Campfire Tales: introducing Callaghan

One of the big successes of the C2C: Country To Country festival - now in its third year at The O2 - are the pop-up stages. UK-US singer songwriter Callaghan is playing both days of the festival (Saturday, Music Mile Stage and Sunday, Big Entrance Stage) and featured on the recent Bob Harris: My Nashville TV special. With her new record in the bag and a full UK tour in April, we caught up with the Lincolnshire lass for a few questions.

Please introduce yourself to The Music Fix readers!

Hi everyone, I'm Callaghan. Originally from Lincolnshire, but now living in Nashville in the States, and about to release my second studio album!

What can we expect from your upcoming record, 'A History Of Now'?

Life is a journey of moments and experiences. We’re all writing our own story through the decisions we make, the relationships we have, the things that happen to us and the moments we experience. I hope this album reflects that journey and those moments. From happy uplifting tracks, to more reflective, emotional ballads. There are universal things all of us experience as we go through life - moments that might seem insignificant but which shape who we are as people and our outlook on the world. I hope that listeners find songs on the album that make them reflect, some that make them cry and some that make them want to dance around the room!

You used PledgeMusic to fund the new record - would you recommend the crowd funding route to other artists?

Using PledgeMusic has been a great experience for me. I really enjoyed making my fans part of the process and giving them a the behind-the-scenes look at what goes into making a record. I think that these days music in general has become a lot more collaborative between the artist and music fan and people love getting involved. This was my first time using something like it and I was overwhelmed with the response, getting to 170% of the goal I had set. It's a great feeling when you know your fans are all helping make the album possible and as excited as I am about it coming out!

How come you moved to the US in 2010? Better weather?

That's certainly one bonus! Although not at the moment – it’s absolutely freezing in Nashville right now!

I moved here originally to record an album with Shawn Mullins who I was a huge fan of and who I had reached out to on MySpace back in 2009. I had been a big fan of his for as long as I can remember, and sending him the email was one of those split second decisions you do thinking probably nothing will come of it. But I got a reply back from him a few weeks later saying he loved my songs and wanted to work together. So that was a real dream come true for me! I ended up recording my first album with him and then going on four tours with him all across America. It was such an amazing experience, and I'm so thankful I decided to send that email. So since 2010 I've been touring and writing and recording, and having loads of fun. I've been to 46 states now, so I've definitely seen a lot of the country. That's one of the reasons I thought it was about time I came back to the UK for some shows.

Is there anything that you’ve been listening to that influences the new record?

I'm definitely a real music fan and always listening to something wherever I am, whatever I’m doing. There were a real mix of artists and production styles that influenced the new record, but two albums I remember listening to a lot at the time were Coldplay's Ghost Stories and Sarah Maclachlan's Laws of Illusion. Both very different records, but they're both really atmospheric and experiment with interesting production styles that I found really inspiring.

Which song are you most proud of, or most pleased with? And why?

That's an impossible question! I have such a strong connection with so many songs on the album – ‘Noah’s Song’ that was written about my three-year old nephew; ‘When you Loved Me’ that was inspired by a very dear late friend of mine, and ‘We Don’t Have To Change The World’ that always takes me back to lying on boat in the middle of an ocean with the sun shining every time I listen to it.

I guess if I was made to choose my favourite would have to be ‘Best Year’ because it is such an anthem for me. I wrote it just after moving to the US during a period of my life that was so scary but equally exciting. That song always reminds me to go for what you want in life.

What are you looking forward to most from your visit to the UK?

I'm really looking forward to playing some shows when I'm back, including in Manchester at Rock The Dock, The Islington, and at C2C. I'll be joined by my good friend Adam Wakeman on piano, and we'll be performing lots of tracks from the new album which will be available to buy at the shows.

You mentioned C2C, how great is it that a country music show of that size is happening in the UK?

It's such a thrill to be asked to perform at C2C this year. It's exciting to be part of a festival so big both in its size and also in the variety of artists that it embraces.

Any artists you’re looking forward to watching?

Angel Snow is an artist I know from Nashville. We've written together and I've heard her perform one song when we were both part of the Bob Harris documentary. I’ll definitely try and catch up with her and watch her show.

What’s your favourite thing about living in Nashville?

I really enjoy living in a city that completely revolves around music. It's fun to be in a place where you're constantly surround by music and amazing musicians and writers. It creates a really great atmosphere and always forces you to raise your game.

Finally, how do you take your coffee?

I drink tea! It's one thing I miss about the UK - it's really hard to get a decent cup of tea on the road in the US. Yorkshire Tea is my all-time favourite and I always travel with a big supply of it when I’m tour!

Callaghan’s new album A History Of Now is out on 12th April, for full tour dates and more information visit her official website.

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