Hey Clara! Hope you’re doing well. LOVE the new single! Tell us a little bit about ‘Does Your Girlfriend Know You’re Single’ and why it felt like a good introduction to the next chapter of your career…
‘Does Your Girlfriend Know You’re Single’ is a song I wrote for the guy who took me on a date and then I found out six months later that he was celebrating his one year anniversary with his girlfriend. I knew it was going to be the lead single to my next EP the minute ‘Out of Towners’ was released. We had the song for a while and I loved the attitude in the song, and the energy of the write on the day. It made me realise that actually that side of me, where I don’t accept that kind of behaviour, is quite a fun way to write. When it comes to men behaving badly, I found where I draw the line, and decided to write about that line.
You wrote the new single with Lewis Fuller. Most people would assume from the title of the song that it would be a female co-writer, but that’s clearly not the case! Tell us about that dynamic and what Lewis had to offer once the idea was in place…
I remember saying the title. I remember singing – the outro part of the chorus is actually when I came up with the title – and I just remember him shouting the word ‘Yes!’ and we just went with it. It was really nice, the Romeo/lothario thing was actually his idea, and it was nice writing with someone that had a different lyrical voice. He was very energetic and supportive as I was coming up with stuff that I might have thought ‘oh is that a little bit bitchy?’ and he just goes ‘No, please continue!’
On the sound of the new track, you said “I’ve finally found a sound that feels completely my own” – how would you describe that new sound and how has that developed over the last couple of years?
I’m just not really scared to push genre boundaries anymore. One of my least favourite questions ever is ‘How would you describe your music?’ because I just don’t know. The people that I work with, the people in my life – all my friends and musicians who listen to jazz, funk, hip hop – we’re talking extreme versions of each. I pick up on things, I know what I like and I know what I don’t like, and what I do like I’m very influenced by. It’s trying to create something that’s completely my own, rather than people going, ‘oh have you heard the new Taylor Swift record? You should write something like that.’ I completely reject that kind of mentality – I once went to a writing session where someone had recreated the backing track to ‘Peter Pan’ by Kelsea Ballerini and asked me to write over it. I remember saying ‘well I don’t really want to do this,’ and they said ‘well it doesn’t matter, what if it’s a hit’, but what happens to my musical integrity if I do that?
It’s the first track from your upcoming EP ‘Crown’, following up ‘Out Of Towners’ back in 2016. What can fans expect from the EP in terms of an evolution from the last project?
Sonically and musically, it’s an entirely different species of EP, we’ve come such a long way. It’s the same team, it’s pretty much the same musicians – with the exception of gaining a few genuinely world class players that intimidate me- and it’s still my same outlook in my writing, still that same honesty, but I’ve just learned a lot about music. I’ve learned it’s ok to push musical boundaries, there are no lines between genres, you can create whatever kind of music you want to create. People saying ‘oh that isn’t country,’ doesn’t matter. Those barriers don’t exist and shouldn’t exist – if it sounds good, it sounds good…
How much fun was the single to put together in the studio? I love the little electronic, funky elements and it’s so damn catchy – great to see you pushing the boundaries and experimenting. I’d imagine you and the guys in the band had a blast!
We had a blast when we started figuring it out. It was an absolute nightmare to actually decide on a production and arrangement direction, because there were so many different avenues we could have gone down with it. I’m really pleased that we decided to be brave and stick with the funk element, because it feels so natural when you play it live that way. Also it’s got that sass to it, having it be that funk-pop and roll – that feels completely natural – and I think actually saying ‘that’s how the song is meant to sound, let’s go with it’ is the best way forward.
Any idea when we’ll be able to hear the rest of the EP?
So we’ll be releasing a song a month, until the EP is finally released in July. Watch this space!
You’ve teamed up with new UK company Triple Fret Entertainment. It’s refreshing to see an organisation like that popping up – how excited are you about working with them and why did it feel like a good fit for you?
I’d been by myself for such a long time. I was always reluctant to partner with someone on the management side of things but they weren’t pretentious at all and we just spoke really openly and honestly about music. It felt like such a right fit because we all shared one common factor which was that we were really passionate about making sure there was really good new music coming out onto the country music scene – without trying to sound like it’s from Nashville.
You’ve got your first headline show coming up at The Courtyard with Daisy Clark – exciting times! How much have you been looking forward to that?
Daisy Clark is an absolutely phenomenal singer – genuinely one of the best voices I’ve ever heard when I’ve shared the bill with other artists, so I’m really excited to have her on board. I’m so excited about it, it’s a bit nerve-wracking because it’s my own show but it feels like a natural progression for me. I’ve done the support slots and I love it but I want to be brave and I realise it’s time for my own show.
Have you got many plans for the summer in terms of live shows and festivals? Where can people come and see you?
There are some things in talks at the moment but keep checking my social media!