top of page
  • Writer's pictureEmma Garrie

Australia Decides 2022: Getting to know Charley

Photo credit: Ash Lim

Hailing from the Gold Coast but currently living in Sydney, the 24-year-old singer-songwriter was signed to EMI Music Australia in 2020 and has released two singles. Charley is the next generation of Australian music with her empowering and forward-thinking pop. We take a look at this new rising star.

Who is Charley?

Claire Howell, aka Charley, grew up in a musical family on the Gold Coast. Her father was in a band which led to a love of music from an early age. Performing in local musicals, she took inspiration from the artists she grew up listening to on the radio including Kelly Clarkson, Jessie J & The Veronicas.

She had started a band with her cousins while in high school, which became a huge learning experience for the aspiring singer-songwriter. Charley used songwriting as a therapeutic outlet, which is an emotional personal process for her.

'The Voice Australia'

Fans of 'The Voice Australia' may remember her appearances in both seasons five and six in 2016 and 2017, as Claire Howell.

In season five, Claire bravely chose to sing coach Jessie J's 'Who You Are' in her blind audition, where she received a four chair turn and naturally joined team Jessie J!

Unfortunately she was defeated in the first of the Battle rounds.

Season six saw her return again, choosing coach Seal's song 'Crazy' for her blind audition. After another four chair turn, Claire went with coach Delta Goodrem and made it all the way through to the last of the live shows.

Charley the singer-songwriter

After her time on 'The Voice', Claire moved to Sydney and reinvented herself musically as Charley. She began collaborating in songwriting sessions with artists Cyrus Villaneuva (Winner of X Factor Australia 2015), CXLOE and Seaforth, also working with Australian singer-songwriters Xavier Dunn and Carla Wehbe.

In an interview with, Charley describes her sound -

"I’m very pop! I love it. It sounds like Katy Perry crossover with Julia Michaels. I write very personal songs, and am very open about it - it’s sometimes the only way I can process something that’s happened. Whether it’s about love, my anxiety, all the struggles of life, or something to help empower myself, I’ll put my whole self on the table."

After Charley broke up with a long-time boyfriend she took up songwriting more seriously. She’s travelled to Nashville and Los Angeles to work with international collaborators. She continued her writing sessions and toured with CXLOE across the country, leading to her label signing.

As a songwriter, Charley enjoys collaborating with other top producers, telling

"I’ll always come in and just talk about how I’m feeling or something that I’ve needed to get off my chest, then we just go from there! I’m probably very annoying as a writer as I don’t like moving from one line until I’m absolutely stoked with it. I love collaborating with other people as I can learn so much from them and it’s just funner to write with other people in the room!"

New single releases

Charley's debut single 'Hard For Me' was released in March this year. Written in Nashville three years ago with Stephen Schmultz (beatsbybreakfast) and country-pop duo Seaforth, Charley explained to

In my head, this has always been my debut release. It’s got such a special place in my heart. I’ve had such a vision for every single part of it. Me and my boyfriend had kind of just gotten back together again at that point. All of the butterflies were heightened again. I just wanted to write a song about how I felt about him and how it gave me such a rush when I looked at him. Everyone has been there! When you just… melt.

Her follow up single 'Arizona' was released in October. Written with Cyrus along with Jessica Kent & Rory Adams, Charley explains:

“I’ve struggled with social anxiety, BPD and depression for as long as I can remember. Coming out of lockdown… I knew it was time to create music about how I’ve felt for years. I wanted ‘Arizona’ to reflect the duality of feeling helpless whilst building the courage to overcome and avoid an anxiety attack.

This release is all about my mental health, social anxiety, and a whole lot of stuff that I know u all go through. If ur going through a tough time, I hope I'm able to shed some light and give you a break from it all for a little bit"

Upon the song's release, Charley asked fans to donate to Australian mental health and wellbeing support organisation Beyond Blue as the song and its accompanying music video touch on some particularly strong themes.

TRIGGER WARNING - Depression, Social Anxiety & Panic Attacks

'Eurovision - Australia Decides' 2022

Charley will now get the chance to showcase another of her self-penned tunes when she takes the stage at 'Eurovision - Australia Decides 2022' in her home town of the Gold Coast in February.

“Eurovision has always seemed so out of reach, but now I feel one step closer by performing at Eurovision – Australia Decides on the Gold Coast. I’m so excited as my family and I are huge fans and I can’t wait to do them proud. I wrote my song two and a half years ago about my biggest heartbreak, so being able to turn something so dark into something beautiful is a really special moment for me.”

She has started a Eurovision vlog on her YouTube where she is going to share her 'Eurovision - Australia Decides' experience. She also revealed some very interesting titbits about her entry and even a snippet which you can check out here.

Charley will take part in 'Eurovision - Australia Decides' on the Gold Coast from February 25-26. You can get tickets from Ticketkek.

Follow Charley via her social media channels -


bottom of page