Maguire in Nashville by Sam Coldy in 2012.
15 September 1987 |
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass, piano, violin, autoharp|
|Labels||Polydor, Universal Republic Republic|
|Associated acts||The Streets, Chase & Status|
Clare Rita Mary Maguire (born 15 September 1987) is a British singer-songwriter. She was signed to Universal Music Group Polydor Records in 2008. She was rated in fifth place in the BBC Sound of 2011 list of the top 15 most promising new artists. Maguire was also singled out as one of MTV's Brand New: For 2011 Acts. Her voice has been compared to Stevie Nicks and Annie Lennox. Maguire's debut album, Light After Dark, was released on 25 February 2011 peaking at number seven in the Official UK Top 40, and spanning three single releases including "The Last Dance" and "The Shield and the Sword".
Throughout 2012, Maguire stated that she was working on her second studio album. It was announced in January 2013 that an EP would be released before the album. In May 2013 Maguire posted a song to her SoundCloud page titled called 'Changing Faces'. This track matched the success of the previously released demo, "The Last Time I Saw Richard" a cover of Joni Mitchell's song of the same name, released on 22 April 2013, reaching 10,000+ listens in the first view days of release.
When she was 17, Maguire began travelling regularly to London to establish music contacts and also began posting demo songs on MySpace. One of these tracks, "Strangest Thing", recorded with Joe Flory (Primary 1) approached 500,000 plays, leading to interest from a number of major recording companies. Maguire was also invited to Jay-Z's restaurant to meet the American rapper and millionaire businessman and other well established recording artists, including Jarvis Cocker, who was impressed and offered her one of his songs. Maguire signed a recording contract with Polydor Records in 2008 and then worked on her debut album Light After Dark with producer Fraser T Smith, who has previously worked with Kylie Minogue and Adele.
2009–11: Light After Dark, commercial success and touring
Maguire began a European concert tour in October 2010 supporting Plan B and Hurts. She has also written a song with fellow Birmingham rap artist Mike Skinner titled "Lock the Locks" which features on his last Streets album, Computers and Blues. Maguire also features on the track "Midnight Caller" which appears on Drum and Bass-duo Chase & Status' second studio album, No More Idols.
Maguire released her debut single "Ain't Nobody" in the United Kingdom on 18 October 2010 through Polydor Records, where it debuted at number 78 on the UK Singles Chart. A remix of the song was used in Renault's 2011 Clio commercial titled "What is Va Va Voom?". Maguire's song "You're Electric" was selected as the iTunes single of the week and was available for a free digital download from 28 December until 3 January 2011. The song also appears on Light After Dark, but was released as part of an iTunes-exclusive EP titled Let's Begin. In March 2011, Maguire began supporting The Script on their UK tour.
On 31 December 2010, the song "Lucky" appeared as another free promotional download on Amazon. She then released her second official single, "The Last Dance". The single was said to have been written by Maguire the day after the death of music legend Michael Jackson in response to a series of unjustified comments. The official video that accompanied the single was first premiered by The Sun on 7 January 2011 and was directed by AlexandLiane. The song was 4Music and TheBox's 'VIP Track of the week' and was also 'Record Of The Week' for BBC Radio 1 DJs Fearne Cotton and Dev. BBC Radio 1 added the song to the B-List on its playlist.
Maguire has also been connected to several known figures in music, stating herself and Jay-Z met in a restaurant one time. Florence Welch from 'Florence and the Machine' has also given personal advice to the rising star and has also been pictured with Marina & the Diamonds and Ellie Goulding.
Light After Dark went in at Number 7 in the official UK top 100 album chart (refer to previous link). The album was released on 25 February 2011. The last single to be released from the album was "The Shield and the Sword". It peaked at #91 on the UK Music charts.
2011-present: Second EP, second studio album and departure from Universal Republic Records
During 2011, Maguire has been working with various songwriters and producers for the second album. During her debut headline tour, she premiered a new song titled "Mess You Around". She has also premiered two new songs during festivals over the summer of 2011, titled "A Change In Me" and "Lights Out". Maguire has described the second record as more of a "bluesy/soul record" with influences from Johnny Cash among others.
Returning to the public eye after an absence of an online presence, High Contrast premiered a track called 'Almost Human' which featured Maguire's vocals. It is a different direction to the pop sound that Maguire had shown on her debut album, with the track portraying a drum and bass sound. It was released on High Contrast's album, The Agony & The Ecstasy.
In an interview in March 2012, Maguire said of the new record, "With this album I’ve taken a lot of inspiration through my own experiences and people I’ve met. It’s edgy and raw which suits my voice. It’s honest and quite funny as well. There wasn’t any humour in my first record and that annoyed me because I like to be around people who make me laugh. In terms of genre, I guess it comes under soul." It was also stated in this interview that the album is set for release in January 2013. The date of the album was pushed back to make way for the forthcoming EP, which was announced on 30 January, that is to be released before the album. Returning to social network sites, Maguire confirmed that she had been in Nashville recording new material for her second album, and that new music would follow "soon". She has also stated that the record will be coming followed by an album tour "at the end of the year hopefully".
