in the music industry and building her connections. Her recommendations from celebrity DJs and a connection at one of the UK's biggest radio stations at the time led her to study journalism at university, and an assistant job on a morning radio show where she was able to learn the ins and outs of production.
My musical inspirations are so eclectic and varied. I honestly owe so much to my parents and family because growing up we hardly ever had the TV on – it was always music or the radio, and I have so many videos that my mum and dad took when I was as young as 4 or 5 dancing around the house to all kinds of music.
From there, she honed in her love for music and knowledge for production and post-production, exploring it to her liking.
All I've ever really wanted to do though is DJ, and it was during my time at the station that I used the studios to teach myself how to mix and practice until I felt confident enough to start getting out into clubs and making my own music – and now here I am!
From there, she honed in her love for music and knowledge for production and post-production, exploring it to her liking. Over time, she made her way to hosting a radio show with nearly 6-million listeners, on the famed Kiss FM. But her MC-ing and tastemaking doesn't and at the radio friendly, as she also hosts two house-specific weekend shows. And like so many hustlers in the music indstury, her resume doesn't end there. She's DJed at iconic spots in the UK and in Ibiza, with names like Carl Cox. And it's with their support and her drive that she taught herself to produce, taking the past four years to focus in on what she wants her own sound to be.
Both past and present, I've been massively inspired musically and technically by a few producers and DJs, inspired by how they have kept their own unique sounds and how these people have stayed current… The likes of Sander Van Doorn, Disclosure, Patrick Topping, Michael Woods and Don Diablo – they are all up there when it comes to inspiration.
It seems her hard work has come through to fruition with the release of "Kaleidoscope." Her time behind the decks, traveling the world and interacting with dance music fans led her to the sound behind the single, and her knowledge of radio can surely be noted for the track's infectiousness and general appeal.
I wanted to make a track that really captured the sound of summer and living life to the full, a track that could be listened to in the day, night, afternoon – whenever basically! Everything about the world, including dance music, is constantly changing, so a few months ago when I went into the studio with my ideas and teamed up with an amazing vocalist called Sonny Reeves, this is what we talked about and the vocals reflected this. The result was "Kaleidoscop"e and it's something I'm very proud of. I felt that considering the time of year that it is and because it is my debut release, it was important for me to make a statement with a strong house track that is not only relevant in clubs but also a strong radio track too.
Out this week via Armada Deep of course, "Kaleidoscope" is certainly a timely release in July. Its versatility shows through with its progressive melodic elements, as well as its deep groove that suits a sunset or sunrise set. Based on Hedges's endeavors so far (did we mention she's big into charity, too?) both London's clubs, radio listeners and her new worldwide audience, can expect to see more from Charlie Hedges in the coming year.