College alumni announce launch of debut EP in May 2020

London-based indie rockers Charles & the Big Boys proudly released their first EP, Say What You Want, on 2 May, 2020.

Charlie Raphael-Campbell (vox, guitar, bass, lyrics), Owen Jack Turner (guitar) and Léon Bounds (drums) formed the group while studying at our sixth form centre in Angel.

Leaving in 2019, the band recorded the majority of their first EP, Say What You Want, together in Owen’s living room. Drawing on its punk and garage rock roots, Charlie cites Arctic Monkeys, Nirvana and Courtney Barnett as primary influences.

During the pandemic, many artists have chosen to delay releases or find virtual ways to self-promote. Charlie spoke to us about the decision to publish now, and the impact of the lockdown on the young musicians:

“Léon and I are quarantined together so are doing virtual gigs to keep up the hype following the EP. We decided to release the EP now as we did not want to wait any longer and thought it was a good idea to release while everybody was at home, making it more accessible as most people will be on the internet 24/7.

“The EP had a very DIY approach due to our low funds and it being our first project together. Due to the pandemic getting in the way, all the final mixing and mastering had to be done over the internet. We sent the songs to Distinct Recording, who produced the final product.

She added that, under the circumstances, the band were happy with the final sound, but recognised the limitations imposed by quarantine. Having worked on the songs for several years, Charles & the Big Boys were “itching to get something out” and added that it was “awesome to finally have them come to life with such a talented band.”

She continued: “Owen and Léon both studied Music Technology at A Level, and without those skills and knowledge, the DIY side of home recordings and mixing wouldn’t have been possible! It was a great help to have that head start but also to know what you’re talking about when you’re getting another person in a studio to record and mix your music. They were even able to pass on some knowledge to me, allowing me to record and mix my own music – which got me places at uni to study Music Production.

“That level of knowledge from A Levels always does stay with you.”

Stay up to date with Charles & the Big Boys here.

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