Paul and Claire are an innovative Country duo who recently created their new album through crowdfunding. They are multiple award winners and were the first Scottish act to represent the UK at the Country Music Association Festival in Nashville.
They tell us how sticking to your guns is the only way to create passionate music and build a rewarding career.
What is unique or different about your music?
Despite being Scottish we decided to stay in the genre we loved – Country music. We were told to change our sound and people literally laughed in our face.
What other genre were people urging you to do?
A label told us that we should be the male/female duo version of The Script. Now while The Script are great, it was not what we wanted to do. Now fast forward to 2015 and we have events like the Country2Country Music festival in the O2 in London; UK Country Music is starting to be taken very seriously.
What advice do you have for singers from this experience?
Stick with what you love doing and always ‘do you’ there is no one on the planet better at doing that!
One influential singer, and what it is that makes them stand out to you?
Paul – I sway between Freddie Mercury and Elvis Presley, I admire the same stand out qualities in both: a charismatic presence and delivery that transcended genres.
Claire – Patsy Cline and her ability to interpret songs that she did not write with such honesty and integrity.
Biggest challenge to breaking out and sharing your music with new people?
Really it’s getting above the noise. The internet has offered such an amazing opportunity, but you have to find the thing that make you stand out from the crowd. It is also accepting from the outset that success is the journey, not the destination.
Something’s that’s worked for you in reaching a larger audience?
Building a personal relationship with our audience online, allowing them behind the curtain and seeing the real people and real lives behind the name Raintown.
A performance FAIL?
It has to be Paul rupturing a knee ligament during the final song of the set on stage in Manchester and not be able to get off stage without help. In fairness he continued on holding on to the microphone stand for support. A sore one!
A performance SUCCESS?
When we realised that a performance is about creating moments for your audience and connecting with them at a deeper level than just singers singing songs.
Favorite piece of vocal gear?
Our Shure 58 cordless microphones – great clear sound while still retaining the warmth of the vocals. We also love our easy release microphone stands.
A musical lesson you’ve learned the hard way?
Not everyone is going to like you. It doesn’t matter what the truth is, people will say things that are not true out of jealousy. Embrace it and use it to propel you forward. Also build a great team around you that you can trust.
A vocal-singing lesson you’ve learned the hard way?
Do not attend loud parties, gigs or events the night before an important gig. You will only end up straining your vocals shouting over the loud music as you try to talk to people. We have done this before and paid the price the following day.
A few ingredients of a memorable vocal performance?
You have to put every piece of emotion that created that lyric in to the performance of that song. Look out and connect with the audience, let them see how much the words mean to you. Breathe and focus on your technique.
Most important lesson you have learned about social media?
Remember it is ‘Social Media,’ not ‘Selling Media’. It is not about how many things you can sell people, but how much valuable content you can give them to build the long standing relationship.
Most important lesson you have learned about vocal health?
Hydration matters, drink more water. Stop shouting, sometimes silence is good.
How would you overcome personal doubts about your ability?
Realise from the very outset that you are an individual with something unique to offer. It is NOT a competition, but self-development and personal growth. A roadblock or mental block does not mean you cannot journey down that road, it just means you have to find the right map to continue.
Raintown fuse a passion for country music with their eclectic musical influences and continue the tradition of exciting new music to emerge from Glasgow. Nine awards in three years cement their place as one of the UK’s leading new breed of country acts.