Written by Dwayne Morgan and originally published in 2017
The first blast of winter has created a picturesque landscape outside of the coffee
shop window. You can’t help but marvel at the beauty, especially from this side of the window, while holding a mug of hot chocolate between your palms.
My admiration of the scene is interrupted, as I am joined by the cocoa skinned, seemingly shy, soft-spoken, singer-songwriter, Charmie Deller.
I’ve known of Charmie for a few years, but this was my first opportunity to find out a bit more about what makes her tick. At age twenty-one, Charmie is making her living as a full time musician and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Charmie was introduced to music at the age of nine. Her mother would force her to play the piano for two hours every day. Her mother’s discipline helped Charmie to develop a serious hate for music, but by the age of fifteen, things had changed. Soon, Charmie would strike keys that would strike chords in her spirit. She realized that she was actually good, and that music would be a part of her destiny.
The last six years hasn’t been that easy though. As someone who has been a full-time artist for over two decades, I understand how difficult it is to find people who will believe in you. Things were no different for Charmie. The lack of support caused her to hide her true passion and desire from the world, out of embarrassment. She feared that people would laugh at her dreams, but as it usually happens, her purpose refused to be hidden, and kept eating away at her, begging to be nurtured.
Charmie soon found herself at R.I.S.E. (Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere), a weekly open mic, in Toronto’s east end, which is a hot bed for young talent. After hitting the R.I.S.E. stage, Charmie knew that she couldn’t deny her true desire any longer. With each visit and performance, her confidence rose; the young woman who had struggled to believe in herself, had found her voice. “When I had nothing, I would turn to music. When I couldn’t express myself, I found a way through music”. The music that had lingered in the background of her spirit, now made its way to the forefront, and it didn’t matter if family and friends didn’t believe in her abilities; she was now alive and determined to share that joy with anyone willing to take the time to listen.
There’s still a lot of life to be figured out, but Charmie pours all of her experiences
into her music, creating songs that are relatable at the most human and spiritual level. “I want people to relate to my music and feel like they’re not alone. I want people to listen to my songs and feel as though they just came for a visit or returned from somewhere familiar.”
In January of 2016, Charmie was crowned the winner of Toronto’s Soul Slam competition for up and coming singer-songwriters, much to her surprise. “I was just excited to perform. I had no expectations. I just wanted people to hear my music.
The support was incredible and unexpected. The moment I got on the stage, I felt like I had arrived”. You can’t help but fall in love with the smile that grows on her face, as she recounts the night.
The smile grows bigger as she reflects on the joy that music has brought to her life. “It’s like when I sing, my pores open up, and this energy pours out. Singing and performing is such a release for me; I do it as much for me, as I do for the audience”.
Update Dec. 2020
At the age of 24, Charmie still performs regularly and was a feature artist in the Music Together concert series which took place in the Spring of 2020. The Music Together concert series was put together to support local artists as a source of income during the global pandemic. For more information, visit their website at musictogether.ca.