The Industry Cosign Spotlight: Joseph Albert Charles

The Industry Cosign Spotlight: Joseph Albert Charles

Originally published on The Industry Cosign June 24, 2015

Title: General Manager
Company: The Cherry Party
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Joseph Albert Charles has a single modus operandi: continue to move the needle in music and entertainment with a pivot unparallel to any other executive. Although the General Manager of The Cherry Party––the new label that’s raised excitement in the SONY Music offices––is a music industry veteran, he doesn’t believe in corporate philosophies for tradition’s sake or job titles being synonymous with efficacy. This attributed to the fact that at the Haitian Brooklynite’s core is an artist––an artist who learned both the studio and boardroom side of the music game. Now with over two decades worth of experience, legendary tutelage and subsequent wisdom, the entrepreneur, songwriter, producer, engineer, manager and major label consultant is ready to add “new breed of executive” to his golden resume. “My next phase is becoming that executive that can make things happen where other execs couldn’t even think about making it happen.”
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The history of Joseph Charles was built atop practice, preparation and legendary cosign. In the late eighties, he was a hybrid rapper and dance hall artist years ahead of his time. He went by the moniker Screwface and was initially recruited by then popular rap group, X Clan. That is until his talents peaked the interest of one of Earth’s biggest entertainers, Madonna, who signed Charles to her very own Maverick Records. With the Los Angeles lifestyle ending up an off fit for the young East New York native, he landed in Virginia in front of another music icon. Teddy Riley, who in the mid-90’s oversaw much of the production for the great Michael Jackson’s MJJ label, too recognized the star power in Joseph and signed him to his Lil Man Records. Yet, once Mr. Charles saw one of Riley’s royalty checks, he ceased the recording of his debut album with up-and-coming producer Chad Hugo (who later would become one half of the Neptunes) and began pursuing producer credits with a student’s focus and musician’s passion. Charles took his signing earnings, purchased recording equipment and summoned the help of a childhood buddy and ascending scribe, Jack Knight, who would go on to write songs for Christina Aguilera, Usher and Diddy’s Bad Boy roster. The union birthed hits for Chico DeBarge (“Virgin”) and Monifah (“Touch It”), as well as a reunion between Charles and Teddy Riley. The partnership would earn the new gun credits with everyone from Mel B (Scary Spice) to Michael Jackson to Will Smith on the Wild Wild West soundtrack. “The best part of creating is hearing something you wrote be sung by a super mega star,” says Joseph. “I can’t describe the feeling.”
Charles would go on to discover former R&B star Blu Cantrell and oversee the careers of acts such as Danity Kane, Day 26 and the latter group’s lead singer, Willie Taylor under his own Starstruck Management firm. After spending the last several years an in-demand consultant for labels like Atlantic and SONY Records, the visionary remains catnip for beautiful music minds. Former Universal Records exec Jolene Cherry handpicked Charles to help her build her new venture, The Cherry Party. With the new label boasting international star power like Indonesian multi-platinum star AGNEZ Mo and famous former back-up singer for Michael Jackson and Prince, Judith Hill, Joseph Charles is primed to pen the most important chapter in his book of legend. “I’ve been apart of some of the biggest deals and some of the biggest artists in this business and no one knows about it. That’s a problem for me. So that changes now.”

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