CHARLIE Puth is done playing by the rules.
“I’ve wanted to make music like this for a very, very long time, but I almost wasn’t, dare I say, allowed?” Puth said of his recently released sophomore album, “Voicenotes.”
“The hardest thing was just getting people on board, convincing people that I did write good music. Granted, I mean, just four years ago my music was not nearly as—in my opinion—good as it is now,” said the 26-year-old.
So Puth, a YouTube star who rocketed to fame with the 2015 Wiz Khalifa collaboration “See You Again,” perfected his craft.
His 2016 debut album, “Nine Track Mind,” offered a slew of hits including the Meghan Trainor-assisted doo-wop “Marvin Gaye” and the Selena Gomez duet “We Don’t Talk Anymore.” He was also busy behind-the-scenes creating hits for the likes of Liam Payne, Maroon 5, Pitbull, Jason Derulo and Trey Songz.
Puth recently invited The Associated Press into his tranquil, mid-century style home to chat about his 2018 Honda Civic Tour with pal Hailee Steinfeld, how he catches concerts these days and why Hawaiian punch is the secret to his success.
You two collaborated on the track “Change” on “Voicenotes.” Talk about a full circle moment.
That is pretty crazy!
How often do you get to see live music now?
I’m a casual concertgoer. I’m not looking at tickets and waiting outside the Roxy per se because nowadays I truly can’t do that. But I will go to concerts casually if my friends happen to be going and the situation is easy. Like, “Oh someone else is driving? Perfect!”
Who do you like to go with?
With a large group of people that are going to surround me if I don’t have security because it’s weird, people run up to me. Nowadays with social media they think they can just jump on me. I tried to go out the other day and this person literally almost tackled me.
Is that unnerving?
No, I don’t care. It’s fun. I’m glad they’re so passionate. At the end of the day I look at myself in the mirror and I’m like, “I’m a kid from New Jersey. What’s the big deal?”
Can you experience concerts the same way now that you’re famous?
I can. The most important thing for me is I don’t want to make it about me if I’m seeing one of my friends. ...I was in London, I saw Harry (Styles) play and I stood behind the projector and nobody knew I was there. His show was amazing!
You were trying to blend into the background?
More like hiding.
Any post-show rituals?
Hawaiian Punch, Kool-Aid, every bad drink you can think of. Every time I get offstage I’m just like electric, like, “Let’s make seven songs on the bus right now! Let’s stay up till 7 a.m.!” So I usually cater to that by drinking sugary drinks. That’s something my trainer would not like to hear.
How do you prepare to go onstage?
Doing those goofy vocal warm-ups and putting on Stan Getz, Gilberto, Brazilian music, something really relaxing because I get really nervous before shows still, so I like to put myself in like a different place. Like, oh, I’m at a Brazilian cuisine restaurant and I’m just hanging out with my friends—10 of them so I don’t get tackled. (AP)