My Passion With Claire Hunter-Smith
I’ve been singing, playing piano and clarinet since a young age and performing as a singer-songwriter since 2005. I gigged as a solo artist first, and for the last five years with a group of excellent musicians (Pete Nash on guitar, Mike James on bass, Jim Gaylard on drums) as Claire Cameron Band, recording and gigging across the UK.
Last year we released our album Time Will Tell which was a really exciting milestone for us. I’m at my happiest when I’m singing, so not singing was never really an option!
Claire Cameron Band has been my passion for the last few years, and I’ve recently been performing with The Idol Dead after singing on one of the songs on their album Dark Little Hearts as well.
The highlights of Claire Cameron Band’s live gigs to date have to be 360 Club at The Library in Leeds, Bomfest, live on BBC Radio Leeds with Alan Raw for his BBC Introducing in West Yorkshire Show, performing at the Limetree Festival, the Leeds Festival Fringe, and supporting Carina Round at The Well.
We launched our album at 100 Club, in Oxford Street, London.
Being a musician has really helped give me more confidence presenting and delivering training sessions. I’ve also found that learning the hard way certainly helps with overcoming challenges at work.
After some frustrating experiences at ‘pay to play’ gigs, where we only got to perform for a three-minute slot sometimes, I took a step back and realised that the only real way to grow your audience is to be truly a part of the community you serve.
A band in the unsigned music scene has to support the local community and give something back, you can’t just expect a captive audience to land in your lap and love your music because you do. This affected my approach to spreading messages through social networks, and also the way in which I grew brand recognition for the band and clients at Bloom.
So I volunteered to help promote Bomfest, the Leeds Festival Fringe and Unity Day, as well as writing features and reviewing bands for the Yorkshire Evening Post.
I was incredibly lucky to have these opportunities, and in working with those organisations in my spare time I realised that working in communications, as I do at Bloom, was where I’d like to be for my day job. Creative thinking is really important, and I think my experiences in events and promoting the band really help with that aspect of my working life.
Happily, I’ve also become friends with many brilliant people through the music scene, and I love being surrounded by artists and inspiring minds. It’s a huge commitment; but totally worth it for the thrill of musical performance.