Hailing from Ireland, Clare is an award winning professional singer/songwriter, performing and recording artist, who uses her platform to bring awareness on all mental health matters while being a spiritual and physical advocate too. Clare can relate personally to her audiences on many mental health issues and feels it’s her duty to give back and be real, raw and honest with her listeners. She works alongside non profit organizations ‘The Nantucket Project’ and ‘The Volunteers of America’ and has helped raise money for many charities to help those in need. Clare has said ‘I just want to be a voice for those who don’t, and through my own life’s struggles and pain, be an inspiration for those around me so that nobody ever feels like they are in this alone’.
Dubbed as having a vocal register similar to Adele (GAFFA) and for having a ‘Powerful and killer voice’ from Lzzy Hale (Halestorm) and Phil Campbell (Motörhead) it’s no wonder Clare Cunningham is making waves across the world with her music.
Steve Cropper (Blues Brothers) who featured on guitar on Clare’s single ‘Heart of Mine’ (2020) and who co-produced the vocals on ‘Éireann i mo chroí’ (On her EP ‘Dear Ireland’ 2021) has said ‘ Clare has such a tremendous voice. She makes me want to play because she sings with passion and feeling.’
Cunningham, who was raised in Collon, Co. Louth, the smallest village in Ireland, had a flare for music and singing from a very young age. At the ripe age of only 4 she exclaimed ‘I want to be a rock star when I grow up’ and she did just that! At 6, Cunningham’s first instrument was the keys and by the time she was 8 she was already playing Mozart. She played piano for a further 8 years until she picked up her first guitar and self taught at the age of 16. This was the start of her budding song-writing career. She was highly praised by Irelands own singer songwriter ‘Juliet Turner’ and spent a week at a song-writing camp hosted by Turner. She saw the natural talent Cunningham possessed for writing and told her this was most definitely the path she needed to embark on.
Cunningham took Turner’s advice and moved to Dublin after high school at age 18, where she secured a national diploma in Popular Music performance and technology.
With this at hand she then headed overseas and studied at the ‘London College of music’ (Vocal Tech) where Cunningham had her first TV appearance on ‘Sky TV’ singing one of her own penned songs.
Graduating with a BA Hon’s Degree in Music Performance and Technology, Cunningham then moved to Cardiff, Wales, UK, where she started up her own business and become a professional musician, running and being part of a full time function/corporate band, called ‘Smokin Aces’ (also an originals band) They were extremelly popular all across the country playing between 350-395 shows per year (Yes – doubles and triples some weekends!)
Clare and guitarist Jamie hiscox created a duo from the band and it was after Cunningham’s decision to put up some acoustic material onto YouTube which changed her life overnight. A phone call from Stockholm, Sweden landed her the position of lead singer for the very successful Swedish all female rock quintet ‘Thundermother’. Cunningham received the phone call, from the band’s founder, asking if she would be willing to take on the role as lead singer exclaiming her ‘whiskey voice’ was perfect for the band. With an offer Cunningham couldn’t refuse – to open up for ‘Motorhead’ at ‘Metaltown festival’, Sweden – Clare was on a flight to Sweden in less than 4 weeks and knew her life was about to drastically change. After appearing on prime TV in Sweden that night, Clare had some decisions to make. She continued to live in Cardiff for a further 1.5 years to fulfill her position there and toured simultaneously with the girls until she made the move full time to Sweden in 2013.
The five hard-core rock chicks had major success in the rock charts and landed a signing with ‘Warner Music’ Sweden for their first album ‘Rock n Roll Disaster.’ A signing with ‘Despotz Records’ (Sweden) then followed the release of their second album ‘Road Fever’ gaining support from artists such as ‘Mötorhead (Lemmy would play their albums on his tour bus!) Airbourne, D.A.D, Zakk Wylde, Halestorm, Michael Monroe, In Flames, Opeth, Danko Jones and many more, touring all over Europe and playing some of the biggest European festivals including ‘Sweden Rock Festival’, ‘Bravalla’, ‘Alcatraz’, ‘Getaway Rock Festival’ ‘Barcelona rock Fest’ and many more.
Cunningham’s decision to depart Thundermother in January 2017 was not an easy decision but one she had to make. With her self titled EP (2016) already gaining attraction from some industry folk, her solo career really kicked off after her big move to the USA. After securing an 0-1 visa Clare made the move in February 2018 and hasn’t looked back. She recorded her first project at iconic RCA studios, with her team ‘Eddie & Justy Productions’ on Music Row (Nashville) The band on the recording consist of Audley Freed on Guitar (Sheryl Crowe, Dixie Chicks, Black Crowe’s, Joe Perry) Steve Mackey on bass (Garth Brooke’s, Dolly Parton) and Jared Kneele on drums (Lauren Daigle, Kacey Musgraves)
She is now on her second 01-visa and has been having an amazing response so far, having played at ‘The Nantucket Project’ (2018) and at world renowned ‘Sundance film Festival’ (2019)
She had a song placement in a Lionsgate movie (‘Bernie the Dolphin 2’) in December 2019. January 2020, saw her signing with Symphonic Distribution, distributing all her material worldwide, including her recent release ‘Dear Ireland’ – also recorded at RCA studio’s. It’s a fantastic showcase of Clare’s Celtic roots and unwavering honesty and songwriting skills. She has been receiving support globally and has been getting worldwide radio play helping her make a lasting impression on those listening.
To date, Clare’s achievements include :
- ‘Aint your momma’ (title of album and song Clare co-wrote with Rhonda Funk) was up for consideration for a nomination for the Grammys 2021 in October 2020
- ‘Best Alternative Song’ for ‘Carry Me’ (World Songwriting Awards, spring 2020)
- ‘Best Pop Song’ for ‘Heart Of Mine’ (World Songwriting Awards, summer 2020)
- ‘Songwriter of the year’ (silver) at the International Singer Songwriter Awards (ISSA)
- ‘Folk Americana artist of the Year’ (Josie awards 2020)
- ‘Folk Americana song of the year’ for ‘Angel of the Emerald Isle (Josie awards 2020)
- Finalist and honorable mention in the 2020 ISC (International songwriting competition) for “Éireann i mo chroí” performance category
- Nominated in 6 categories at the 2021 ISSA awards
- Finalist at the ‘World Songwriting awards winter 2021’ with ‘Watercolor World’
- Finalist in 6 categories at the 2021 ISSA awards
- Nominated in 8 categories for the 2021 Josie Music Awards
- ‘Best Alternative Song’ at the World Songwriting Awards 2021 with ‘Clovers’
- Semi-finalist at the ‘Unsigned Only’ music competition 2021 with ‘Clovers’
- Nominee with ‘Aim to Misbehave’ (The International music Awards, Holland 2021)
- Songwriter of the year, GOLD, 2021 (International Singer Songwriter Awards – ISSA)
- Finalist at the ‘Unsigned Only’ music competition with Clovers 2021
- Vocalist of the year (multi-genre) – Josie Music Awards 2021Pop/Contemporary Song of the year – ‘Heart of Mine’ – Josie Music Awards 2021Songwriter achievement for an unreleased song – ‘I swear’ – Josie Music Awards 2021Finalist at the ‘World Song Writing Awards’ with ‘Éireann i mo chroí’ (Best World Music song) 2021