Alexander Charles is a Philly bred musical renaissance man

Alexander Charles | photo courtesy of the artist
Alexander Charles | photo by Ian Hirst-Hermans | | courtesy of the artist

The first time I encountered the music of Alexander Charles, it popped up on my Instagram feed. The post was a promotion for the “Lost It” video from his 52 Weeks project. I was impressed with the clever use of strings and bass in the production, which makes the song equally chill and dance friendly. The music video was fun and interesting to watch, showcasing various elements of his style a la The Brady Bunch. When I listened to the song again, Charles’ lyrics left a deep impression on me. He was being honest and relatable without the unnecessary flex, cheap use of shock value, or being offensive, and still managed to make a damn good rap song. So naturally, I wanted to know more about him.

Alexander Charles, formally Azar from hip hop trio Ground Up, has been building his career and honing his craft for about ten years now. A proud North Philly native, he blends honesty, fun, and audacity into his lyricism, creating a fresh perspective that’s authentic to himself. I recently got the chance to sit down and ask him about his 52 Weeks project, his love for Philly, his creative process, and more. Continue reading →


Here’s what Alexander Charles – fka Azar from Ground Up – has been up to lately

Alexander Charles | photo via

After spending the better part of a decade building a grassroots following across the country on the strength of free mixtapes produced at their Temple apartment, Philly hip-hop trio Ground Up ended their run as a collective earlier this year in a heartwarming and humble announcement on Facebook. But this set everybody in the crew in a good position for launching solo careers, and first up is Azar – going now by his first and middle names instead of his last.

Alexander Charles began dropping tracks on Soundcloud about a month ago, and it finds him in reflective, introspective mode over backings that range from haunting ambient soundscapes to muted trap tones and atmospheric funk-soul. Continue reading →