The video for Southampton-based singer Charley Stride’s newest single was published last Thursday, July 8th, amassing over 60,000 YouTube views in its first 24 hours online. SOuthside spoke with Stride about Sleeping Giant, the video concept, and what the song means to her.
Charley Stride, a born-and-bred Southamptoner who’s proud of her hometown, has been singing on stages since she was 6 as a part of a pop choir that she remained loyal to until she was 16. Now, the 28 year old is getting hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, and - as Sleeping Giant is all about - there’s always room for growth despite the fear, uncertainty and doubt.
“The song for me means overcoming fears and not being afraid to fail”, Stride told SOuthside in a recent interview. “Often, when I’ve felt the most fear about doing something, once I pushed through it only led to more opportunities in my life and career.”
“No matter what age or stage in life we are at, we are going to experience fear or anxiety about certain things”
The phrase ‘sleeping giant’ itself is a metaphor for the unrealised innate potential of humans, the extent of which - until awakened - will never be known. On Sleeping Giant’s lyrics, Charley explained that she used her “fears as a child” as an understandable anecdote for how we can push past our fears to grow into a more fulfilled and confident life. “Being scared of the dark or what was under my bed,” she said, are “very relatable to other people’s childhood fears - at least I hope!” Stride’s clever metaphor is reflected in the video concept, visually dueting with a young girl positioned as though to be a childhood version of herself - though is equally generalisable to all young girls, full of potential but must break through the fear to realise it.
Stride takes influence from legends such as Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Kate Bush, as well as engaging with new school favourites like Jazmine Sullivan, H.E.R. and SZA. Stride’s influences can often be heard in her music, mixing a late 20th-century soulfulness with 21st century sensibilities. For this ballad, however, it’s all Charley Stride.
“No matter what age or stage in life we are at, we are going to experience fear or anxiety about certain things...growth is uncomfortable, life can be hard - but, it can also be beautiful if you allow yourself to see it that way”.
Click here for Charley Stride’s Instagram to stay up to date with her regular shows and releases.