For our 24th Clapper Sounds Interview, we’re highlighting CAITYY.
CAITYY (or @CAITYY on Clapper) is a musician and Clapper creator from Northern Ireland. She and all of her sisters fell in love with music at a young age – a love that has lead CAITYY to purse a degree in audio production. Right now most of CAITYY’s content has an acoustic or indie sound, but she has the talent to do it all! We sat down with @CAITYY to talk about who she’d love to open a show for, the people who have helped her the most on her journey, her advice for new musicians, and more.
Clapper Sounds is meant to be an intimate musical experience, and we want that mission to translate into our written interviews too. Listen to her music as you read to get to know CAITYY and her unique sound.
Let’s start from the beginning. What is your first memory of being involved with music? How did you start your artist journey?
I started when I was really really young. There’s 3 daughters and we always just sort of gravitated towards music. I’m really competitive, so anytime my sisters were doing well with music I was like, “I’m gonna do better, I’m gonna do better.” My mom and my dad taxied us around for years, and as I got a wee bit older it became less of a hobby. It settled down for a while and I didn’t think of it as a career for a while. Until I was applying for university courses and I couldn’t see myself doing any of it. It was all so boring. And I saw some music courses and thought…”could I do that instead?” So I went to uni and did a music and audio production degree.
The first time I went on stage was a wee talent show, and I wasn’t even in the talent show, because I was too young. But my mom had my other two sisters in it, and she went to the host and asked if I could sing just for fun. And they said yeah, because I was adorable. I was singing Eternal Flame by Atomic Kitten – that was my number one song when I was four. I was terrified on stage, but I absolutely loved it when I got off. Everyone was like “good job” and I was like “yeah, validation!”
Who helped you most in your journey?
I think everyone sort of pitched in, to be honest. I’d say my mom and my dad. They’re not the most musically minded, but they always pushed me to believe in myself. I suppose that’s really cheesy and cringe! I don’t know if they saw me going into it as a career, but they knew that I actually had the potential to just be really good at it. Also my dad’s worked his whole life in factories, and he’s very much, like, if you don’t have work for a boss, don’t work for a boss. And I teach singing and I noticed a lot of students around 9 or 10 years old they sort of lose their confidence. My parents sort of pushed me past that and were like “it doesn’t matter, just go there and enjoy it”. They put me in situations where I was with other people that also enjoyed it, so I sort of bypassed that.
If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
Straight away, Taylor Swift. That’s like reaching for the stars. But in a fantasy world where I was also the most famous person ever, Taylor Swift. I wasn’t always a big Taylor Swift fan, I thought I was too edgy for her when I was 13. But I got free tickets to her Reputation tour and it was the best concert I’d ever seen. She just pulled out all the stops and from that moment, I was obsessed. She’s so talented but it’s not even that. It’s the thought that goes into the way she runs her shows. Every single detail is just amazing.
Do you have any side hustles? How do you balance music, content creation and your side hustles?
You don’t balance it. It’s definitely something I need to work on and I don’t post as regularly as I’d like. I think it’s just a sacrifice you make when you have a lot of things on the go. Something that I’ve learned recently is you do not need to do everything yourself. So this past year I’ve done a lot more collabs and writing with people or other producers. And finding a sort of routine that keeps you calm helps, because it can be really overwhelming. Because I’m self-employed I have the sort of flexibility where I can take a slow morning. I won’t actually start doing anything until half 11 or 12 and I’m probably working more than I’ve ever worked.
What are your thoughts on content creation as an artist? How do you feel about artists having to balance their social media presence and still be committed to their art?
I think it just depends on the person. There’s a lot of pressure and people forget that you don’t have to be famous to be a musician. You can just enjoy music and never show it to anybody. But if you do want to go down the content creation route, it’s a lot to do. It’s got to be high quality and there’s a lot of pressure to release stuff every single day. If you don’t have a team around, it’s a lot of time and a lot of effort. And it’s also a lot of them stress, if you put all that effort in and it doesn’t do as well as you hope. I think the best way to go about it is to create boundaries for yourself. Work hard on it, set your time limits, and when you post it, set your phone down and walk away from it. Because I post something and I’ll keep checking every 10 minutes and it’s not healthy.
I think content creation is a great tool. You can reach people that you would never have a chance to reach and Clapper has been good for me because it’s very American. It’s allowed me to get more of an American audience, whereas with other apps I’d always be like UK-based. So it’s a good resource, it’s definitely really handy. Just create things because you love them, put them out and hope people like them. If they don’t, you still enjoyed yourself. Take that as your win. And if you do really well, great, fantastic absolutely monetize that and work to try to build something.
Deciding to be an artist can have its ups and downs. What advice would you give to that young artist who is just learning to play guitar, or starting singing lessons and whose dream is to be a musician?
Just enjoy it. Do everything that you like, don’t feel pressured to do anything that you don’t want to do. Take it slow, get a lot of practice in, figure out your style. Also surround yourself with people who have the same sort of outlook, and don’t try to do everything yourself. 25 pieces of advice at once, but yeah, meet all the people that you can, be friends, feed off each other’s creativity and just enjoy it. The rest will come together with time.
Make sure to check our recorded live session on our account Clapper Sounds and in our reels on Instagram. Enjoy the Clapper Sounds Live Session with CAITYY!