VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Singer Charisse Mills Reveals What She Learned From Working With Ne-Yo & French Montana
Mills is famous for her unique “pop’era” style, which combines pop and opera music.
“I’m classically trained. I went to Manhattan School of Music where I studied opera, and I decided to intertwine pop and opera together, created a whole new genre called pop’era,” Mills told uInterview’s Erik Meers when he asked her about her iconic sound.
The “pop’era” singer was born in Trinidad and Tobago before moving to Queens with her mother and winning awards in school for her musical ability. In 11th grade she got into opera music, and has used parts of opera in her singing in collaborations since, including in her feature on Ne-Yo’s 2015 studio album Non-Fiction.
“Man working with Ne-Yo was definitely an amazing experience cause he is so talented and also gifted. His writing skills were amazing,” the singer gushed about her former teacher. Mills revealed that she spent a lot of time learning under his wing before getting to fly by singing on his album.
“I was just in the studio watching and studying before we actually did our collaboration. I was there for four years. And then he was like, ‘Charisse I have the perfect record, I want you to debut on my record called “Integrity.”‘ It was on his album called Non-Fiction, and that was my first major debut as a pop-opera singer.”
Mills has also collaborated with French Montana on her hit song “Champagne.”
“French was so cool, you know easy-breezy,” she said about the American-Moroccan rapper. Mills set up the music video shoot, which she said impressed the rapper and his team, as independent artists usually “don’t have their stuff together,” she explained.
“It was awesome to actually make them appreciate how serious of an artist I was,” she said.
“Every year I evolve as an artist,” Mills said as she explained the wide breadth of her creativity as not only a singer, but as an actress and clothing designer, too. Mills appeared in UrbanFlixTV’s Pump, a sitcom centered around a gym.
“All the guys want to train me, they’re fighting over me,” she said of her character Lenora. “Ray J is in there, McKinley Freeman’s in there,” she said, listing the show’s stars.
Mills’ clothing line, C. Moi, is another place where she explores her creativity. “Fashion is a part of my life, I was raised around it,” she said.