Sunday 22 April 2018

Q&A: Clare maguire

Ed Power

Ed Power

On why she isn't the new Bonnie Tyler, Jay-Z and the X Factor

So, it's Clare Maguire -- the one-woman Bonnie Tyler revival!

It gets a bit frustrating when you are trying really hard to be original, to make your music about yourself and your experiences, and then everyone just comes out and says, "oh, Bonnie Tyler". That's a bit disappointing.

Come on Clare, it could have been worse. They might be calling you the new Kim Wilde.

I can appreciate that people need to say you sound like certain people to get a handle on what you are doing. From my perspective, I know I'm going to offer so much in the next year. Hopefully this will all go away and people will start listening to me as Clare Maguire rather than Bonnie Tyler.

Didn't your family try to get you to audition for X Factor when you were a struggling unknown?

Yes, but it wasn't for me.

So you're a fully paid-up member of 'Simon Cowell is the Antichrist' school?

X Factor has its place in that it's really entertaining. There are so many people who are desperate to be singers or artists or famous. And there are people who need entertainment in their lives, to be able to switch off on a Saturday night. I think it's hopeful. And anything that is hopeful is a good thing.

Still, your career trajectory is straight out of reality television. Rick Rubin arranged for you to fly out to his Los Angeles mansion so that the two of you could chill.

It was very surreal. I am a huge fan of Rick Rubin. And of Jay-Z, whom I also met when the US labels were trying to sign me. When they want to sign you, they go all out, they don't hold anything back. I was in Rick Rubin's kitchen and I told him how much I loved Johnny Cash's music. He played me some unreleased demos, some of the last things Cash had done. I remember being absolutely blown away and crying. He gave me a guitar and I sang [old Irish folk song] The Butcher Boy for him.

When you were signed two years ago, soul divas such as Amy Winehouse and Duffy were all the thing. Was your label looking for a new Back to Black?

Yeah, I have a feeling it's part of the reason so many people were interested in me at the time. It was the time of Amy Winehouse and the time of Duffy. A lot of people wanted me to work with their writers and do soul-sounding things. I'm actually a huge, huge Amy Winehouse fan. But I didn't want to think too much about what everyone else was doing.

Your family is Irish, isn't it?

Yes. I have relatives from Cavan, Limerick, Roscommon, Donegal. As a child, I would come over on holidays all the time. It's my favourite place in the world.

Clare Maguire's debut album, Light After Dark, is released next Friday. She plays the Sugar Club, Dublin, on March 28

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