South Africans had to make many lifestyle sacrifices since the start of the coronavirus pandemic (who could ever forget the traumatic alcohol and cigarette ban?), but the national curfew might have been the biggest bone of contention over the past festive season. As omicron raged and ravaged, many South Africans were prepared to ring in the new year in their old tracksuit pants and ratty rugby jerseys (you know, the ones with the peeling print?) but then, on the eleventh hour, we were saved! Jubilation spread throughout the country, along with the news of the curfew being lifted.

We can’t describe the joy we felt, but Charlie Void can. The Just Dance and Ecstasy hitmaker retired from music in late 2020, but he’s bursting into the scene once again with a brand new single, Downtown. Since stepping away from music, Charlie has embarked on a journey through politics and app development. In 2021, Charl Van Blerk launched Parkshare, an app that connects users with parking spaces in busy city regions and simultaneously allows hosts to rent out available parking spaces. “It has been interesting for sure!” Charl said when asked about his life after music, “I’ve gotten involved in politics with the DA and I’m really growing in the organization! I also founded a tech startup, called ParkShare Technologies or ParkShare for short and was independently valued by two chartered accounts at a conservative estimate of R63 million. I have been able to focus on my mental health as well since stepping away from music. It was quite the destructive industry to work in and I’m still owed money from SAMPRA, so it wasn’t paying the bills, in theory.”

Charlie’s brand new single, Downtown, was written and recorded in 2 hours with Void’s partner, Bailey, on a dare. “He dared on a lazy Sunday that I couldn’t write a song after not having written for 2 years. I managed to do it in 2 hours, and I asked him to help me with the accompaniment since he’s a classically trained pianist. He also designed the artwork for Downtown since we didn’t have anything professionally done.” Charlie said. Downtown is a high-energy pop track, meant to reflect the joy that many South Africans felt after having an almost yearlong curfew lifted just in time for New Year’s Eve! Downtown combines Disco and French Pop with Charlie’s own unique touch of brilliance. Although Charlie enjoyed his trip down memory lane with the creation of Downtown, he has no intention to return to music.

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