*Su Charles is many things: woman, mother, singer, songwriter and actress among them. Her new album Trial and Error is an exhibition of all the things that make SuCh the woman she is and the artist many are growing to love.
When the lead single “Sugar Maple” began working its way across the Internet, the buzz started to build and when the album was released earlier this fall, it was apparent that SuCh had firmly planted her feet in the fertile soil of organic soul music.
EURweb associate Al-Lateef Farmer recently had the opportunity to chat with her to discuss Trial and Error and where she’s headed next.
EURweb: You just wrapped up a starring role in “Once on This Island” in Denver, tell me about that?
SuCh: I played the lead “TiMoune” and the play takes place in Haiti and is the story of a peasant girl who falls in love with an aristocrat. The story really deals with many of the divisions in this society; there are issues of race, class, skin tone and miscegenation. It also has elements of Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet”. She’s a free spirit who falls in love with the son of an aristocrat and it really explores all that comes with that relationship. The most poignant theme is that love conquers all. It doesn’t have the happiest of endings, but there’s a great lesson in the end.
EURweb: You’re spending more time on stage, what was this experience like?
SuCh: It was really fun. This play was very different from “The Color Purple” (SuCh starred as “Celie” in a production last year to rave reviews and various awards), in the sense that it’s happier and I got to play a younger character, she’s in her teens. Also, it’s more of a musical, there’s hardly any dialogue. What little dialogue there was, was very rhythmic and within a song. It’s a one-act play, a lot of dancing, it’s fast and everyone is on stage at the same time. I was a bit terrified because I had my own dance and I’m not a dancer. I’m a singer who moves well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. That was really fun! It was a show that kept getting better during the run.
EURweb: In the midst of all of that, you managed to make an album and now it’s time to get out on the road in support of the album. Tell me what it’s been like since the release of Trial and Error on September 9th?
SuCh: It’s been so much fun! I haven’t been out as much as I would like because of the play, but it’s been pretty cool to merge those two worlds together. I was able to get some press for the album while I was starring in “Once on This Island” and vice-versa, people who are into my music were coming to check out the play. I really enjoyed making this album. My first album Stretch Marks spoke to where I was at that time; it was very pensive, dealt a lot with soul searching. Two and a half years later I’m still searching, but I think this album is a lot more hope of things to come. It really shares that you try things, you fail, and you get back up and dust yourself off to try again. It really speaks on life and love and happiness and all that good stuff. Also, just telling people that you only fail when you stop trying.
EURweb: Talk to me about the title and how people need the understanding that trial and error still works today?
SuCh: It does! There’s process of elimination and you have to keep tweaking things. Sure, I may have fallen on my face a few times, but I take those previous experiences the next time I try something. That’s in life, in all things: we try, we fail, and we adjust. It exhibits growth, that’s what life is all about, growing and learning.
EURweb: What’s the response been like?
SuCh: Oh my gosh! It’s been great! It’s been awesome! One of the things that’s warmed my heart is when I ask people for their favorite three songs, I’m getting all different answers. If people gave me the same songs, I would know that I only have three good songs on the entire record. But, it’s been such a variety that I know we did something right. Also, people tell me that it depends on the day and on their mood, which is a huge compliment, because that’s how I feel and how I felt writing the songs. Some days my jam is “Under My Skin” and other days it’s “Sugar Maple” and “Heaven”. The reaction has been really positive, because ultimately, I just want to touch people with my music. This type of feedback shows that I’m moving in the right direction.
EURweb: The response to “Sugar Maple” has been so overwhelming, what is the plan for a follow-up?
SuCh: I’m still not 100% sure. There are so many songs that can be the next single, but I’m trying to keep an open mind and listen to what the listeners are telling me they’re drawn to. It’s a good thing, because it shows that I don’t have only one other good song. That would be a problem. I have options and that makes me feel good. We’re still working “Sugar Maple”; it’s gotten a lot of love and people are still discovering it. It’s been out for almost a year and there’s still a lot of life in it.
EURweb: What’s next?
SuCh: Pushing the album; securing some dates and performing as a way of sharing what we’ve created. I’m going to continue to audition and keep my acting chops sharp. Right now, the entire focus is promotion the album.
The New York City area is in for a treat as SuCh arrives tonight (Saturday November 8th) at B.B. King’s Blues Club & Grill to open for the legendary Loose Ends. The show begins at 7:30 and there are still tickets available at the box office and online.
Here’s the first release of SuCh’s latest album Trial and Error “Sugar Maple”: