Charlie Puth Talks New Album Voicenotes: 'I Was Tired of Faking It' — This Is the 'Real Me'
Admitting he’s not one to ‘fake it ’till you make it,’ the 26-year-old singer-songwriter reveals his second studio album, which was released on Friday, is undeniably real and inspired by the sounds that made him fall in love with music in the first place.
Congrats on your new album! What are you most looking forward to about the release?
I am looking forward to people hearing the real me – finally. For so long, everyone’s had these misconceptions about me and I’ve kind of put my whole personality and heart into this music, so I’m excited for people to get to know the real me.
How is this album different from your first?
These “romantic” songs weren’t what I was thinking at the time. It wasn’t truly what my personality was and what I was surrounding myself with. It wasn’t what I was going through. I wasn’t in love, and that’s why these songs didn’t sound right; it took some acting to perform those songs. I was unapologetically myself in this album. I was just tired of faking it. I was really happy at the success of “Attention” because it was my personality in a song. Voicenotes is more me because it’s inspired by the music I grew up listening to: jazz and R&B.
Your new LP is called Voicenotes because you recorded some of it on the app on your phone, right?
There’s a song called “The Way I Am” that we just put out and in the background it sounds like a party going on – the ambiance of glasses clanking and people walking around and talking loudly – and that’s exactly what it is. I recorded that on my phone and put it on the song to set the vibe. I did that with “Attention,” as well. There’s beat boxing tracks that are layered into the real drum tracks of these songs. The phone was used as an instrument as much as the piano and guitar was on this album.
And you collaborated with some icons this time around, too!
Working with James Taylor (“Change”) was huge. I never thought I would be able to work with a living legend like that; same with Boyz II Men (“If You Leave Me Now”). I’ll just randomly message Calvin Harris and we’ll have a quick conversation. It’s little things like that that are so inspiring to me. It’s a small music industry, but everyone’s so supportive of each other. It’s incredible.
For more from Charlie Puth on how he found his sound on this new album, pick up the magazine when it hits newsstands on Friday.
Your Voicenotes Tour kicks off in July. What are you most excited about?
I think most, if not all, of the dates are sold out. I’ve never played rooms of this size before, so it just shows that my fan base has grown exponentially and that’s really exciting for me.
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You seem like such a humble person with all the fame you’ve been fortunate to receive in such a short time. What keeps you so grounded?
The small fact in my mind that it could be all gone tomorrow. I treat people the way they want to be treated because I’m on top right now and if I treat people like crap they’re gonna remember when I treated them like crap if I take a break or can’t make a good song – if that ever happens. I want everyone to be on my side just like I’m on their side.
How would you spend a day off?
I always forget to eat breakfast, and my trainer Harley Pasternak yells at me for it, so I would eat French toast with bacon.
What’s one of the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your career thus far?
Remaining the same person that I am. I know that I will always be the same person, but it seems like when you’re in the public eye people want you to mess up, to say the wrong thing, to appear to have that larger than life image. For me, I’m just making music and memories for some people.