Myke Charles Talks NBC’s The Sing-Off, Writing to Eminem & Drake Comparisons
As NBC’s hit show, The Sing-Off continues with its third season, the reality music series decided to make things a little different. Instead of solely featuring distinct groups of singers, The Sing-Off is presenting their first rapper, all the way from Denver, CO.
A part of the group Urban Method, as seen on television, Myke Charles reigns as the first MC to hit the stage since the show premiered three years ago. Being promoted as a “rapapella” group, Charles has helped his eight-member group flow from one week to the next. With just two weeks left, including tonight’s performance, to make into the series finale and get a chance at taking home the title, XXL caught up with rising rapper to talk television, music and what it’s like to be compared to Drake.
Starting the season off with Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie,” followed by BBD’s “Poison,” there’s no telling what the producers have in store for the urban octet. But with a triple threat like Myke, there’s no question they’ll find their way into the finals. —Amber McKynzie @amack_XXL
XXL: Coming from Denver, CO, how did you get your break on The Sing-Off, and the title as their first rapper?
Myke: Denver’s rough. There’s a lot of talent in Denver, but there’s no music business. I met Tony Huerta, he’s one of the guys in Urban Method. I got calls from him [and] Facebook messages like, “I’m trying to put this group together. I really want you to be a part of it.” Tony had some discussion with people that worked for the [show] that were looking for a group out of Denver. Tony didn’t really have any recommendations for them. So, they sort of asked him, “Well are you interested in putting together your own group and seeing if that group has what it takes to be a part of the show?” He got that call, then put the group together.
So did you just automatically make it on the show because of that?
We still had to audition, and go through all that. We were fortunate, and it just so happens that the producers liked us.
How does it feel to be known as the show’s first rapper?
I mean, it was weird at first. I can’t really think of a better adjective. I showed up and felt real out of place. It’s like everyone on the show is so talented, and has these amazing singing voices. I sing too, but first and foremost, I’m an MC. Like you said, I’m the first rapper, and you know, they made sure that my image dictates that, even though I do sing as well.
Does it feel completely awkward during rehearsals?
We have to do the opening numbers for every episode, where you see us all singing together. The first time we did that I’m sitting in the back learning my baritone part feelin’ all crazy. Then I find out I have a rap. So, once we start getting into rehearsal and everything, we go through it a few times and they say, “Ok if you have a solo, try to come out with it.” First time we get around to the rap I’m just like… [silent]. And people are kinda looking around ’cause they’re like, “Who’s even supposed to be doing this part?” I’m just going through the lyrics not really saying anything. Kim, she’s the Black lady in our group, she was sitting a couple rows ahead of me and gives me the craziest look. She said, “Next time they say rap, you rap dammit!” So, I mean, it took some getting use to.