Charly Lowry is a singer-songwriter from North Carolina with Native American roots from the dark swamps of Robeson County. Before she could talk it was obvious that Charly would lead a life of entertaining others, as evidenced by her Grandfather’s collection of VHS tapes; through his camera lens, Charly and her Grandfather began the communicative back and forth of sharing in the joys of storytelling, make-believe, song, and dance. Throughout her years as an adolescent, Charly began to develop a reputation as an ambassador for her People, the Lumbee. Today, the Lumbee are known throughout the United States as being the only tribe in the nation to receive Federal Recognition from the US government, but with the stipulation of not receiving full benefits; a large part of this injustice attributed to the overwhelming oral and documented history of the Lumbee as being descendants of the Tuscarora of NC.
At the age of 18, Charly traveled 100 miles away from home and to receive her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel-Hill. As a student at UNC, Charly was a lead singer for Mr. Coffee and the Creamers, a Motown/Soul cover band that performed throughout the Triangle region of NC. Charly’s experience as a lead singer for Mr. Coffee and the Creamers served as a catalyst for her to begin the journey of living as a musician.
For over a decade, Charly has attained regional and national success as both a solo artist and lead singer of spiritual rock and soul band, Dark Water Rising. In addition to performing with Dark Water Rising and The Ulali Project (a reincarnation of the world-famous First Nations female acapello group, Ulali) she often shares the stage with the British funk/soul band, “The New Mastersounds”. In 2004, Charly had the opportunity to compete on the wildly popular television show, American Idol. She ventured through several rounds of auditions to land a Semi-Finalist spot (Top 32).
In addition to living as a full-time musician, Charly spends the rest of her waking hours as an advocate for tribal affairs pertaining to the environment, just and fair treatment, and also raising awareness around her experience as an Indigenous artist in modern America. One of her proudest moments as an artist and advocate involved marching through the streets of New York City along with 400,000 collective minds during the People’s Climate March of 2014. True to her roots as an artist and passion for the betterment of the place she calls home, Charly founded a community arts organization to address the lack of performance venues for artists in Robeson County. Known as “Peace in the Park”, the 501c-3 works to showcase outdoor facilities as venues for the performance arts, and to take a stand against violence.
As an artist, the songbird stands firm in her belief of using music and the arts to change the world.
“I am only a vessel”-Charly Lowry