INTERVIEW: A Chat With Musician Claire Reneé

 If you are looking for a new track to listen to this Monday afternoon, then you should check out the latest single called Tired by musician Claire Reneé. It is a track full of emotion and combines jazz, pop, soul and R&B altogether. Set to release her brand new album Wings later in the year, I caught up with Clare to discuss Tired, Wings and being a classically trained dancer.

Hello Claire very nice to e-meet you!  Tell us three unknown facts about yourself?

Hi! Three things people don’t know are:

  • If I could go back to go school it would be to study anthropology.
  • I am certified in Yin Yoga.
  • I think the heart is so cool and I love reading about it.

How did you get into music? 

Growing up going to church, playing in the school band, and literally listening to all types of music as a kid.

Who do you find your inspirations? 

I’m definitely inspired by Janet Jackson. I just saw a lot of myself in her as a kid. I’m somewhat soft-spoken and shy but transform when I perform.

Tell us all about your latest single I’m Tired? 

It’s a song I wrote at a point in time where I was just extremely exhausted. We all have felt that feeling of just being “over it”. I was drained and having not-so-great friendships didn’t help.

It is a great song, you can feel the emotion in every word. How do you get into the mindset to record such emotion in your voice? 

Thank you! Funny enough, none of that preparation has to happen when you just feel it because you are going through it at the moment. I was tired and a bit fed up and that’s what came out in my voice.

How long did it take to write the song?

 I can’t remember but this was one of those songs that poured out of me. 

Where does the inspiration for the song come from? 

Like I said before, I was literally tired of a lot of things in my life including janky relationships. This was me venting and realizing I can change how I feel with action. 

You are also a dancer – do you approach singing in the same way as dance when it comes to performance and creation angle or do you separate the two of them?

They are two different mediums of expression and technique, so I don’t approach them the same at all when it comes to performance. In creation like any other art form yes. We all start with ideas, sketches, concepts…etc.

Tell us about how you have been making music in lockdown?

I had even more time to dedicate to writing and ended up writing and recording a lot as I was processing how I was feeling. Listen to my EP “If I” produced by TEK.LUN. It came out in Sept 2020.

What is the most challenging thing when it comes to producing a record?

The mixing process. I like to be involved but it’s a lot of time listening to yourself over and over.

You have an album called Wings coming out soon as well, what can you tell our readers about that?

 It’s a look at the beautiful parts and not so beautiful parts of being in relationship with people. What matters is how you choose to navigate and stand in your truth and light, even when you are disappointed, hurt, or let down along the way. There is growth in that. It feels freeing.

How do you warm up for a show?

Vocal exercises, stretching, breathwork, and meditation.

What is one of your favourite songs  to perform live? 

I have a song titled “Love So Hard” and that’s a fun one.

What is the toughest songs to perform live and why?

 “Letter From An Alien” it’s tough to sing about not being fully seen and given humanity when you’re black. Especially when not much has changed since I wrote it.

How have you been keeping creative during lockdown? 

Writing, making sure to stay a fan of music by listening to others, and dancing.

Has it lead to lots more songs?

If you mean a lot more songs the public will hear? Not sure, but probably not.

Our site also is about improv – in a music sense, what have been some of your favorite improvised melodies that you have created and been able to use in songs and why? 

I am very familiar with how improv is used in acting and comedy, and how great of a tool it is. It’s very different for me with music though. I’m a jazz kid and improvising is a huge part of expressing our souls in the moment, but I never join in with the band with the intention to improvise so I can remember a cool sequence to use later. On the other hand, so much of my approach to sitting down to create a song is playing with words, chords, and melodies until something sticks and I like it. I hadn’t considered how improvisational songwriting is. Check out my song “LOL” that hook is a cool melody to me.

What are your plans for 2020 / 2021?

To stay healthy, release Wings, and hopefully, get to perform the record.

And finally why should people check out your music?

It’s honest music and I always create with the intention to inspire, relate, or simply touch a heart or a mind somewhere out there. Also, the music is dope. 

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