Emily Clair is a hardworking and driven woman in country music who isn’t afraid to shake things up through the fresh perspectives she shares in her songs, via raw, hard-hitting lyrics, strong vocals and heartened melodies. From a “ musical family, this Canadian country artist developed rock roots with a soulful sound, and now her heart lies in the storytelling of country music. Her last single released in fall 2020, ‘Bad Habits’, “was one of the most downloaded country singles in Canada, and it’s been her third consecutive song to land her a spot in the top 40 on CBC, SiriusXM’s Country Radio 171, playing across North America.” (Clair). On April 9th, Emily is set to release her next single, “Drive Me Home”– a romantic song that shares a woman’s viewpoint on taking her man back to her place after a night out.
Recently I spoke with Emily about her upcoming single, The Songbirds Series and her music goals for 2021.
Kyla Pearson: Your new single, “Drive Me Home ” is set to be released on April 9th. What was the inspiration behind the song? Can you tell us a bit about the songwriting/recording process that went into making the song?
Emily Clair: There was no inspiration behind Drive Me Home, it sort of just came to me as a song title and formed into a really fresh idea. I find that not a lot of women in country music talk freely about this topic, so I said to myself, “why not tell the world about a female’s perspective on taking her man home? If a man can sing about it, then why can’t I?”
I started writing this song alone, and I never really finished it. I knew that if I brought it into a co-write it could be something even better than it already was. I had the melody, chorus and concept but I knew it could use another brain or two. I wrote this song with my producer Shawn Moore, and another songwriter Doug Folkins, and once we finished writing the song, I just knew it was meant to be recorded and released. I usually know instantly after writing a song whether or not I’ll record it, you just feel that instant connection. The recording process is always such an incredible feeling, to hear your song come to life and change into something so special, there is truly no other better feeling.
KP: How does this song differ from your previous releases? What are you hoping to achieve with this new single?
Emily Clair: Drive Me Home certainly shows a different side of me, compared to my other releases. My other songs are vulnerable, sad and deep as I find it easier to connect lyrically with a sad song and vocally. There is just something about making someone feel something, and connecting with my audience emotionally with a sad song. I figured it was time to show another side of me, I can sing fun and happy.. but if I am going to do that, then I’m still going to sing true and honest. I’m not going to write another drinking song, I’m going to write something different, something that hopefully makes an impact in country music, even if it’s so small. I hope that more women in this industry become confident enough to sing about whatever the heck they want and be damn proud of it! There are so many female artists in country music that are already carving their own path, and I think that it’s important to separate yourself so that you can be unique and be you.
KP: Do you have plans for a music video or lyric video for the song? Can you tell us a bit about those?
I do have plans for a video for this song, but I’ll keep it at that…I don’t want to give too much away. I can tell you that this song will be going to radio though, and that is always exciting!
KP: When it comes to writing songs, do you find it easier to come up with the melody or the lyrics? What do you think makes a “hit” country song?
Emily Clair: I’m really all over the place when it comes to writing songs. Coming up with a melody has never been a problem for me, that probably is what comes the most natural to me. When it comes to lyrics, I’m really great at coming up with fresh hook ideas, I like to try and think outside the box. I want my music to be something someone hasn’t heard before. I enjoy coming up with lyrics and piecing the song together, it’s almost like a puzzle and I always write best in threes. I think what makes a hit country song is the chorus, if it’s catchy, and it sticks in your head.. then you’ve most likely got yourself a good one.
KP: Who would you say are some of your biggest influences in country music? If you could collaborate with one of them, who would it be?
Emily Clair: I have many influences in country music, The Chicks, Chris Stapleton, Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town to name only a few. If I could collaborate with any country artist, it would hands down be Chris Stapleton, he is incredible. The honesty, soul, and range in his voice is just stunning, there is truly no other musician out there like him.
Kyla Pearson: You also run “The Songbird Series” with Amberlea Bruch, with the aim of supporting women in Canadian country music. Do you have any big plans for the group for 2021?
Emily Clair: The Songbird Series is supposed to be an all-female Canadian Country writers round. There is so much female talent, and it truly goes unnoticed. Once the world opens back up we plan to have writers’ rounds all around the Ontario circuit. I find that Canada lacks in that department, so why not bring a little bit of Nashville over here to our music scene. There’s nothing better than sitting in a room listening to talented musicians share their original music, and there’s not a better feeling as an artist when the audience truly appreciates your original songs.
KP: What is one piece of advice you’d share with emerging artists/future women in country music?
Emily Clair: If I were to share any advice from what I’ve learned over the last few years as an artist is that you need to stay true to yourself, be authentic and don’t try and blend in with whatever everyone else around you is doing. Good things take time and everyone has their own story, and yours is different. Keep your priorities straight and always remember why you did music in the first place. This industry is tough and not everyone is going to love you, and that’s okay.
KP: What is one goal you hope to achieve with your music by the end of the year? Do you plan on releasing new music other than Drive Me Home?
Emily Clair: You can expect to see me release my EP this year, but I won’t say when. I’m always working on new music, and there will definitely be more than one single release this year!
Pre-save Drive Me Home now:
Be sure to stay up to date with all of Emily Clair’s upcoming releases via her website & socials below:
Apple Music: https://apple.co/3c4QQyD
Amazon Music: https://amzn.to/2NBBbgP
Clair, Emily. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, Mar.15th, 2021.
Unknown. “Featured: Canadian country artist Emily Clair”. Photo courtesy of Emily Clair. Accessed Mar. 17th, 2021.
Unknown. “Official cover art for Emily Clair’s upcoming single, ‘Drive Me Home’”. Photo courtesy of Emily Clair. Accessed Mar. 17th, 2021.
Clair, Emily. “About.” Emily Clair, N.d, emilyclair.ca/about. Accessed 20 Mar. 2021.