Reaching the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2016 in the classical group Zyrah Rose, Charlotte Melissa Tyler has enjoyed years of touring after their appearance on the show, most recently supporting winner Richard Jones at a charity concert in her hometown of Worthing. Continuing her music with Zyrah Rose, Charlotte has now opened her own performing arts academy, CMT, who had their debut performance at the concert last weekend, performing hits from The Greatest Showman to a packed out audience. Talking to us before the charity concert, we find out about her new academy, performing with Zyrah Rose and the music scene of Brighton.
At what age did you get into performing arts?
I started playing piano when I was about six but apparently I started singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star when I was about two, I think. My mum said I always loved performing, I got into it properly around the age of six.
Have you always wanted to open your own performing arts academy?
I have. I thought I’d be doing it at a later age, but I just thought it was the right time. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do and pass on my knowledge and all of my experience in training. I’ve been coaching and teaching since I was twenty-one, so I thought, hit the big 3-0, let’s do it now haha!
How long has it been in the process?
It literally started in January, so it’s only been really recent. I decided last November I wanted to do it and it opened in January, so about four months.
Are there other teachers at your academy?
At the moment I’m doing most of it. I do have choreographers, performers, other drama teachers and people who work in TV and film come in to do certain sessions, so they get a taste and feel of other tutors and industry people.
Which has been your favourite theatre to perform in?
Ooooh, Wembley Arena was incredible, that was the most amazing feeling, it was the buzz of everyone there. Then again, performing at Worthing Pavilion, for me, was special because it’s my hometown. I’ve done performances there, when I was little, and then coming back performing, and now coming back again this year and having my academy performing, is going to be really special.
Would you like to return to theatre shows?
Yeah, I am actually doing a theatre show for the Brighton Fringe this year, I’m doing Robin Hood, I’m playing Maid Marion. The thing with the academy, it’s nice, because I can choose to do things that are more local and get my students involved. I’ve got two students who auditioned and they’re also performing in the show which is nice.
Are you trained in dance?
I am, yes. It was my least favourite skill, I remember I did ballet when I was about five, I cried every week and my mum made me continue it! She then made me stop because I was literally like, “I don’t want to go anymore”. I did continue to do dance though, through drama school and university.
Can you play any musical instruments?
Yes, I play piano, I can strum a few chords on the guitar. My main instrument I’d say is my voice and piano.
Would you consider doing the local pantomime?
Yes, I would. I did panto a few years ago and it was so much fun, so if an opportunity came up in Worthing I would definitely do it!
Have you always been interested in classical music?
Yes, ever since I started piano at the age of five, I think. My mum was really into classical musical, she comes from a really musical background. I love to listen to it, I think, because from a young age I started singing classical music, it had always sort of been the base music that I’ve been used to.
What do you think of the Brighton music scene?
I think it’s really good, I think it’s really edgy, I think there’s something for everyone, I think it’s really cosmopolitan, it’s great!
The musicians based in the Brighton area, do you think there’s enough opportunities for them?
I think so. I think the fact that we have the Brighton Fringe as well every year is incredible. With regards to music, music can be anything, it can be on the street, I’ve seen buskers in Brighton which are amazing, even open mic nights in the local bars and pubs in Brighton, I think are great. It’s a great music culture in Brighton.
What advice would you give someone starting out in music?
I’d say it’s a hard industry, I’d say be patient, but if it’s something that you love to do continue and focus on it, just live and breathe it.
Have you been to any concerts in Brighton, if so, which has been your favourite?
I actually performed in Brighton a couple of years ago in the theatre opposite the Theatre Royal. I saw Hairspray at the Brighton Theatre Royal, I’m a bit of a musical theatre fan!
If Zyrah Rose were to perform in Brighton which venue would you like it to be at?
Oooh I’d say the Brighton Dome, I think that would be really nice because the acoustic in there is great for classical, and sort of that operatic sound, and it’s beautiful outside as well so I think it would be great to perform there.
How did Zyrah Rose come together as a group?
They were looking for four classical singers and because we all crossed over in the musical theatre acting world, we all sort of randomly knew each other from auditions and castings, we’d performed in similar places, so we went for an audition, it was 2014 so quite a few years ago. Universal Records and two musicians put us together, to create this blend of classical music and sort of operatic tone, but still with a sort of edge that was different to the usual classical music that you get.
Is there a meaning behind the name?
Yes, there is, Zyrah means messenger, so we thought that was quite a nice thing, messenger of music, and the fact that Zyrah’s quite a strong name, we always think of it as a warrior, like a warrior symbol. We had to add the Rose for Britain’s Got Talent, but we wanted to keep that strong edge but add a feminine feature of it as well, so the Rose sort of symbolises the subject, whereas Zyrah’s more of a strong warrior, warrior woman meaning.
How was the experience on Britain’s Got Talent?
It was incredible, it was surreal. It was very hard work but it was a great platform. It was brilliant because we got to meet lots of amazing people. We got to see what it was like backstage and how things work in the industry, it was really good.
Are Zyrah Rose prepared for the charity concert with Richard Jones?
Yes, we are. We have a couple of new tracks that we haven’t aired before so that’s quite exciting, we’re a little bit nervous about those two because they’re new and you never know how the audience are going take to new tracks. We’re really looking forward to it.
Will this be the first time catching up with Richard since BGT?
Yes, we keep in contact on social media, we follow each other and sometimes he drops in and he’s like, ‘how are you girls?’ and we’re like, ‘how are you doing?’ but we haven’t actually seen him face-to-face since the semi-final that we were in with him. It will be really nice to catch up properly and I’m sure we’ll be reminiscing to two years ago when we were on the show in the first place.
Are your students ready for their performance at the concert?
Yes, I was literally drilling them last night hard at their last dress run. It’s exciting but nerve-racking, because it’s their first show as part of the academy, I think those nerves will hopefully turn into adrenaline on the night, they will smash it hahaha!
How have you fit rehearsals with both Zyrah Rose and CMT in for the same show?
It’s been very hard to get rehearsals for both, but I’ve managed to do it. I think with Zyrah, because we’re so used to performing with each other now, we only need the odd rehearsal here and there. It’s been different with the academy, I’ve had to add in extra rehearsals for that, but we managed to do it. Both different performances, but it’s going to be good.
Can you tell us about the West End Gala which was held at the Phoenix Theatre last year?
Oh yes, that was exciting I got to meet Ronan Keating, my childhood love hahaha! It was really fun, it was a really good night actually, I got to meet lots of nice people who have been in the industry and it was for a nice worthy cause. The theatre was really nice, it was nice to perform in London, the highlight was meeting Ronan though hahaha!
Have you, or will you be seeing Kara in Cilla the Musical?
I’ve seen her in it, yes. I saw her last year, she was brilliant, really good show, we miss her though, she’s been away for quite a while now. It’s great to see a bandmate and a friend do so well in the industry, though she is coming back to Zyrah at some point. It was great to see her in Cilla, she fitted the role perfectly.
Do Zyrah Rose have any other shows coming up this year?
We’ve got one in Cyprus which will be exciting, in June. We’re in talks at the moment, with a few in the pipeline, but we need to secure those. We love to do any gig because we love performing together, so hopefully there’ll be a lot more this year.
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