“Troublemaker” isn’t just the most recent chapter in Edmonton-based neo-soul powerhouse Nuela Charles’ massive 2018, a year that has already seen the singer’s singular style, which impressively juggles both the throwback and the fresh, deservedly land her a Juno nom, a FADER nod, and some comfortable real estate on the CBC Radio 2 charts. It’s your next favourite “no-bark-all-bite” anthem that’s one of the year’s best showcases in sass. According the Edmonton singer, the track “just sort of flowed out”:
I had been writing with Edmonton-based production duo Towers for a couple of weeks now and on an off day, they sent me this instrumental track they worked on. It had such a sassy vibe to it, that all I could think of was that it needed “attitude” and that I had this big urge to tell someone off! But not just anybody – that one dude who always, no matter how hard he tried to be good, got himself into trouble with the ladies. All playful at first but hazardous when left unchecked.
“Troublemaker” may have been inspired by “in-the-moment brashness” toward an “all-too-common species” of millennial dude, but Charles (along with production duo Towers), imbue the refreshingly brazen track with a sense of deliberation and craft that could only have be honed through a hard-fought hustle across the continent’s music scene, one that has brought Charles to appearances at Canadian Music Week, Edmonton Jazz Festival, and even an opening spot for Ziggy Marley. It’s this sense of confidence, which Charles has worked so hard to develop, that makes “Troublemaker” both entirely relatable, and entirely her own:
As with a lot of the new music I have coming out, we massaged this track alot. I stepped into the drivers seat and rearranged, tore apart and put it back together until I felt like we finally got the point across. I’m really excited to share my creative vision and to do it 100% on my own terms.
Charles’ upcoming EP doesn’t drop until the fall, but listen to “Troublemaker” below – and save it in your back pocket for next time you need a little sonic inspiration to leave someone on “Read.”