Rising Country Star Ciara Rae 1-on-1 with The Y Life

Today her EP, ‘Who the Hell is Ciara Rae drops and is available for download and we could not be more excited to sit down with rising country music star Ciara Rae to get the inside scoop on her career, her upcoming Fall tour and what makes her sound unique. 
The singer and songwriter who has been captivated with music since she was eight years old, is wrapping up songwriting school at the School of Music’s Mike Curb College for Songwriting at Belmont University in Tennessee. Ciara loves everything about music from performing around the country, to sitting in Nashville with some of the most respected writers to pen lyrics that infuse her music with articulate focus on her personality.   
Remaining true to herself and staying focused, are what keep Ciara Rae strong and we sat down with her one morning for some Iced Coffee to get to know the girl behind the lyric.
One thing you will learn pretty quickly about Ciara, is that she doesn’t really hide anything from people, from updates on Twitter and her constant snapping on Snapchat, she is the epitome of a Millennial artist. To break the ice, we just had to know what scares Ciara, and she went off to explain how playing the piano is a natural thing for her, but she just recently started playing guitar — ‘I am terrified when I play guitar!’ 
BUT… When we asked about her favorite treat on earth… With giddy glee she exclaimed, that when she isn’t on stage, she is stopping by 7/11 for some Vanilla Diet Mountain Dew! Apparently, it’s her favorite thing on the planet, and she stops in at any 7/11 to drink up her concoction.
First thing is First…
When did you decide that music was your thing— thing?
“When I was young, I was chunky and I had glasses, braces and the whole nine yards and I got made fun of, because my voice was even lower when I was little; I remember I wanted to make the yearbook really bad, and my family is all athletic, my mom was on every sports team and dad played basketball and football, I tried out for very sports team and couldn’t make any. I am not athletic AT ALL!
Then I was like let me try the choir, I will get into choir and then I will make it into the yearbook. I realized I sounded pretty good and other people started to tell me you sound really good and that was when I became obsessed with music. I had always played the piano, but I don’t think I took it seriously until I was out playing and touring, I was like 20 and I wanted to do this, but I wasn’t 100% committed- I thought I would try this for a year and see what would happen.
My first big opening act was when I opened for ‘Love and Theft’ two years ago and when I sang and within the second the audience started singing the chorus back to me, and when I saw people sing my words for the first time I was like okay— I remember looking at my guitar player and thinking, I know it now, this is my reformation getting it from other people – when I knew I was going to do it.”
What is your favorite part of the process? Do you prefer the writing part of the process or the performing part?
“I have always loved performing, but I think because I have done so many performances, that I think the creativity- like when I am recording and I am seeing my words coming together with what is in my head that is the coolest process for me right now.”
Best, most emotional performance you have had? That one where you were like, HOLY COW!
“I think the most emotional performance was my last performance at home before I left to go to Nashville, because… The RoundUp was so supportive, and they gave me the opportunity to sing there and open for a lot of people and I think that having so many people show up to support me before I left, when I had never lived on my own before, I didn’t know anybody in Nashville— I had never cried on stage before and I started to cry.
I knew I was leaving and my entire home base of what was my support system of music, family and friends and everything – that was the most overwhelming.”
You live in Nashville, but spend time with your family in Florida… Tell us about Nashville, your new home, and how the city helps to cultivate the love of country music?
“Because of where Music Row is and because Music Row is located in the heart of Nashville, I think that history has made the cream of the crop come to Nashville. The history is what continued to bring people and I think that now, because there are players who can record in two takes, with just giving them a chord chart. These guys are absolutely out of your mind incredible, and I think that when the best writers come and you are surrounded by that many people that are so good— you learn from people who have written with Blake Shelton and Tim McGraw… Most of the time, these creative people who love music, just want to be a part of music.
If you are hungry and talented, they are going to want to help you and work with you. Most of the time.”
Where do people go to get discovered in Nashville? Don’t they go to Honky Tonks to get discovered, or is that just myth…
“No, I think there is truth to that. I think that exists and that happens all of the time, like you never really know where it is going to happen- but for me personally, I feel like our generation- especially within Country Music- because record labels aren’t doing as well as they used to, I think that they want artists now who are well rounded.
