Nuela Charles honoured by Edmonton's love for her music

While writing for her new record, Nuela Charles has plans to approach the release of this one differently than her last record, 2016’s The Grand Hustle.

The artist is a finalist for her second Edmonton Music Prize

Nuela Charles won the 2013 Edmonton Music Prize for her debut album, 'Aware.' (Steven Hope)

The finalists for the 2017 Edmonton Music Prize have been announced. CBC's Radio Active is talking to each of the three finalists to discuss their breakthrough year.​

While writing for her new record, Nuela Charles plans to approach the release of this one differently than her last record, 2016's The Grand Hustle.

Her last record and subsequent work in 2017 earned her a finalist spot for this year's Edmonton Music Prize, her second nomination. The release of the seven-song album was preceded by two singles — and Charles feels like a new approach would be better suited for today's music climate.

"With the way the industry is now, singles are seeming to be the way to go," Charles told CBC's Radio Active on Friday. "It allows the project to live longer, instead of just to be like, 'Here's the record, OK, thanks, bye.

"I felt that was kind of what happened last time."

Now in the studio recording her next record, Charles has plans for a longer release, one that spans months with various singles and other work to go with it.

"It's a way to build the anticipation, release tons of content and then have the album out with a major tour backing it," she said.

Charles released her latest album, 'The Grand Hustle,' in 2016. (Nuela Charles)

Her first single from the new record is expected out March 2, and along with an evolution in release pattern Charles said the music has moved forward as well.

"I think it's just more developed," she said. She wrote with professional songwriters in Los Angeles and London, U.K., before coming back to Edmonton.

While other Edmonton acts like Cadence Weapon and Mac DeMarco moved east to pursue their now-successful music careers, Charles is happy with her home base.

'I wouldn't want to leave'

6 years ago
Duration 1:23
For Nuela Charles, Edmonton-based soul/R&B/pop singer and songwriter, there's no place like home

"People from Edmonton move to Montreal because that's where they think they can do that," she said. "Maybe I'm just one of the lucky ones who has been able to carve my own place in the Edmonton scene.

"It's been really good to me, and I feel like if I don't have to leave, why should I?"

Charles won the Edmonton Music Prize in 2013 for her debut album Aware. To win the award again would be huge for her.

"It would be an honour. I kind of just tell everyone that I don't need to leave Edmonton because the arts community is so great here, and so being recognized by that community that I definitely value, it means a lot."

With files from Emily Rendell-Watson