On 24 January 2013, Maguire released a new song demo called 'Happy Anniversary' on her personal Soundcloud account. While posting the link on her Facebook page, Maguire stated "I thought I'd share this demo with you. This song was written after spending an evening with my ex, what was supposed to be a special occasion turned out to be a giant hazy dose of our morbid reality... love.x (sic)".
On 26 March 2013, electronic DJ Burns uploaded a 2 minute clip to his sound cloud account titled 'Limitless'. The track was co-wrote and features Maguire's vocals as a banging club anthem accompaniment. The music video for the track was released on 14 April 2011, and features Burns, Maguire, and her sister, Shannon, as extras portraying high-class people of an older era, who are watching a male and female dancing in a large church room.
The following day on 27 March, Mike Skinner of The Streets revealed in a blog post he has been working with Maguire in the studios for "the past couple of days" and that they are hoping to release a hip hop blues album if Maguire's label allows her to. Maguire had earlier in 2012 worked with Skinner in his new music project, The D.O.T. by featuring on a track titled 'You Never Asked'. Maguire also stars in the music video which premiered on YouTube on 27 September 2012. The track itself has an alternative genre, featuring hip hop and rap themes. The rap provided on the track was wrote and performed by rapper Danny Brown.
On 10 June 2013, Maguire announced on Twitter that she was in the studio recording her album. She has been working in a studio called 'Studio XXVII' belonging to Dave Johnson, a friend of Maguire's, Alexander Burnett and Blue May. She has previously been seen in pictures in Johnson's studio recording material. On 19 June 2013, Maguire again caused a stir when she released a video of her recording a new song for the album. She said on the release of the clip "Hey guys! Here's a short clip from the studio last week. It's shot behind [Jeff] Blue the producer in the control room at the studio, as the band and I play live next door. Big time bbz (sic)". The chorus of the song begins with the lyrics 'But the scars are showing after all this time'. Maguire also takes a more mature direction with the song, with lyrics including 'Touching myself at night, and I get sad when you go away'.
On 20 July 2013, as a celebration of 2 years of sobriety, Maguire released a demo titled Slightly Sober to her personal SoundCloud account. She stated of the song "2 years sober today, very fucking happy! Wanted to share this demo of one of my song to celebrate-New song next week (sic)" - The song is a bluesy ballad which lyrics include "It feels so nice to forget everything, pass me the roach, I'll smoke it down to the end" and features atmospheres of alcohol and drug use. Alongside with this demo, Maguire stated that another demo will be released the following week.
On 25 July 2013, the previously promised song was released to Maguire's personal Soundcloud account. 'Paper Thin' is a song with heavy blues and jazz influences. The song, unlike others released prior to 'Paper Thin', was not a demo, but a finished product. It broke the record of all Maguire's previously released material for the year, reaching 10,000 within two days of it's reveal. The track was recorded at the previously mentioned 'Studio XXVII', run by Dave Johnson, Alexander Burnett and Blue May. Maguire stated that 'more tracks' would follow, and on 27 August, the title of the song was revealed via an instagram picture to be 'Little White Lies'. 'Little White Lies' was released on 10 September 2013 on Soundloud, which was revealed to be an electronic pop ensemble produced by fore-mentioned Blue May. Maguire channels an extremely feminine voice for this track, with London accented vocals and a higher key of singing generally throughout. As opposed to recent heartbreak tracks, this is an upbeat version of a breakup record of a sort, whereas previously "Paper Thin" and "The Last Time I Saw Richard" were slow and darker.
Following the trend of releasing a track a month, Clare released another track on 7 October 2013. This was a cover version of Ella Fitzgerald's 'Black Coffee'. It was premiered on Maguire's personal Soundcloud account and featured a dark instrumental with her returning dark and deep chesty vocals. An interview was also published with this track by The Fader. In Maguire's first interview in 2 years, she speaks of how her mentoring and attendance to rehabilitation helped craft her music writing abilities stating "You can’t lie in there. You have to say it how it is.".
