Willis Earl Beal criticises Hot Charity as he announces split from label and new album

'I don't know who the hell [they] thought I was going to be – Aloe Blacc or somebody,' says singer-songwriter

Willis Earl Beal has claimed that his label Hot Charity did not understand him as an artist and that he has now left the label and will shortly release a new album independently.

Beal signed to Hot Charity, a subsidiary of XL Recordings, in 2012 and released two albums through the label. However, that deal now seems to have come to an end with the singer-songwriter explaining to Under The Radar that he felt the label did not understand him.

“You know, [the man who signed me] is a trendy guy. He wants to go with the modern times,” said Beal. “He doesn’t want to spend a whole lot of time thinking about all the lonely psychopaths that listen to music in the middle of the night while riding their bikes. And those are the kind of people I want to make music for. I’m not interested in Ed Sheeran’s fans or Bruno Mars’ fans or even James Blake’s fans, for that matter. I’m my own guy.”


Beal continues, “When I first got interested in music and started to really pay attention, I was paying attention to guys like Nick Cave and Tom Waits and Vincent Gallo – these are my guys. I don’t know who the hell he thought I was going to be — Aloe Blacc or somebody. I don’t know.”

He added, “What I needed was the attention by the record label and the support of the record label, but I think I should have been signed to a more substantial subsidiary within XL Records, because the subsidiary I signed to [Hot Charity] was an upstart. I was the flagship artist. And with respect to the people involved, I just don’t think that they were prepared — not only to deal with an artist but to deal with a human being.”

Beal went on to announce that he will self-release his next album, ‘Experiments In Time’, on August 8. The album will be his third release of 2014 so far, following two surprise EPs that came out earlier in the year.

XL declined to comment when approached by NME.

‘Curious Cool’ was released in April and followed the release of ‘A Place That Doesn’t Exist’ in January.