Meet South London-born UK Open Mic performer Caroline Chan:
Hi Caroline Chan, thanks for joining us! Let’s get into it:
Do you play solo only, or also in a group?
How old are you?
Where were you born?
Where did you grow up?
How did that place influence your music? (if at all!)
I’m not sure that this did particularly influence me, i did a lot of growing once i moved away.
Where are you based now, and why?
North London ended up here and stayed
What got you into making music in the first place?
My family always loved music, Dad played the ukulele and we used to get together and have sing songs. Grew up with the Beatles and that was huge! I got my first guitar aged 12yrs. Started writing songs at school and also playing guitar for friends. Its always been a hobby but became a living about 25 years ago when I started up my own children’s music group which are still happening to this day. I started doing voluntary music work with autistic children at my sons school which was a great training for my own groups. Music has the power to reach where words do not. Started writing children’s music about 15 years ago with various collaborators and more recently writing solo material. For the past few years i have been writing songs with mostly an environmental message and have sung at open mics and protests around London. There is so much to write about and i really believe music can help to bring about positive changes in the world. Music is my life, not a day goes by without me singing somewhere. I sometimes go busking its a lovely way to reach a different audience. I can’t see myself ever stopping writing and sharing my music.
What instrument/s do you play?
Who would be in your top 10 musical influences, and why?
Beatles, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Carol King, Simon and Garfunkel, Everly Brothers, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Elton John, Eva Cassidy
Do you write your own songs?
How many years have you been writing songs for?
What process, or processes, do you often find yourself using when you write songs?
Brain storm, large piece of paper, recording ideas on voice memo, garageband, playing them again and again and listening, finding the mood, finding the feel of the song, Hours and hours , sometimes weeks getting it as good as it can be, obsessing day and night when there is an idea waiting to form. Its not always the same, sometimes a song just happens so fast! I find that so often the original idea changes so much that it is unrecognisable, its like the song has a life of its own and i always know when it feels just right but that may take a long journey. It completely fascinates me how the whole process evolves once it starts. I drive my family mad during this process and ask them to listen and give feedback and then possibly build on that. I absolutely love songwriting, it is such a wonderful way to express an idea.
How long have you been playing open mic nights?
Why did you get into playing them in the first place?
Happening at my local library and then i branched out
What advice would you give new performers who are just starting out playing their first open mics?
Its a very supportive environment and nobody expects perfection. Try not to make the song too long and do contrasting songs. It teaches you so much about your own music and usually a positive experience. Don’t just sing your song and go after, others need to have an audience too.
If it’s not already, are you hoping to make music your full-time career?
What do you currently find the hardest and biggest obstacles to moving your music career forward?
Music is my full time career now
What’s the one truth about you that people often find surprising?
That I have been running my children’s groups for 25 years
What’s the most exciting project you’re working on at the moment?
My own project ‘Earth Calling’ a collection of songs about the environment and climate change. It is growing and I am hoping it will evolve to performances at events with other like minded musicians. I have met various musicians and a dancer who are interested in making this happen. Maybe it will be a musical production.
Do you have your own music video, channel or playlist you’d like to share?
Do you have music on streaming? What’s you main streaming channel to send people to?
Where is the main place should people go to find out more about you?
What other sites/profiles should people go to to find out more about you?
We’re done! Anything else ou want to share before we go?