Charmaine Bingwa is one of Australia’s very special and unique talents. Not only is she a stunning girl with gorgeous braided hair and luscious lips, she has an amazing voice that can belt out the notes on demand.
I sat outside Coco Cubano in Taylor Square waiting for Charmaine to arrive for the interview, two chilled glasses of wine waiting.
At 6:30pm on the dot, out of the corner of my eye, I could see this striking girl, wearing tight jeans, stilettos and a white military styled jacket with big gold buttons. It was Charmaine.
As she approached the table, the attention was on us – the beautiful Perth born 24 year old commands attention just by her presence.
With a love for singing from a young age, Charmaine never revealed publicly that she could sing, till she sang angelically at the eulogy of her father’s funeral. If was from that moment Charmaine knew what she wanted in life. She knew it’s what her father would have been proud of her following – that was singing.
An inspirational person, with such love, passion and commitment to what she does, it’s unmistakably obvious that we will be seeing alot more of Charmaine in the many years to come.
Let’s get to know the real Charmaine Bingwa and get down with her vibe!
What projects are you currently working on or have in the near future?
I’m working on my first release with the label. It’s going to be an EP with music video for the single. The beauty of my adventure this time, is I get to just go away and write. Write, write, write! I get to be completely creative and my focus is the artistry, later in the year when the record comes out, it’s promotion time which I love just as much, as I feel such a love for the stage.
And the great thing is along the way I get to work with some pretty freakin amazing people which I just vibe off.
What is your favourite piece of clothing or accessory?
I think it’s probably both of my Carl Kapp leather jackets. So beautifully structured, but think it’s the way they make you feel when you wear them. Put ‘em on and instant rockstar!
Do you have one feature in your home you love most?
It’d have to be the loveseat I had installed. It’s in front of the bay window I have in my lounge room – it’s an amazing place to chill and looks out at Sydney Harbour & the bridge. It’s all about the luuuuurveseat!
Which foods and drinks most excite your taste buds?
Veuve Cliquot, oysters & Wagyu beef.
And I hate to admit amongst all the classy things but an Angus Burger if it’s been a late night!
Greatest lesson learnt?
That you never stop learning lessons. I make mistakes all the time, but I think it’s the overcoming part that you learn from the most.
What advice would you give someone if they were thinking of a career in your industry?
It’s the same advice I got from all my music mentors, you are uniquely you for a reason. Know your craft, work hard – really hard, believe in yourself and the rest is a given.
How do you maintain a life balance between work and home?
My home is such a sacred place. I always keep it immaculate so it feels like my sanctuary. Whenever I’m home I get the balance I need from whatever other craziness is going on in my world! I’m a big fan of weekends away.
My lamest attempt to keep that balance was installing a plasma in my kitchen in a bid to inspire me to cook when I’m home! I’m not 100% sure that has worked!!!
How did you get into doing what you do?
I honestly believe it found me. I have always been as astute musician playing since I was 12. But I only ever played to myself in my room, never with any aspirations to take it further (at least none I’d share publicly).
It was only when my father passed away, I was frozen. I couldn’t communicate any other way. I performed a song at his funeral, and since then have poured myself into songwriting as an emotional release.
My Father always told me…
One day you are gonna be a star…
Is there a cause that is close to you and if so, why?
It’s definitely Oasis Africa. A beautiful cause that a friend and totally inspiring man Kim Winter put together. It focuses on a community in Kibera, one of Africa’s poorest slums. They built and run a school there and are looking at broader initiatives to help out. I know Deni [Hines] recently went there with the team to do some work and even recorded an album with the kids there. I’d love to get over there at some stage and lend a hand.
I’m a big believer in giving back, I also am part of the Big Brother Big Sister program, mentoring kids who need support.
Where is your favourite place to relax in Sydney?
My fave alltime place to chill, write, relax would have to be under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. So peaceful, such a good view and satisfies my bridge fetish (true story – I’m a little obsessed with bridges).
How often do you eat out and cook at home?
Hahaha – I only just discovered where my kitchen was the other day! I eat out all the time, because I love fine dining and just too busy to be a MasterChef too. Which is why it’s kind of ironic I was on a cooking show recently!
Blue Swimmer Crab with Angel Hair Pasta – it’s like the one thing I can make.
Your thoughts on Australian fashion in comparison to International fashion?
Love it, we really are trendsetters, and I think this is known internationally. Get excited as it feels like every fashion week a new hero is born.
The one thing I can’t leave home without is…
My Sennheiser headphones. Listening to music in average headphones is like having bad sex, it’s ok but… [giggles]
What frustrates you most about Sydney?
Traffic – argh!!!!! Drives me up the wall. But I still love you Sydney, you are amazing. xo
Favourite beach in Sydney and why?
Camp cove. It’s just so cute, quiet and private, and you can even pull up in a boat and hang there. Very closely followed by Balmoral.
If you could be a fly on the wall of any celebrity home, who’s wall would you like to sit on?
Lady Gaga – she is a f**kin genius and so fascinating…
What is your one diva demand?
It’s not as crazy some of Mariah’s extravagances, but mine would be having my entourage. For example I was playing a 15 minute set I told festival organisers I needed 22 passes for my crew. Woops! Diva!
I’m a real people person and really vibe of that, so I like gathering groups of like-minded creative people. Energy like that is so contagious.
Check out Charmaine’s great website – www.charmaine.com.au