Image Credits: Anne-Claire Niver © Anne-Claire Niver.
April 30, 2019
We interviewed the American singer Anne-Claire who just released her new album I Still Look For You.
> Ivano Rossato
How was the album I Still Look For You born?
This album came together after I wrote the song “Second Time”. I wrote this song after my grandmother suddenly passed away in May 2016. It’s about a dream I had about her. In the dream she came to me and when she spoke, my voice came out of her mouth and said “I just can’t stop crying”. I was disappointed with this dream because what I wanted was a grand message from the Great Beyond, but what I got was more a reflection of my own grief. Then I woke up and wrote this song. From there, the rest of the music began to flow and I put a fabulous team together to help me see it through. I Kickstarted the album in December 2017 and recorded between January and February of 2018 at the Fidelitorium in Kernersville, North Carolina.
In the dream she came to me and when she spoke, my voice came out of her mouth and said “I just can’t stop crying”.
How do you compose the original songs?
I start with a vocal melody. I’m a singer and I’m most comfortable improvising a melody or an idea and later I try to make it concrete. Then I bring the tune to the keyboard and see what changes I’d like underneath. A crucial part of the final touches to the songs happen with my band. I pride myself in creating a collaborative space for some of my favorite musicians to tackle my compositions.
The arrangement is an essential part of the songs; do you have it in mind from the beginning or is it a post-writing process?
There are some elements of arrangements that come to me during the writing process and make it to the final track. Because I have a collaborative band, I would say that most of the arrangements come together in the rehearsal room, after the bones of the song have been composed.
Which musicians do you feel have influenced your style the most?
I love PJ Harvey, Jenny Hval, Sylvan Esso, Joni Mitchell, Carole King.
I’m really into smart pop with emotional depth.
What are you listening to these days? Which new musicians do you find most interesting?
I’ve been diving back into So by Peter Gabriel, and anything by Beck. New artists I’m listening to include Christine and the Queens’ recent release Chris, and Honey by Robyn. I’m really into smart pop with emotional depth.
What do you think about streaming platforms and copyright policy in the current recording market?
It’s tough, right? I have to participate on these platforms to get heard at all and yet I’m paid pennies per stream. Bandcamp doesn’t even pay me per stream! Recently I had the modest fortune to have a single included on a Spotify playlist with a little less than 15,000 subscribers. This increased my streams by 300%. It’ll be interesting to see how this translates into actual dollars. It’s frustrating because it was (and seems to be) by pure chance that this happened at all. I will only ever make money from selling merchandise.
I Still Look For You: an espresso with Anne-Claire Niver copyright Jazzespresso 2019.
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