Woolridge puts out Christian single, launches singing career
Charm Woolridge-Virgin has put out a single, Been There.
It’s a big jump into a new career for the Christian recording artist, who now makes her home in the United States.
Many people will likely wonder what took her so long. Her father, John Woolridge, heads the music department at the Berkeley Institute. He is also a noted pianist, the owner of Just Platinum recording studio and part of the music team at Cities of Refuge Ministries.
“Because of him, I’ve literally been around music my entire life and I’ve basically been working in the studio with him for the last ten years,” Charm said. “And so branching out on my own has been something that I've attempted in the past, but this is probably my first real jump into a career with this new song.”
She moved to Atlanta at the start of the pandemic with her American husband. She was recently hired to work at Eagle’s Landing First Baptist, the “super church” she attends, but it has always been her dream to minister through her music.
“It's something that I would like to do full-time along with the ministry at my church,” she said.
She wrote Been There in May as she reflected on how blessed she had been over the past three years.
“Coming through 2020 with coronavirus, coming through the ordeal that I went through with the Green Card process and how daunting that was … just understanding how God had been there through each and every daunting phase that sort of came all at one time, and walked me through that in such a miraculous way, I was inspired to write that song.”
Part of the joy of creating the tune was knowing that there were many other people who were also grateful for God’s help.
“I just know that that’s what’s going to be on other people's hearts about the Lord as well — that He's always been there,” she said.
Been There is not her first song. According to Charm, she has been writing “for most of [her] life” despite not being able to read music or play an instrument.
“When I was a kid, I would make up little things in my head. I've always been a songwriter. This is just the first time I've actually sat down, recorded and then actually put it out. I’ve put out other songs but this is the first one I can really say I’ve pushed; that I can say I'm ready to do this.”
“I think when I was a child, having a dad that is as famous in Bermuda [as mine is], every time someone was introduced to me they would ask me if I played and I think it just kind of threw me off of the idea. I think as a child I wanted to solidify myself as an individual outside of my father's shadow. So I chose singing and that came naturally to me. It wasn’t something I had to learn. It was easy.”
Rather than take lessons she relied on the “informal training” she got during choir practice to improve her voice.
“When you grow up in the church, you sing in choirs. And singing in a choir, it teaches you how to sing,” she said.
Been There was “completely produced” through Platinum Atlanta, which is linked to her father’s studio here.
“I produced and engineered my own song. That’s one thing my father did teach me. Everything was done here. I engineered myself, recorded myself, arranged myself and then the music was [released] through a producer, Hvrtzlab Productions.”
She performs as Charm, a nickname she’s only received since she moved to the United States.
“My name is Charmarie. I’ve been called Char my whole life. It was only when I came to the United States that someone didn’t say Char, they said Charm. And I was like, ‘I like that!’
“I'm passionate about music. I feel it is just one of the most powerful mediums to express any kind of thought or idea, love, sentiment, support … This is the reason why advertisers use music and jingles, why they use popular music in commercials. It's such a powerful thing and I believe God gave it to us to reach the masses and spread His love to those [who might not] receive it another way.”
That belief is also the reason why she chose to perform Christian rather than secular music.
“I just feel, truthfully, I can't use my voice to propel any other message than the message of God. There's so many negative influences through music that can be pretty dangerous. But for me, I have to think about God, I have to think about His love. I have to be the person that leads people tuned to the light and not into destruction.”
• Been There is available on Pandora, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify and anywhere else where music is streamed. See the video on YouTube: //youtu.be/BNsaNqXkWWU