The jaw-dropping rock ‘n’ soul vocal talent of fan favourite Rhino saw him triumph as the winner of this year’s ‘The Masked Singer’ in front of a massive televised audience of 5.7 million people during Saturday night’s grand final. After weeks of mounting speculation, the identity of the man behind the mask was finally revealed to be Busted star, solo artist and Fightstarfounder Charlie Simpson.
After introducing his talents to a huge new audience, Charlie Simpson now celebrates his time on ‘The Masked Singer’ by sharing the brand new EP ‘Kifaru’ – its title being the Swahili word for rhino. In keeping with the show’s multitude of clues, it’s also a title that has personal significance to Charlie: Swahili being the official language of Kenya, where his wife Anna grew up. Listen HERE.
Charlie says, “I had such a good time on ‘The Masked Singer’, it was such a crazy ride. I decided to release some of my favourite songs from the show but in a very stripped-back way, which also captures the ethos of my latest solo record ‘Hope Is A Drug’, which is my most intimate album yet. I have also added an entirely new version of ‘I See You’, which was my first release from ‘Hope Is A Drug’. I can’t wait for people to hear it.”
‘Kifaru’ features three of the songs that provided unforgettable moments during Charlie’s time in the competition. ‘Before You Go’ (originally by Lewis Capaldi), ‘Use Somebody’ (Kings of Leon) and ‘Chasing Cars’ (Snow Patrol) all benefit from new arrangements, deploying piano, strings and laidback beats to allow Charlie’s seasoned, emotive vocal to rise to the fore. ‘I See You’ demonstrates that Charlie’s original songwriting more than matches his famous covers. Now reinvigorated with a fresh new version which amplifies its emotion and drama, ‘I See You’ is a song which recognises the inner qualities of someone who is trying to mask their own internal struggles.
‘I See You’ was written by Charlie alongside Nick Atkinson (Lewis Capaldi, Dean Lewis) and Martin Luke Brown (BTS, Jacob Banks) with production from Phil Gornell (Bring Me The Horizon, All Time Low). The other three songs were all solely produced and mixed by Charlie.
Charlie Simpson’s journey on ‘The Masked Singer’ adds a new layer to the career of one of the UK’s most celebrated voices. He first came to attention with the soaring success of Busted, who achieved four UK #1 singles and a further four Top 3 hits plus two albums which both peaked at #2 and were certified multi-Platinum. An arena-filling live band, the two-time BRIT Award winners’ popularity continued in 2019 when they reunited for the album ‘Half Way There’, which also charted at #2. He also took a heavier approach with four albums from the critically acclaimed Fightstar, while two of his four solo albums to date have also reached the Top 10. Late in 2021, he played a sold-out show at the O2 Forum Kentish Town to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the release of his debut solo album ‘Young Pilgrim’.