Molly with Charles
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Molly with Charles

Berkeley, CA | Established. Jan 01, 2017 | SELF | AFTRA

Berkeley, CA | SELF | AFTRA
Established on Jan, 2017
Duo R&B Alternative

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"Molly with Charles Bring Promise of Youth to Backroom"

There’s nothing quite like a deadline to inspire creativity. The songwriting duo of Molly with Charles took root and blossomed in a matter of weeks, accelerated by the impending matriculation of vocalist Molly Arizona. Over the course of several days last August, she and Charles Nutrivore honed a concise set of songs inspired by the sleek and emotionally simmering pop of Sade and Frank Ocean. Charles with Molly celebrates the release of the new EP q + m Friday at the Back Room, a concert conceived as a fundraiser for the Berkeley High jazz program.

The project owes its existence to the school’s creatively charged atmosphere. Last May, Nutrivore (aka songwriter, pianist and producer Jackson Kinder) connected with Arizona (aka vocalist and then-Berkeley High senior Molly Sazer Hopf), and their first writing session produced the lithe synth pop song “Thank You for Existing.” The piece had so much promise they decided to focus on a songwriting collaboration. There was one complication. She was about to head east to start her studies at Boston University.

“As a producer I’m always looking for cool singers,” says Nutrivore, who’s making the most of a gap year before starting Pomona College. “I’d gone to school with Molly at Berkeley High and after that first fruitful collaboration I realized we’re very much on the same page musically. We had two weeks before she went off to BU, so we holed up in my garage for a crazy whirlwind of music making.”

Friday’s concert features largely the same cast of players who contributed to q + m, with bassist Max Schwartz, vocalist Dante Ryan, guitarist David Marcus, and rapper MBK ZU. Richmond rapper Nekhi Foster and East Bay vocalist Amen’Auset play an opening set.


Arizona and Nutrivore both hail from families deeply engaged in creative pursuits. His father was a longtime Pixar employee who directed the 2015 indie film White Rabbit. She was weaned on music by her parents, and has spent many summers teaching at the music camp led by her mother, violinist, vocalist and Real Vocal String Quartet bandleader Irene Sazer.

“I started writing songs in 4th or 5th grade with my best friend,” Arizona says. “Around 6th grade I started writing by myself, and it’s been that way until I ended up in this collaboration with Jackson. We’d been friends and talked about doing music together, but it really came together when he said ‘Hey I wrote this song, you should come and sing on it.’”

Nutrivore credits his experience in the Berkeley High jazz program with providing a sense of community and offering a window into the wider world. He took part in the band’s trip to Cuba last January, which drove home “how music is a universal language,” he says. “It’s a cliché, but I hadn’t fully processed it until I went there, being able to connect with these young Cuban over a montuno” [a highly syncopated piano ostinato].

The experience crystalized his commitment to unleashing music’s power to bring down social barriers, at home and abroad. In making q + m, he recruited a disparate cast of players from around the region, like South Berkeley rapper Dante Ryan.

“It’s a very progressive city but there are entrenched divisions, equally bad as the rest of the country,” Nutrivore says. “Music is a way to start to overcome those divisions. Dante is from Berkeley, but we’d probably never have been friends if not for music. There are so many connections I wouldn’t otherwise have made. I’ve tried to use that as a guiding philosophy, seeking out and bringing disparate sounds and people together.” - Berkeleyside


"LISTEN: Molly With Charles - Playing With The Moon"

Why do we like this?
Remember the Carter Mashup, "Can I Get Witch Love Club"? The one that had Lorde's vocals and The Notorious B.I.G.'s vocals on the same song?

Magic!

There was something about the fusion of contradictions that was special. Something that made it dope. Maybe it was the way that innocence versus ruggedness on that mashup was painted out for us. Maybe it was just the sounds of the smoother vocal paired perfectly with the rough.

Whatever it was, I liked it and feel that same exact way about the Molly with Charles tune heard right here on "Playing With The Moon."

It's a beautifully powerful vocal by Molly straight through that's met at the intersection of a crossroad by Charles. He brings an entirely different element to the song with his explicit raps, and changes up the ride to give it some edge.

It works. I dig it, so take a listen and tell me if you do, too.
What do you think about this song? Click here to tell us! - IndieShuffle.com


"Chatterbox: Molly with Charles"

18 year-old Berkeley duo Molly with Charles have released the second single from their upcoming project ‘Q + M’. ‘Adult Themes’ has a lo-fi synth foundation, almost harp-like. The real heart of the track is the beautiful vocal writing, the melodies float majestically above the beat; the harmonies are well considered – truly stunning stuff.

Hey, tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Charles Nutrivore and I’m a producer from Berkeley, CA. I recently started collaborating with singer Molly Arizona, and together we are ‘Molly with Charles.’ Our only goal is to make timeless music.

Where did the new single come from?

The new single is one of the most emotionally raw songs we’ve written together; I wrote it while I was scrolling through a photo album of me and an ex. It began as a cover ‘Everything Means Nothing to Me’, by Elliot Smith, and somehow the instrumental warped into ‘Adult Themes’. Our goal was to combine really dark, confessional lyrics with the sheer propulsive energy of a Mike Will Made-it beat. Emo ‘Black Beatles.’

What other content is in the pipeline?

We are dropping a seven song EP called ‘q and m’ this Friday, and we’ve already started on our next project.

What’s on the horizon for you?

We’re playing a show on Friday to celebrate the release of ‘ q and m’. After that, I’ll be moving to Paris, and Molly we’ll be going back to school around that time. Our new material will be finding it’s way onto the Internet mid-2017, and we’re planning to do a little tour this summer. - https://purplemelonmu.com/2017/01/03/chatterbox-molly-with-charles/


Discography

01/07/2017
q+m
1. you make me want to be
2. playing with the moon
3. aura
4. adult themes
5. q+ m
6. miss u 
7. honestly






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Bio

Molly with Charles is a collaboration between singer Molly Arizona and composer Charles Nutrivore. They first collaborated in May 2016 with the single "Thank U 4 Existing," and their musical chemistry was so natural that they immediately wanted to work on an EP-length project. Their first project, q and m, was an album about falling in and out of love, written from both the perspective of a girl and a boy. In their own words: "Hopefully this collection of songs can soundtrack the poetry of being newly together or freshly alone."

The band draws a lot of inspiration from the exacting, soulful minimalism of artists like Sade, Frank Ocean and John Mayer; with each song, they try to whittle down all unnecessary layers until all that is left is the naked essence of the emotion they were after. Their work is also a testament to the diversity of the Bay Area music scene, with contributions from Vacaville jazz trumpeters, South Berkeley rappers and Oakland guitarists. 

The band is a powerful presence live. Molly's stunning natural vocal talent and stage presence anchors their sound, while Charles combines an acoustic and electronic sensibility with his piano, synths and computer, bridging the intricacies of his production with the demands of alive setting. The duo also often includes other instrumentation - bass, drums, trumpet - to bring their ambitious ideas to life. The band's live performances have drawn comparisons to popular neo-soul groups such as Hiatus Kiayote, Daniel Caesar and Phony Ppl. 

Band Members