Newcastle Funk & Soul Producer Alex Opal featured on Craig Charles’ compilation album

Renowned DJ Craig Charles has selected the latest single from North East funk and soul artist Alex Opal to feature on his compilation album.

Opal’s 2020 single, ‘Telling You Lies’ has been included on the BBC radio host, actor and DJ’s ‘Trunk of Funk’ album, a compilation of the best funk and soul releases of the last two years.

The album is released today (Friday 6th November) and includes soul classics from the likes of P.P. Arnold along with tracks from contemporary artists such as Monophonics.

Opal didn’t know what to expect when he self-released his first two singles earlier this year, but after releasing Telling You Lies to the world, Craig Charles “connected with it straight away”.

It’s a massive honour to have my single, Telling You Lies on Craig’s new compilation,” says Opal. “There are so many amazing musicians from the North East playing on the record; it’s a real showcase of musical talent in the region.

It has been a tough time for people over the last year. Unemployment rates are at an all-time high and many of my mates have lost their jobs or have been affected financially.

Soul obsessives like Craig and myself are drawn to soul music because a song which may be heart-breaking lyrically, can still inspire you to get up and dance. I think this is what makes my music relevant today, especially in these difficult times.”

Charles, who is also known for playing leading roles in Coronation Street and Red Dwarf, played the track extensively across both his BBC Radio 2 programme and his hugely popular Funk and Soul Show on BBC 6 Music.

Commenting on the track, Charles says: “This man has really caught my interest this past year and his latest single is one perfectly formed slice of 60s inspired soul; double groovy.”

Since featuring Opal’s music, Charles and the North East musician have sparked an unexpected friendship.

Opal says: “We have hung out together a few times now. Backstage at his last show at Virgin Money Unity Arena he was playing the grand piano magnificently.

He has a real love for my music and he’s actually become a good mate now, which is pretty mad to think about! He does so much to promote the genre and it’s so refreshing to meet a major radio DJ still taking a personal interest in the development of artists.” 

Charles adds: “I hung out with this cat in Newcastle before my show. He had a tailored suit, a fedora hat and a waxed moustache. He looked so cool; he really is Tyneside’s top man.”

Opal will be releasing two new singles in the New Year and is preparing a new live show titled ‘The Alex Opal Outfit’, featuring an authentic soul band complete with live brass, percussion and Hammond organ.

Commenting on his upcoming singles, Opal says: “I can’t wait for people to hear what the band and I have been working on! Musically and melodically I think people are going to love the songs. I’ve been working with an amazing new vocalist who has one of the most sensational voices I’ve ever heard!

I approached Mattie after hearing her sing in a gospel choir. In the studio I was blown away by the depth and resonance of her voice. She is an amazing talent.”

Craig Charles’ Trunk of Funk compilation album will be released internationally on the 6th November via Soul Bank Records and will be available on all streaming services and in physical formats, including CD and vinyl at all major retailers.

The album is available now via Soul Bank Music via this link:

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