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Band Information

Charmie Deller
Vox, piano, guitar, keys
Main Contact
Michael Gorman
Label Contact



Toronto-based singer-songwriter Charmie has led a life straight out of the movies from her family coming to America from Haiti with false papers to choosing to leave home at 17 because her religious parents didn’t accept she is gay to co-writing opportunities with some top artists. That’s a lot of ups and downs in 20-something years, finally landing on the ups.

A sunny personality with a big smile, sure to become her trademark, it’s hard to believe she’s gone through such hardship.

Originally from Haiti, the family moved to the U.S. when she was 5. Her dad, a Volunteer Lay Pastor and electrician by trade, worked for the American Embassy and was able to get a visa for himself. He brought her mom and eldest brother with him on passports with fake names, then found a Haitian-America family in Florida willing to say that Charmie and two of her siblings were their kids. They all came under different names.

Soon, the State authorities discovered them and said they had to leave, but instead her dad uprooted the family to Philadelphia where they had relatives. Meanwhile, three more of her siblings had arrived. In Philly, Charmie, who had sang since she was a child, played piano and drums at church. Her mom is a multi-instrumentalist (piano, drums, bass) and taught all her kids and even got Charmie a guitar.

When Charmie was 12, her eldest brother went to immigration to get papers because he planned to get married, but was detained; they said they had been looking for his family for 10 years and deportation was imminent. It was time for her dad to hatch another plan.

While the story is long and complicated, turns out since the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the poorest country in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) was not accepting any deported citizens so her brother was given a U.S. green card. One night her dad was taken, but the whole family went down to the immigration jail in their Sunday best, crying and putting on quite a performance. They were given 30 days to sell everything and then they would be deported. They affixed a GPS ankle monitor to try to prevent him from fleeing the country.

Plan three. With God as his guide, her dad cut off the tracking device and a van picked them all up in the middle of the night bound for Canada. They got out at The Champlain–St. Bernard de Lacolle Border Crossing, closest to Montreal. In the interrogation room, her dad told the truth and applied for asylum on humanitarian grounds. “My God can make a way” was often his answer to the hows, she says.

After the application was approved, both her parents got jobs. Charmie attended a French school in Montreal which was difficult for the English and Creole-speaking teen. The one thing she was good at? Music.

At 13, she entered and won first place in the school talent show by singing a French gospel song. The next year, she entered the original category with the first song she ever wrote, “Toi et Moi,” about her first experience with a girl. Her win was in the newspaper because the school was part of a bigger competition held at a retreat. At 15, her brother took her to the subway to busk for the first time to pay off his parking ticket. One could say that was start of her professional music career.

Unable to get work as a licenced electrician in Montreal, her dad moved the family to Toronto, where Charmie thrived personally. The school was English-speaking and she was becoming more and more entrenched in music. Meanwhile, at home, her mom had found an email from her first girlfriend and grounded her. She had been made to put her hand on the Bible and swear she would not be gay. “I hated myself for so long for who I was,” says Charmie.

With her parents suspicious of her every move, they didn’t believe her when she went to a grant workshops to further her music career and she would get grief at home. She also started getting paid gigs through Rise Entertainment and eventually at 17 left home and moved into a transitional housing facility for youth, Eva’s Phoenix. The shelter required she save 15% of her income in order to move out in about 18 months. She succeeded — busking 9-to-5 for a good five years (she would constantly getting booted because she did not have a busking license).

Just four credits shy of her high school diploma, she has not looked back. A decade later and she’s the busking Queen, even ending up on TTC billboards at the stations. But 2023 she’ll be heard beyond the tunnels and streets. As she sings in the upbeat “Get up,” “Got to go outside / Got to live your life / So get up / City is alive…I praise the Lord but not the demons try to knock me down. I get up.”

To add to the happy never-ending, as if scripted, her mom is now proud and accepting of Charmie. “Wow, my beautiful daughter,” she wrote under a social media post of Charmie singing these lyrics: “You can’t hate what you can’t see…You can’t stop what’s meant to be — and it’s meant to be.”

End of movie, with many sequels to come.