This week we caught up with welsh country singer, Eleri Angharard to discuss when she first discovered her love for music, the country music scene in Swansea and being on the line up for the upcoming British Country Music Festival …
1. When did you discover your love for music?
As a kid I always loved music, I listened to a lot of my parents collection, with bands like Catatonia, REM and also artists like James Taylor who is still a huge favourite of mine. I was always putting on shows with my little sisters, and singing in choirs at school and I started writing songs at 13 when I picked up my first guitar. I think I’ve just always loved music and wanted to be involved in it.
2. You are based in Swansea, what’s the music scene like over there for country music?
I think it’s such a growing genre across the UK, and there are some great local country acts in Swansea, Hawthorn Avenue, Sons of Owen and Natalie Jones are some of my favourites! After this pandemic is over I’m hoping to set up a regular country music night to showcase all the wonderful talents.
3. You are booked to perform at the upcoming British Country Music Festival, what can fans expect from your set?
I’m still working out the details, but I think with the ongoing covid situation it’ll be a stripped back acoustic set, so it’ll be really fun to showcase my new songs in that way. I’m really excited to be able to meet and connect with fans in person after a year of only being able to do it via online streams.
4. You have previously performed in Nashville, Chicago and New York, how was it playing in America and how does it compare to the UK?
I think the city shows in New York and Chicago were really similar to playing UK cities like London, but Nashville has a vibe of it’s own! Everyone there just absolutely loves music and is so enthusiastic and supportive, it’s a lot of fun playing out there, particularly in writer’s rounds, which I’m really hoping will take off in the UK too, it’s such a unique and intimate experience.
5. Your latest release, ‘Delete It’ on the 19th March, what’s the influence behind the track? Delete It is all about the anxiety of trying to communicate via text and overthinking every single word of a message that you just end up deleting anyway! I think this last year has shown us all how difficult it is when you can’t communicate properly with people and have to rely on technology and all the anxiety that comes with it. My co-writer Beth Keeping and I talked a lot about this before we wrote the track. It’s basically an anxious bop for anyone who’s freaked out when they watch the other person ‘typing…’
6. Do you have a particular writing process or is it something that comes naturally?
It depends, sometimes it flows so naturally, particularly if I have something on my mind or that I’m struggling with, writing a song will help me process that. Other times it’s harder to feel inspired and it comes down to crafting the song piece by piece. I’ve worked with a lot of co-writers in the last year and I’ve found that really useful in exploring different ways into writing a song.
7. You released your official video for New Sin in December, was there a particular message that you wanted the video to represent?
With New Sin, I explored the characters of two people beginning a love affair, and the passion and lust that is felt in that beginning rush. The video was aptly set in one of my favourite venues, Sin City, and my recollections of nights there have always had this rush and excitement about them so I really wanted to get that across in the video. With social distancing we couldn’t have a crowd of people in the video but I think it worked well just having two people as often when you have that ‘lust at first sight’ moment it feels like you’re the only people in the room.
8. What venue are you most excited about playing when gigs return?
There’s a couple in London I’d really love to play, The Green Note and Ronnie Scotts, but I’d also love to play some hometown shows, and I’d love to put on a headline show at Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff at some point.
9. Two of your tracks, New Sin and Blank Walls have both reached over 100,000 streams on Spotify how does it make you feel to see that so many people are streaming your music?
It’s crazy, it’s amazing how far music can travel, and I love looking at the listener insights on Spotify and seeing the places all over the world that people are playing my music. I’ve had plays in Brazil and India and Morocco and I just find it so cool that people are connecting from other countries.
10. What are your plans and ambitions for the next year as a musician?
I have a couple more releases up my sleeve for this year and my plan after that is to just write lots and lots of new music, with a view to writing a second album. I’ve had a couple of exciting opportunities crop up this year with publishing too so hopefully I can announce those soon. I would also love to get back to playing regular gigs and I’m starting to book some in so watch this space!
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