Especially in Country Music right now, you have to be able to write your own songs and being in those writing rooms and around those people, showing them that you can write gets them to notice you can sing.
Because at a show you would be waiting for that one person to walk in, and they don’t always walk in. With our generation, that’s the way it works!”
Do you prefer writing over performing?
“I like all of it. My favorite part of the process right now is production, because I have been doing that more than ever, but every part of it has something.”
Don’t you need a massive amount of heartbreak to be able to write Country Music?
“You know what is so funny.. My whole life, maybe it’s because I was teased when I was growing up- I am outgoing, but I have been very introverted as far as being observant. Since I was little, I hung out at the adults table, because I have always been watching and listening to their stories. I have always been wanting to learn from them, so for me a lot of the things I write about, are from personal experience, but I am taking from a lot of my friends personal heartbreaks or life stories or situations— ones that I know I can relate to.
I am honing into that… You have to put yourself in other people’s shoes and relate to it.”
You spoke about ‘Bullying’ and being teased… have you written a song yet that talks about that?
“I don’t think I have touched on ‘Bullying’ specifically, I want to, I just don’t think it has happened— I try not to force stuff like that, but I will say that a big part of my issues growing up… I was always the girl that wanted the boyfriend and I was very insecure about that. So for me it was about wanting girls to be confident and not feel like they have to feel that way.
My writing, even though it is not about ‘Bullying’ in that way, most of my stuff is about girls being comfortable in their own skin and saying things that girls wouldn’t normally say on a record. I think that is my way of addressing, what I went through, in a way- if that makes sense.”
Talk to us about your last single?
“Being in my twenties, I have a lot of friends that really just want ONE thing. It blows my mind how many of them there are these days, that just expect girls to be a certain way. After meeting some of these guys and hearing about them from my friends, I was thinking about writing about it — so I did.
I want everyone to connect to every single that I put out, because I am at the point where I am not just writing songs to write them, if I don’t like a song I throw it out. I am not just going to write, because I think it’s cute, I really need to like that song if I am going to spend my time putting it out. I want everyone to connect to every song that I have recorded, because they are all important or everybody can benefit from them.”
What is your favorite lyric you have ever written…
“It’s not my most clever line, but I love the …
… ‘You look good and feel so right, but abs don’t give me peace at night’…
I remember I wrote that because there would be these guys, and I would say I don’t really care if you have abs, you are still a jerk, it doesn’t change anything. So when I wrote that line, I knew girls could relate to that and I had to put it in the song.”
What are your goals for the next few years.. Where do you want to see yourself?
“I have Summerfest on July 10th in Milwaukee, which is going to be crazy- I think Jana Kramer is playing right after me. What I am hoping from these events and some other stuff I have going on, is that there is potentially going to be a tour in the Fall- I want to connect with the fans and people that tweet at me— I want to meet them and connect with them, and PLAY for them!
I have a motley crew of players from Nashville that I love, I think it’s going to be four guys and me this time, the guys that I am playing with are amazing and I am very excited to perform.”
On July 10th, while Ciara is at Summerfest she is going to be giving away two unreleased songs available on her website for people to download. You can still buy tickets to the Music Festival, if you want to come meet Ciara Rae and hear her sing on the Country Artist Stage!
“These are really great songs that I love and I want people to hear them, but we are only making them available for a limited time. The new sound that Nashville has helped me tune into, has made me realize who I want to be as an artist, instead of trying to be who I thought I should be for Country Music— I have always been genuine, the new stuff is very much more Southern Rock, more what I really always wanted to do and I dived into it.
I really want people to hear it, and I hate that I can’t just put it all out- because I want people to come and listen that weekend, because I am excited about it!”
Being relatable with her music to Millennials is a priority …
“When you are young and you don’t have a job, or don’t have the power to get in your car and leave— music becomes the escape for people. I want to make sure that what I am writing, they can escape into and not feel alone, even though they are alone sometimes- that is kind of the goal with everything I am doing.”


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