Branton Charles, known by his stage name B Charles, released his new single called Closest to Heaven and it is topping the charts in Europe.
The 30-year-old singer and songwriter has also gained popularity in Germany, France, Japan and Australia, among others.
B Charles grew up in Portland with his mother and five siblings, and started singing at the age of 6.
“Growing up poor then is different to growing up poor now. We found the beauty in the struggle,” he said.
He recalls how, once when he and his brother, Graham Booysen, went shopping with their mother as little boys, they had to wait outside the building until she finished shopping.
“By the time my mom came out, people were crowded around my brother and I. She found me singing a Michael Jackson song to the crowd at a Sasko Sam Breadman activation show. Mitchell’s Plain made me who I am. Apart from growing up without a father and my mother having to work hard, I have done all I can to keep my family happy and provide for them in the best way I can,” he said.
B Charles has done a Michael Jackson tribute show that went on to be one of the most sold out shows on the Balearic Islands, in Spain, between 2010 and 2017.
Now that he is home, he has his sights set on the South African market, as he sees a gap for his style of music. His musical inspiration comes from watching Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake and Usher as a 6-year-old boy. He loved watching the performance aspect of their craft, he said.
“The world is listening to my music and I am determined to have my name up in lights in South Africa and become a household name in the music industry,” said B Charles.
Besides his music, he is also establishing his non-governmental organisation (NGO) where he will be taking his music to schools and help children “become better versions of themselves”.
He believes this platform will allow them to chase their dreams, help them with their creativity and encourage them not to hold back on anything they wish to pursue. He would like to help fellow musicians, singers, dancers, and visual artists by creating a space for them to work on their craft without having to worry about money and the politics of the music industry.
“I want to do this because I don’t want others to go through what I went through,” he said.
He is, however, positive about his future, the direction he is headed in, and he is excited about who he is.
B Charles is finishing off his new extended play record (EP) which will be launched later this year.