30 seconds with... Clare Free

Clare Free sings the blues, and more. She was nominated for the final round of British Blues Awards twice in 2011, for the Best New UK Blues Song (KT Award). She also reached the final in the People's Music Awards and was nominated for Best Acoustic Performance and One to Watch categories of the new WRC Award.

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 15 Feb 2012
  • min read
Clare Free sings the blues, and more. She was nominated for the final round of British Blues Awards twice in 2011, for the Best New UK Blues Song (KT Award). She also reached the final in the People's Music Awards and was nominated for Best Acoustic Performance and One to Watch categories of the new WRC Award.

M spends 30 seconds with her to find out more...

How long have you been making music?
I've been making up songs since I was very little then at 12 I took up piano and used to annoy my piano tutor by rewriting the classics and coming up with new ideas for them. I began seriously songwriting when I was about 16.

What inspired your latest album?
The simple answer to that is life. I write about things that I think about and things that affect me so the album is very much inspired by the people I meet and the world I live in. On a musical level I am inspired by almost everything I hear, I listen to loads and loads of music of all different genres and pick and choose the most interesting ideas to work with.

What process do you go through to create your music?
I'm not a very organised writer in that I don't sit down and write a song in one day. It takes a couple of weeks for me to write a new song.  Usually I start with the melody or hook and work from there. I'll stop and start, revisit it and even get up in the middle of the night to tinker with lyrics. Once the melody and sections of the song are all in place I really focus on the words. For me, the words are so important.  I literally can't sleep if I think a line has been written wrong. I have a brain storm session before I start writing the lyrics, and several more as I go along. When its all done, and at lots of stages before its done, I record it so there's no chance of a good idea slipping away!

How would you describe your sound?
My sound is a mix of blues/rock, funk and pop. I'm on a mission to bring blues to a wider audience by modernising it.  I've always both played and written within the genre but I'm a huge fan of lots of music from outside the blues so on a musical level I'm influenced by a huge range of music including metal, rock and new country. I like catchy choruses and very funky rhythms in my music which is uncommon for blues.  A reviewer of the new album said I 'bring blues kicking and screaming to the present'. I like that, that's what I am trying to do.

What would your dream collaboration be?
I would love to try working more with musicians working in other genres, maybe a rapper or someone like that. I'd also love to work with one of the big stadium rock bands like Aerosmith - they influence my work and it would be so much fun!

Where can we catch you performing next?
I do loads of gigs all over the country. My next gig in London is at the 100 Club on 11 March.
www.clarefree.co.uk