Charlie Puth's Transparency in His Music Continues to Win Over Fans | Miami New Times
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Charlie Puth Continues to Delivery Authenticity

Charlie Puth takes to his music to talk about his jilted romances, broken hearts, and lonely one-night stands, and it doesn't take much digging to know precisely who he is alluding to.
Charlie Puth
Charlie Puth Photo by Kenneth Cappello
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"Charlie, be quiet, don't make a sound/You got to lower the noise a little bit now," Charlie Puth sings in "Charlie Be Quiet!" off his third studio album Charlie. The lyrics ring with irony, as part of what makes him so popular is his emotional, expressive, and overshared life — though some wish he would tone it down. Puth takes to his music to talk about his jilted romances, broken hearts, and lonely one-night stands, and it doesn't take much digging to know precisely who he is alluding to.

Puth's transparency is why he has been so successful not working behind the scenes as a songwriter and producer. Many now know him on TikTok as the guy who can make music from any sound and tell you the exact note of various daily noises, but only some see that he has been a content creator for more than a decade. At 18, he started on YouTube with various silly comedy sketches alongside his friends, song covers, and, eventually, original music.

Having discovered he had perfect pitch at the age of 4, Puth later attended Berklee College of Music; his YouTube career coincided with his freshman year. His videos — albeit silly and dated — featured music that caught the attention of both his professors and daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. This all led to a successful music career, but the goofy kid first introduced on YouTube never left.

But as his career grew, so did the interest in Puth's love life. After collaborating with Selena Gomez on the 2016 hit "We Don't Talk Anymore," rumors of a relationship flooded the gossip columns. Gomez had called it quits with Justin Bieber, who began seeing his now-wife Hailey Baldwin. Puth's song that touched on a lover who moved on too quickly felt like the perfect dig. Then, after denial from Gomez about dating Puth, the following year, he came out with another shady single, "Attention," about a girl who only wants him around for others to see.
While Gomez is the queen of keeping the peace, Puth's blunt transparency always stirs drama. In interviews, you're never quite sure what he's going to reveal, and even now, in 2023, he tweeted — and later deleted — "Attention is about exactly what you think it is about," seemingly confirming all the drama just seven years later.

That transparency doesn't just come through in his love life. He posts eccentric pictures that make no sense (and are sometimes risqué), tweets whatever he's feeling at that moment, and connects with his fans through nerdy TikToks about music composition. With his perfect pitch, he can identify the note of any sound in the world, which leads fans to tag him in posts of sounds from beeps to a large roaring sea lion. Puth responds with the correct note, inserting it into a song we know to prove his point. His TikToks also tease his new music and give fun music theory facts, letting fans and users learn more about musicality.

Puth's 2018 album, Voicenotes, served as a tribute to his songwriting process, where he makes a voice note of new song ideas before producing them. His most recent album, Charlie, is his most personal album yet and includes a feature from BTS's Jungkook. With songs like "When You're Sad, I'm Sad" and "Tears on My Piano," Charlie pulls the listener deeper into his emotions and issues with love.

All of it serves to remind fans that no matter how successful he is, he will always be that authentic, goofy, and emotional kid first introduced to the world on YouTube.

Charlie Puth. With Blu DeTiger. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 31, FPL Solar Amphitheater, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; bayfrontparkmiami.com. Tickets cost $29.50 to $99.50 via livenation.com.
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