Date of Birth: 8th December, 1972
Where do you live: Hal-Lija
Status: In a relationship
Star Sign: Sagittarius
Main occupation: Singer / vocal coach
Claire McCartin is a well-known vocalist with a distinctive blues voices which hints of a style similar to Eva Cassidy and Nina Simone, making her a very sought after artist among Malta’s ever-growing music scene.
In 2007, and in order to sustain and enhance her versatility and vocal exploration, she started training under London-based Joshua Alamu where she studied stage performance, songwriting and the critically acclaimed Speech Level Singing (SLS) technique. She then joined the SLS teacher programme in 2009 and worked as a certified SLS instructor for five years. Claire believes in continuous study so as to always better herself, not just as a vocalist but also as a musician and artist. In September 2011, she completed a two-year programme with the renowned Berklee College of Music, Boston, USA and in 2013, she decided to join the Institute for Vocal Advancement (IVA), an organisation which is completely focused on the training of quality teacher training for singing instructors worldwide. She is now one of their certified vocal instructors. Claire is a member of the well-known 200-strong Maltese choir, Voices and has performed as a soloist with that choir. She is also the resident vocal coach of DLS Productions, a 2010 Malta Eurovision finalist, and a composer and songwriter. She currently works from her personal vocal studio mentoring several established and upcoming artists.
She was also one of the first Maltese students to start learning Russian way back in 1987. She furthered her studies of the Russian language when she studied at the Pushkin Institute in Moscow. She now combines her two passions – her love of Russia, its culture and its people … and of course the music. She regularly performs at events which are organised by the Russian community in Malta, she travels to Russia to judge at various singing festivals and gives vocal lessons over the internet to singers who are based in Russia and in ex-Soviet countries.
How did you first discover music in your life?
At a very young age, my mum noticed that I have a good ear for music. I started playing the piano and studying music theory at nine years old. Studying voice was not really on the cards at that time, but I sang all day – not just songs from the radio (which, by the way, I used to record on cassette tapes – I have kept these to this day) but also making up tunes in my head and practising them in front of my family. I still do this today. Thank goodness for headphones, the family blocks me out that way. It’s one thing to listen to lovely songs but to have melody lines being churned out ad nauseam, apparently, is not pleasant to listen to. I quite enjoy it, though.
Can you describe your state of mind while singing?
In seventh heaven. Singers are story-tellers and giving pleasure to your audience and connecting with them is such a beautiful feeling, especially if the song is your own composition.
What would you never, ever buy – and why not?
Soft toys – I find them a complete waste of money and space, not educational, and can’t really be used. Bring on the scarves, books and CDs (I’ve moved on from cassettes).
What was your biggest failure to date?
My life is constantly full of different musical projects, each one a challenge, and through which I meet people, young and old, from all walks of life, enriching my musical knowledge and always helping me to evolve as an artist and teacher. I don’t consider anything a failure really, they are all experiences, good and yes, sometimes bad. But I do learn from all of them. Life is a journey, full of colourful adventures, one more exciting than the last.