Music Interview: Caomhe makes jaws drop
In November last year, I found myself sitting on the floor of an old, converted stable in Camden, London. My jaw had dropped, my body had erupted into goosebumps and every single person around me was speechless. The reason behind this situation? An artist named Caomhe.
Performing at Breakout, at event held at Proud2, Caomhe (pronounced Keeva) not only captured my attention for the night, but my heart too. Her music is the perfect combination of melodic guitar riffs and relatable lyrics, with her song ‘Streetlights’, in particular, really hitting a personal chord. I’m still unable to shake the tune from my head.
So, with that in mind, it felt only natural to sit down with Caomhe, not long after the release of her brand new E.P, ‘Beautiful Mess’, and discuss where her music has taken her, since that night back in 2012, because I know I’ve been sat on the floor of the stables, waiting for her to sing some more…
What inspired you to call your EP ‘Beautiful Mess’?
This is the title-track of the EP, plus it has a pretty awesome story to it; when writing this song with my friend, Erik Dylan, in Nashville the fuse switch started playing up and the lights kept flickering. Erik went upstairs to figure it out what was going on. I sat alone downstairs and suddenly I felt a storm of whispers rush through me. It was only later when I told him, that he said that the house was Patsy Cline’s old love nest and she despises women who are in the house! Nevertheless, I still listen to her song, ‘Crazy’ at least once a day.
Do you think your sound has changed over the time you’ve been singing and if so, is this a good or bad thing?
‘Beautiful Mess’ has a pop feel to it, with a hint of country, and I’d like to think you wouldn’t be ashamed to dance around your bedroom alone to it. I’ve wanted to be a country/pop singer since I was 14-years-old, so I feel as though I’ve stayed true to myself but I also feel like my style of writing has matured over that time.
You’re still very young; how did you know music was the career for you? What would you be doing if not music?
I thought of studying Law and going down that route but soon discovered that if I put the same amount of effort into music, I could create a career for myself in something that I love.
What is your earliest memory involving music?
I was six years old and my parents used to own one of those pianos that could play by itself; I used to pretend to play it and put on ‘concerts’ for myself. I’d listen to the various ‘artists’ that were playing but I’d always be the headliner. I used to clap after each song… even my own.
Who would you say are your biggest inspirations?
I have a few… Taylor Swift is the reason I picked up a guitar and I will always be eternally grateful to her for inspiring me to do that. But, right now, Kacey Musgrave’s writing style – it’s very honest – is inspiring me a lot.
What type of support have you received regarding your music? How do you deal with negativity, if you receive it?
I’ve found a lot of support through various sources, especially the BBC; they’ve taken me under their wing in many different ways – from live sessions, radio interviews, being asked to cover ‘Twist and Shout’ – The Beatles for the Beatles 50th Anniversary to an invitation to the BBC Masterclass at Abbey Road Studios.
The venues I play have always been great supporters too and also the wonderful people who turn out on those cold nights to listen to me play. They encourage me to continue.
In terms of negativity, I feel that if you haven’t been criticised then you can’t develop as an artist. If someone feels the need to tell me that I’m not that great, then I strive to someday prove them wrong.
In terms of this EP, what are your aims for it and what can fans expect from you next?
My aim for this EP is just to put out some great music that will people will enjoy. I’m hoping to release another EP in January 2014 and if I have a collection of songs that I really believe in, I will begin the process of making an album.
Dead or alive, who is the one person you’d like to work with?
Francoise Hardy – have you SEEN how cool she is?
Where do you see yourself in five years time, musically and otherwise?
Musically: writing, recording and creating records that make me a better artist.
Otherwise: finding better deals at charity shops, knitting a complex jumper and baking better cupcakes.
And finally, who are you currently rating, musically?
These albums are all on repeat in my room:
Kacey Musgraves – Same Trailer Different Park.
John Mayer – Paradise Valley.
Haim – Forever EP.
…and maybe some One Direction thrown in there too!
To find out more about Caomhe, and to keep right up to date, follow her on Facebook.
Interview by Victoria Gottschalk