Charles Cleyn was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada. He grew up playing piano and singing songs around the supper table with family. “Music was always playing in the house. I grew up learning how to sing harmony and how to hold a tune.”
Charles started playing high school talent shows but didn’t start singing in public until his early 20s. “I was always embarrassed to sing in public because I thought it didn’t look cool and I was too worried about other people’s opinions, that changed in my mid-20s and then things took off for me then”.
After high school, Charles started a band in Ottawa called The Breaze. They played local venues in Ottawa and the surrounding area. This is where Charles built his confidence with playing and singing on stage.
After attending Carleton University for business, Charles packed his bags for Spain to teach English and learn Spanish. Upon his return to Canada after one year, he faced a decision, to pursue business or music - both things he was equally passionate about.
Charles decided to join an internet startup in the Ottawa area, called Shopify. Charles spent six years at Shopify where he helped grow the company to an IPO. “After six years at Shopify I had an itch to pursue my other passion, performing and writing music. I couldn’t ignore the itch so I told Shopify I had to make a move.”
Charles is one year into developing his career as a singer songwriter. He is back and forth between Canada and Berlin honing his style and presence on and off stage. On June 1st, 2018, 2 months after leaving Shopify, he released his first single, Decisions. Three months after this, he released a 5-song EP.
Charles is currently recording for his 2019 upcoming releases. He keeps an active Youtube channel and publishes 1 unreleased song every week. It is his goal to play concerts around the world. “If someone listens to my music and says ‘hey, that song really speaks to me and has helped me get through something’, then that’s all worth it for me.”