Born in Solihull, West Midlands on 15 September 1987, Maguire comes from a large musical Irish family, the middle child of three born to Caroline (née Deehan) and Francis Maguire Sr. Maguire's paternal grandparents settled in the Midlands and built up a construction business. Her maternal grandparents ran clubs and booked bands in Birmingham around the same time. Both had 5 children apiece, which means Maguire has some 50 cousins across Birmingham and Southern Ireland. She commented about the large family "It’s a massive family, which means massive parties – a lot of drinking, and loads of music. Everybody’s got some sort of creative gene: music, mainly, but also performing, telling stories, acting and writing." Maguire wrote her first song at the age of 7, and recalls that she never wanted to do anything else and that for her music wasn't "A career choice, or a fast route to fame. It was a calling". She was educated at the independent all-girls school, Saint Martin's Solihull, and at the age of 13 she had become a regular in the city centre record shops, where she discovered Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Howling Wolf, plus her heroine, the fiesty gospel star Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Maguire remembers of these times "I had a paper round, and would spend everything I earned on whatever CDs the staff recommended. That’s where I started my love for music. My passion." Following education, Maguire left education at the age of 17 after a teacher told her "You've got to get all these pipe dreams out of your head, because you're never going to make it". This comment lead her to complain to the headmaster before dropping out of education completely. She stated in the very same interview that this was the comment that started her motivation to become a successful singer. Maguire said of the incident, in an interview in 2011, "My teacher caused rebellion in me, it brought out a real passion".
After dropping out of education, Maguire began to work in shops (mainly Topshop), bars and restaurants in order to earn enough money to move closer to London and work on her music. She stayed in Meopham, Kent some of this time, sitting up night after night making connections on MySpace, eventually pulling in an extraordinary 1.5 million hits to hear the rough demos she had posted on her page. After a few months of obsessive all-night clicking, producers and artists began to get in touch, asking her to work with them, and she began to commute to the capital, staying in grim B&Bs, sleeping on floors, making contacts and learning her craft as a writer and a singer. It was lonely and depressing at times, she says: “But never once did I think, ‘That’s not going to happen.’ Ever since I was a child, this is what I’ve been going to do”. She includes among some of her other significant influences as Prince, Fleetwood Mac and Michael Jackson. The death of Jackson, as one of her largest influences, and the comments that were made about him at the time of his death was the story and reason for the creation of her 2nd single The Last Dance.
25 March 2011 - Manchester, Band On The Wall.
26 March 2011 - Glasgow, King Tut's Wah Wah Hut.
28 March 2011 - Dublin, The Sugar Club.
30 March 2011 - Leeds, The Cockpit.
31 March 2011 - London, Kings College Student Union.
1 April 2011 - Bristol, Thekla.
3 April 2011 - Birmingham, Glee Club.
4 April 2011 - Nottingham, Glee Club.
5 April 2011 - Oxford, O2 Academy.
Awards and nominations
|2010||BBC Sound of 2011||Clare Maguire||Sound of 2011||Nominated
|MTV Brand New||Clare Maguire||New for 2011||Nominated|
|Q Awards||Clare Maguire||Next Big Thing||Won|
|2011||Glamour Women Of The Year Awards||Clare Maguire||UK Solo Artist/Musician||Nominated|
|PANDORA Breakthrough Artist||Nominated|
- Clare Maguire signs to Universal Republic Records, Retrieved 2011-01-31.
- "Sound of 2011 Clare Maguire". BBC. Retrieved 29 December 2010.
- "MTV Clare Maguire". MTV. Retrieved 31 December 2010.
- "One To Watch : Clare Maguire". Retrieved 31 December 2010.
- Lester, Paul (2010-10-13). "New Band of the day: Clare Maguire". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 December 2010.
- Cochrane, Greg. "Introducing...Clare Maguire". BBC Newsbeat. Retrieved 31 December 2010.
- "Tour dates". Clare Maguire. Retrieved 31 December 2010.
- Sullivan, Caroline (2010-12-23). "Clare Maguire, Katy B and the Pierces: pop's new queens in waiting". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 December 2010.
- TV Ad Music » Renault Clio – What Is Va Va Voom?
- "You're Electric – Single of the Week". iTunes. Retrieved 31 December 2010.
- Clare Maguire - Last Dance. thesun.co.uk. Retrieved on 2011-01-07.
- http://www.birminghammail.net/news/top-stories/2011/01/12/ birmingham-singer-clare-maguire-named-star-of-2011-97319-27970199/
- Clare Maguire set to be a 2011 star with her electro-pop - mirror.co.uk
- "Clare Maguire". Last FM. Retrieved 31 December 2010.
- Clare Maguire announces UK and Ireland tour – ticket details | News | NME.COM
- Youngs, Ian. (2010-12-06) BBC News – BBC Sound of 2011: Clare Maguire. Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved on 2011-01-04.
- MTV's Brand New: For 2011 Acts Announced! | Brand New For 2011 | News | MTV UK. Mtv.co.uk (2010-11-30). Retrieved on 2011-01-04.
- "Q Awards 2010: Winners List And Photos". 2010-10-25. Retrieved 31 December 2010.
- Official website
- Clare Maguire's BBC Sound of 2011 page at BBC Online
- Clare Maguire interview in the Virgin Red Room