Despite the time difference, ‘Good Times’ hit-maker and upcoming artist Cara Hammond spent some time off of her busy schedule to answer our questions.
Hammond, a singer-songwriter originally from Welsh and now based in London, talked about her past, present and future – and that is music. Here’s what went down:
ASL365: What made you decide to pursue a career in music?
CH: I’ve always loved writing music and performing it. I started writing songs when I was 11. And I love performing because of the instant reaction I get from the people. My gran was the first person to get me into singing. She used to sing a lot around the house. My parents always played a lot of ‘80s pop music around the house, as well. So I have always been surrounded by music. It’s always been a massive passion of mine.
ASL365: Is there anyone in particular who inspired you to write your own lyrics?
CH: I started writing songs when I had guitar lessons, and my guitar teacher was really encouraging of me to be creative. So he would teach me other people’s songs, but then I would write my own stuff and bring it back to him. But he would never be like, “Oh you didn’t practice the song I told you about”. Instead, he would say things like “That’s really cool, let me hear what you’ve got”. But in terms of artists, when I went into uni, Amy Winehouse influenced my lyric writing because the way she wrote was so honest and it was kind of conversational which affected the way I wrote once I turned 18 or 19.
ASL365: Do you have any favourite songs by Amy Winehouse?
CH: ‘You Know I’m No Good’ from Back to Black (2006) is great. ‘Help Yourself’ from Frank (2003) sounds really old-time but also modern in her lyrics which makes it an interesting song.
ASL365: You’ve supported other female artists like Charlotte Church and Mahalia, how was your experience with them? Any memorable moments?
CH: I was so excited because I was such a big fan of Charlotte Church while growing up. I was 14 or 15 back then. It was just me and my guitar. I was so nervous to meet her and nervous to play. She stood by the side of the stage throughout the whole set and watched me which was really amazing. Because of that opportunity, I got to support her again at another Welsh festival, which was awesome.
I supported Mahalia in Leeds a few years ago, it was like her first small UK tour. It was just her and her guitar with another musician on either the keys or the drums. She is just lovely. And looking at how far she had come, now she has collaborations with Burna Boy and Ella Mai.
ASL365: Anyone you would like to work with in the future?
CH: I think working with Billie Eilish would be amazing, and her brother, Finneas, too! He’s one of the most sought-after producers at the moment. It’s easy to see why. It’s cool seeing a pop female artist doing a lot darker stuff, making it more interesting. I’d also love to work with Lana Del Rey because her writing style is so unique. I’d absolutely love to work with Lizzo, I think it would be the most fun. Her song ‘Juice’ is just so feel-good, that every time I listen to it I start smiling right away. Writing a song with her or just performing with her would be mad.
ASL365: Are there any specific genre you would like to explore in the future?
CH: I’ve kind of gone from folksy songwriter to soul to electronic to soul-pop. I’d probably like to do something a little bit darker, a little Billie Eilish route in a way.
ASL365: Your song ‘Good Times’ has over 200,000 streams on Spotify. How does Cara Hammond have a good time?
CH: Anything related to music really. I love writing songs, meeting and working with other people. I love travelling, as well. Anytime I got a holiday I’d go travelling. I’m actually going to some parts of the Philippines this coming May. I’m so excited about that! I haven’t been to Asia for a couple of years now, and I really miss it! So it’s travelling for holidays, eating good foods, meeting up with friends and going up for drinks – those are my good times.
ASL365: Your latest single ‘Ready for the Fall’ was released early this year, could you tell us more about it?
CH: It’s a song about how we constantly battle in our minds between taking a risk and playing it safe, which could protect us from getting hurt. I relate to it as a young woman trying to figure out what I want to do, where I want to go and also, with me in music. I want to do all these different things in music, sometimes it’s scary and it can be overwhelming. The song is about checking in on yourself and letting yourself know that: “I’ve got this”.
ASL365: Will you be releasing any new music soon?
CH: The plan is an EP, and probably a tour at the end of the year. I’m in the process of recording and writing it. We would like to release some singles as a lead-up to the EP. I can’t say more than that (she laughs). The release date would probably be by summer of this year, 2020.
ASL: Have you experienced anything unique while on tour?
CH: Recently, I played a sold-out show in London. It was so cool to have people singing back my songs. It was the most amazing feeling.
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