Charles Simmons' state of mind

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Don`t worry, this is not a psychological analysis, this is about a nice guy and a fantastic American artist, now based in the middle of nowhere in an industrial area in the south of Germany. Charles Simmons latest CD is called `State of Mind`, a very well produced album containing Charles expressions of his state of mind. It s a pleasure to listen to the contemporary but never trendy sounding music with a lot of soul and definitely some influences of the musical environment he is working in. Listening to the record you find out what the local paper `Stuttgarter Zeitung  meant in 1998: `Classical vocal training , as well as Jazz improvisation skills are only a few facets of all-around talent Charles Simmons`.
He began his musical `career` at the age of four, as he sang for the first time before a live audience at the Zion Grove Baptist Church in Kansas City, Missouri. His passion for music grew stronger, and at the age of ten he learned to play the saxophone and the drums. At 13 he taught himself how to play piano and wrote his first song. During the next couple of years Charles became familiar with the guitar, bass, and various percussion instruments. In high school his love for singing developed. Charles Simmons: `And as I moved to Stuttgart, Germany in 1987, my fascination continued to develop. Because my father was in the US Army, I`ve been able to experience many different cultures and musical styles. In 1987 I was voted Top Teen Vocalist in Europe at the Department of Defense Dependent Schools (DoDDS) Talent Search competition. One year later, after graduation, my father and I entered our band Finesse in a Europe-wide US Army talent competition, where we were voted Best Instrumental Band in Europe.`
In 1994, together with producers Felix Gauder and Olaf Bossi (Das Modul, Erotic) Charles started the Dance project `The Free', and he signed his first recording contract with Sony Music Germany that same year. From 1994-1997 he had five singles in the Top 30 of the German Singles Charts, including the Top Twenty Radio hit `Loveletter From Space`. The Free also reached the top of the Charts in Scandinavia.
Since 1997, Charles has been working mostly as a studio singer with many of Germany`s top artists and producers, including Stefan Raab, Xavier Naidoo, Haddaway, Achim Degan (the ex-frontman of Six Was Nine), the Noizmakers (producers of Space Frog), DJ Thomilla, Scorpio (Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five), Steve Lukather and Simon Philips of Toto, and Brian McKnight.
Charles recently joined German based vocal group Harmony Central, adding his vocal and creative potential to this unique and powerful band around Laurie Ellington.
© 5/2001 Pro-Music-News

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