Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, Charlie Korman is a passionate, inspired and talented young musician who relates deeply to what he writes, sings and puts down on paper. Korman, inspired by such artists as Bruno Mars, Frank Sinatra and Johnny Cash, with a mix of John Mayer and Shawn Mendes, is ready to take the music world by storm with his new single, “Options,” produced by Grammy-nominated Kosign of Da Internz. Be sure to listen to the single embedded below.
— — —
Sean Ritchie: Let’s start off with your hometown of Chicago, Illinois. What stands out and makes it special to you? Where would you send a first-time visitor in the area?
Charlie Korman: Oh, Chicago! It’s been my stomping grounds since I was born. We moved around a lot and then we came back, but that’s where I spent my middle school and high school years. To me it’s a place where I can turn left and right, always knowing exactly where I’m at. I know the fun spots to go to and I know so many people there. It’s a nice home base for me.
If I was to direct people to go visit Chicago, I would definitely direct people to the main part of the city itself. That’s where food and people are, and where the vibe is. There are other spots here and there, but definitely the heart of the city is where you should go.
© Roman Boed
SR: Is there a specific spot that you are really drawn to?
CK: I would have to say Lincoln Park, honestly. My dad just recently bought a really nice spot out there. All my friends are not that close [to there], but when they come over it’s a really fun spot to be in. There’s just great vibes. You’re also close to everything there too.
SR: That sounds like an area I’ll have to check out next time I’m there. I wanted to bring it back a bit to talk about how you first became exposed to music. Was it something around your family or friends? How’d you eventually get inspired to create your own and pursue it as a career?
READ MORE: Travel Profile: We Are Scientists
CK: I’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember. I was always doing it for fun. I would hear a song on the radio, and be like, “This song’s fun, I’m going to sing it.” My mom and dad were always telling me that I needed to do something with my talent. I was always like, “Ah, you guys are my parents. I love you, but you’re being too nice.” Then, all of a sudden, in high school, one of my friends saw what I had, looked me in the eyes and told me I had to do something with this.
Then, after I created my first song and loved what I was doing, I started to have this vision of me performing in front of a lot of people. And, in Chicago, I ended up doing so. It was like a drug, an addiction. I wanted more. I wanted to create more. I created this vibe in a local bar in Chicago that had everyone going crazy. That just made me feel [amazing]. I thought, “If something I created can make people feel like that, that’s what I want to do in life.”
SR: Really cool to hear. To fast forward a bit, you just released your latest single, “Options,” in January. Talk about your thought process behind that release. I know it’s been out a little bit, but how has it been received by the fans?
CK: The thought process behind that song was kind of simple. I wasn’t feeling too happy with myself because of how a relationship ended, but at the same time, instead of feeling unhappy about it, I wanted to do something completely opposite with it. I want to make something happy about it. So, my team and I came up with this “turn-uppy” vibe. I was saying goodbye to something that I couldn’t get back, and I gave it all I can, so why not make it a turn-up song saying, “I’ve got options!” I don’t have to be stuck with just one thing.
When we released it, we’ve got nothing but great reactions from it. I’ve received videos on Instagram that people were sending me of them singing it. They were telling me, “We know what you’re talking about. We feel you!” It was such a great way to turn a bad thing into a positive thing.
SR: I had a chance to listen to it and I really enjoyed it. It’s interesting to hear the story behind it. Music is always the best when it comes from a real, deep, passionate place. To switch over into travel, when you do have some downtime and are looking to get away, are you a beach person? Looking to be near a city? Or, trying to be near the mountains?
CK: I’m 100-percent addicted to palm trees. Wherever those palm trees are and that blue water is I’ll love to be there.
© Pedro Szekely
SR: So, spanning off that, where those the types of vacations you took growing up?
CK: I was very fortunate and blessed to have a family that had the money to go on vacation. When I was young, after I saw “Lilo & Stitch”, I always wanted to go to Hawaii. It just seemed like the place I needed to see. We ended up actually going there twice. I was obsessed with the place. I loved it. It was just a happy environment. We also went to Cancun, and I thought that place was awesome too. We just went to places that had really beautiful beaches — blue water and palm trees. That’s my piece of paradise.
SR: I’ve never been to Hawaii, but I’ve been to Cancun many times. I really enjoy it down there. Hawaii is high up on my bucket list though. Are there any things you need to take with you when you get on an airplane?
CK: I definitely need my iPad loaded up with some good music and movies, especially if it’s a long flight.
© Giuseppe Milo
SR: Essentials. Are there any places that you haven’t been to that you still have to hit?
CK: I would love to go to Australia. I would also love to go to Ireland. I’ve been to Atlanta, but I’ve never actually “been to Atlanta”. I had a long layover there, but I’ve never actually enjoyed what Atlanta is like. Also, [Las] Vegas. Those are my top four. Each one of those I’ve heard great things about and I would love nothing more than to travel to each and see what they’re like.
READ MORE: Travel Profile: 13 Crowns
SR: One of our core objectives at SCP is to bring people together while traveling, not only to influence people to see and appreciate our beautiful world but to also minimize cross-cultural divides. What effect does traveling, specifically surrounding music, have on humans in this regard? How has it broadened your perspective of the world?
CK: It’s amazing, honestly. A lot of the times that I love are when I’m traveling, sitting next to someone on the plane, and starting a conversation. I’m a talkative person. I think it helps break up a flight. I was actually on my way to [Los Angeles] and I was talking to these two older ladies. They were going on this crazy cruise to Hawaii, and we talked a bit about each other’s lives. I was able to tell them about my music. They ended up listening to my music on the plane. It’s always cool to connect with people like that. Everyone’s doing all these different things in different areas of the world, but we can all connect somehow, especially through music.
© Edmund Garman
SR: Lastly, I know you have a busy next couple of months. Is there anything that we didn’t highlight that you’d like to cover? What are the next few months looking like?
CK: Honestly, it’s all unknown. That’s kind of how life goes. My goal is to have tons of more music out. I want to keep the followers happy and growing. In the end, I just want to live a happy and fulfilled life.
— — —
For more on Charlie Korman find him on Instagram: