Marie-Claire Berreen is the latest musical sensation from England. Ms. Berreen took time off from her busy schedule to talk with The Alvarez-Galloso News Hour. Her music and her musical videos are one of the alternatives in a music world that is dominated by conglomerates.
The interview was conducted via E Mail between England and Florida. The rest is another chapter in the history of this blog.
1. What inspired you to become an artist?
Seeing the reaction of others to my music. I remember singing a solo at my primary school and people crying. I thought I’d upset them and them my Mum explained that it had moved them in a positive way.
2. Who are your musical idols and what did you learn from them in order to form your own style?
Hard question – too many!
Eddi Reader is my biggest musical idol (and Boo Herwardine who writes many songs for her). I love the way she wraps her voice around the words. She’s famous for her pitch rage but I’m equally impressed with her dynamic range. Seeing her live was a significant moment for me – I remember holding my heart throughout, thinking it would burst out of my chest. I love how at peace she is when she performs and the way she goes off ‘mermaiding’ (when she explores the spaces of the songs and her voice seems to morphs into a violin/ flute/ theramin). Another idol for me is Nick Drake. Discovering his music and then reading his biography was bitter sweet. I completely fell in love with his voice – it’s so rare to hear such a pure sound with no vibrato and a British accent – such a contrast to voices of today where Brits tend to shout with an American accent! Knowing he had such a tormented soul makes his music so heart wrenching. If you listen to my music you may notice I close ‘n’ sounds and hold them in several of my songs – this is a tribute to Nick Drake’s style of singing.
3. Have you performed in North America?
Not yet but I’d love to.
4. What was the inspiration behind “Honeypie” and “Need Me”?
Honeypie was written in a cottage on a farm in Devon. My partner (Steven Wattison, who plays guitar in my band) asked me to write a love song for him (cheeky bugger!) The song’s quite personal but when we do it live we’ll often spot couples enjoying the sentiment of the chorus “is it enough for me to say to you I love you so much it makes me cry…).
Need me was a unique song writing experience for me. I was walking through afield and the song came to me all at once, lyrics, melody and orchestration. I ran to the house and quickly worked it out on the piano. It’s a song about needing to be needed. It’s about loving someone who is in pain and a yearning to be able to help them.
5. What is your advice to those who want a career in music?
1) Find your own style and do you! It’s great to have influences but it’s better to be original than to sound like an impersonator.
2) Get honest, impartial feedback – friends and family tend to say what you want to hear.
3) Music rarely pays the mortgage. Find a job that allows you to be creative outside of work.
3) Never pay to play.
4) Concentrate on writing and recording great music. Facebook, twitter and all that stuff’s far less important.
6. What is your message to the world?
Never underestimate how your actions can make or break another person’s day.
I want to thank you Marie-Claire Berreen for your time spent with us. It is hoped that you could one day perform in North America. Our best wishes to you from Florida