Young singer-songwriter’s joy at BBC radio airplay

Charles Hibberd
Charles Hibberd

Just a week after recording his first studio CD, Chesterfield singer-songwriter Charles Hibberd was overjoyed to learn he’d been played on the BBC radio.

Charles had been trying for six months to get his songs played on the broadcaster’s Introducing programme for new artists.

Programme editors had listened to his tunes but none had been played.

But seven days after leaving Chesterfield’s The Foundry studio with his newly cut CD ‘Oh What a Shame’ he received an email from BBC Introducing on Radio Sheffield to say one of the tracks had just been played.

The played track was ‘Too Close to Call’, the first on the disc.

“It’s not my favourite track on the disc. My favourite is the third track, ‘Seasons’, which Paul, who owns the studio and helped me get the sound just right, also prefers, but a lot of my friends have said they like ‘Too Close to Call’,” said Charles.

He added: “But it was amazing to get the email from BBC Radio Sheffield to say they’d just played my song.

“I’d been trying for some time to get played but it wasn’t until I uploaded the properly-recorded tracks that I got airtime. It just shows the value of having a decent product.

“Hearing yourself singing one of your own songs on the radio, and knowing that thousands of other people are also listening to it, is awesome. I’ve played gigs in Chesterfield and in Sheffield but that was my biggest audience so far and now I just want more and more.

“I was buzzing when I finished the recording, I was so happy with it, but getting played on the radio was even better.”

Charles played all the guitar tracks on the CD and sang lead and backing vocals. Drummer James Umney played the cajon, the only other instrument used.

The studio time was given to Charles as an 18th birthday present.

‘Oh What a Shame’ will be available as a CD soon. It can be streamed and downloaded now from music websites Soundcloud and Bandcamp.

Charles, who lists his strongest influences as Green Day, The 1975 and Fall Out Boy, played at Chesterfield’s Chesterfest during the summer. He has also played at the Donut Creative Arts Studios which has helped him develop his musical career since he was 13 and Sheffield’s O2 Acadmey and The Plug.

He also plays with the Chesterfield band Duck Sale, which is made up of schoolfriends.

Charles took part in a talent competition during his first year at Chesterfield’s Brookfield Secondary School.

At the tender age of ten, he performed a medley of Green Day songs for fellow pupils and their parents at Deer Park Primary School in Wingerworth - just a fortnight after his dad taught him to play his first three-chord song on guitar.