Jeannine Barry is one of the most featured artists on Belles and Gals, and we were delighted when it was announced that she would be appearing at C2C. We caught up Jeannine in the thick of it all, on Saturday afternoon, to have a chat!
Can I start by asking how it feels to be back at C2C. What was your reaction when you first heard you’ll be appearing?
I was extremely excited of course, playing C2C is always an incredible experience, so yeah I was very, very happy!
How did you opening the festival yesterday?
Yeah it was exciting – everybody was so happy and so many smiling faces. I really enjoyed that!
Did you feel any extra nerves, being first to appear?
I didn’t really think about it that much. I don’t think it added to the nerves, I get the normal kind of nerves anyway! I think it depends on how I feel on the day – If I’m feeling confident, or if I’m feeling low I can be a little more nervous, it depends.
It’s been two years since you last played at the festival. How do you feel you’ve changes as an artist in the last two years?
Good question! I think I’ve found my sound a bit more and I feel maybe a bit more confident. I’ve learned so much in terms of performance and in song writing. Music and being an artist is so much more than just music, it’s about growing as a person and growing into the role of who you wanna be.
You released your new single ‘Sweet Spot’ just yesterday to coincide with the start of the festival. What can you tell us about the song?
Well it’s a bit more of an upbeat one than what I usually put out there (laughs) and yeah, it has kind of a fun vibe. The song is about telling someone to back off because it’s old!
The new song is one of two or three songs that I heard when you played a headline show in London at the end of last year. Is there an upcoming album/EP or will you be releasing these as standalone singles?
We are working on album yes, but not sure on the release plan yet. We might release singles – I’ll update my social media regularly to let people know what it happening. It’s all a little unclear right now!
You have a great following on social media. How important is this side of your career?
I think social media is amazing and for someone like me who is unsigned, it’s an incredible way to get your music out there. It gives you so much power as an artist and I really enjoy it, because so many people can give you feedback. Every day someone finds me and says ‘Oh, I’ve just found your music’ – it’s incredible. Then it can be really tough too, as you see people on there doing amazing stuff, especially if you’re not feeling too good about yourself and it makes it worse. There is a lot of work too – fortunately I’ve got two lovely ladies working with me (Jeannine’s team are in the room and laugh) to update the social media, as there is that pressure to be out there too.
You recently went and played an ‘Under the Apple Tree’ session with Bob Harris. That must have been amazing?
It was incredible actually – I met Bob as well which was so funny! Bob just walks in the door and says ‘Hello’. He was so lovely and it was a real honour. Miles, Bob’s son is so nice, he films it all and is incredible – so yeah it was a real nice experience.
Can I ask how your career started? Did you always want to be a singer?
Yeah I always wanted to be a singer and it’s the one thing I’ve always been very sure of. It’s what I wanted to do!
(Lesley Hastings) You were one of the first UK country talents I was really drawn to as my focus had always been on the US and I just wanted to ask you about the UK female fraternity. Is there support between you all, or is there competition?
I don’t think it’s necessarily either or, but maybe that’s just me. When you see each other it’s really encouraging – ‘nice to see you, nice to meet you, you sounded amazing’ – so it’s very positive. I can’t really say much about competition, I try to focus on myself. I’m totally up for making more close friendships but everyone is so busy. I am close friends with Liv Austen – we don’t see each other enough, but when we see each other, we’ve known each other for years. And Lucy May is a great friend too. It is all very friendly.
To finish, which artists have inspired you in your career?
Oh God, so many! I think during a very crucial time in my development it was Kelly Clarkson, I love that female power. Lately I’ve really been into Logan Brill, I loved her album so much. There’s so many – Maren Morris big time! I absolutely adore her music, again strong females. Their confidence always inspires me.