A woman with pop in her heart and an Americana spirit, Claire Hawkins just dropped Even These Words by playing a show at New York City’s Bitter End. We chatted about that, and with it came the revelation that she’s leaving the city that never sleeps for Europe very soon! We wish her on her upcoming adventure! But before she jets off, make sure to learn more about this singer-songwriter who balances music with NYU, learned about the Stones from her dad, and more!
Kendra: As soon as you seemed to show an interest in music your dad jumped on you to play some Rolling Stones. Did you eventually become a fan, or are they like a “dad band” you just put up with?
Claire Hawkins: My dad was always really good about sharing music that he thought I’d like, and he was rarely wrong! The Rolling Stones definitely always make me think of my dad, but that just makes me like them more.
Kendra: Sticking with your family for a bit. You’re all really into literature, so if you had to compare Even These Words to a famous tale, which would it be and why?
Claire: Ooh I love this question! I think I’d say Matilda by Roald Dahl because it touches on similar themes of family and growing up (though I have to clarify that my family is wonderful and not evil like Matilda’s is in the book!). It also manages to be a fun book, despite covering some dark topics, which I hope people will find to be true of Even These Words as well.
Kendra: Even These Words just dropped and you played an EP release show that same night at The Bitter End. How’d that go?
Claire: It was great! So many friends and family members made it out, which was really special. It felt like a going away party because it was my last show in New York before I move to Europe for nine months. I’m so glad I had the chance to share this music I’ve spent so long working on before I leave.
Kendra: Were you more nervous to play the new material than you would be any other night?
Claire: I was definitely more excited than anything. I did think about the fact that a lot of people in the room had never heard these songs before, so any nerves just came from wanting the audience to be introduced to these songs in the best way possible, which my bandmates Clara Boudrot (cello) and Mark Grossmann (Cajon) helped me make sure happened!
Kendra: So on top of all, you do with music you’re also a student at NYU…studying music. I have to ask, when and if you ever want a break from music…what do you do?
Claire: Well, I definitely read a lot. I’m also studying French at NYU, which is pretty different from my music classes. When I’m not busy with music or classes, I love exploring different parts of NYC. If I have a free day, sometimes I’ll take a book and find a bookstore or coffee shop I’ve never visited to sit in and read.
Kendra: Perhaps take in a rally or a march? I noticed you attended one of the many Women’s Marches, and you have some feminist reading going on when I lurked your Instagram. When writing, do you feel you have any sort of feminist responsibility in how you present your music to the world?
Claire: More so than as an artist, I feel I have a responsibility as a person to speak out about things I believe in and educate myself on all aspects of issues like sexism (even those that might not directly relate to me). Since songwriting is such a big part of who I am, I think it naturally comes out in my music.
Kendra: Will you be doing any other shows this fall?
Claire: I will, but they’re going to be in Europe! I’ll be living in Berlin from the end of August until December, and then I’ll be in Paris until the end of May. I’m extremely excited to be bringing my music to Europe. I’ll be posting a lot of my travels, so you can follow @ImClaireHawkins to see all those updates!
Kendra: Let’s do this one for dad! If you had to make a mixtape for your pops, what five songs would have to be on it? I’m sure a Stones one!