Charlie Puth was an unknown on the musical radar until his appearance on the Furious 7 soundtrack sent him on an ascent. That soundtrack collaboration with Wiz Khalifa quickly took Charlie Puth to the forefront.
“See You Again” is huge on the charts. It was knocked from its No. 1 spot by Taylor Swift, but it ran weeks at the top after knocking down Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.” Charlie and Wiz’s rap ballad is a tribute to the late Furious 7 actor Paul Walker who died in a car crash in 2013. Puth wrote the single by channeling feelings about a friend who died in a similar way.
As The Daily Beast reports, Puth wrote the song in 11 minutes on his second day in Los Angeles, a trip he took after graduating music school and leaving his parents’ home. Over 50 other songwriters were competing for the spot. Puth and music producer Justin Franks composed the hook together. Atlantic Records ultimately selected it for the soundtrack. And that’s how Charlie’s star was born.
The way Charlie Puth was discovered also says something about the new democratization of music, as explained by the LA Times.
“By putting an unknown musician at the center of one of the year’s biggest blockbusters, ‘See You Again’ demonstrates what happens when the giant machine of film music meshes with the more democratic Internet, where Puth first made a name for himself.”
Not long ago, Charlie was just another kid on YouTube trying to get famous. He and a classmate were uploading music while attending school. If you search deep enough, you can still find some of those early cover song videos online.
From a cover of Adele’s “Someone Like You” a few years ago, he’d find himself invited to The Ellen DeGeneres Show. That led to getting signed by Ellen DeGeneres’ record label. Unfortunately, that record label flopped, but the contacts he made would lead him to Los Angeles and Atlantic Records. He also wrote another song during that time, a single off his EP called “Marvin Gaye,” which features Meghan Trainor. Puth will accompany Trainor on her MTrain Tour beginning next month.
Newly signed to Atlantic and with a voice and name now percolating through the industry, Charlie’s looking forward to bigger things. His debut album with Atlantic is in the works. Don’t be surprised to see Charlie Puth singing more soulful hooks before giving us a full solo project.
[Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]