Gorgeous, selfless, and insanely talented. ARIA award winning singer-songwriter Clare Bowditch has got it all, and chats with us about love, life, and song.
Clare Bowditch has worked her way to success since breaking out onto the scene in the late 1990s with her band Red Raku. The former Rolling Stone Woman of the Year (Contribution to Culture) and YEN Young Woman of the Year (Music) has toured with Gotye and Leonard Cohen and her compositions have put her albums up in the Top Ten. As well as working on an eighth album set to come out in 2015, Clare’s most recent venture is through her role on Channel Ten’s Offspring – which landed her a Logie nomination in 2012.
“Offspring has been fun, and I’m looking forward to watching this next season on the box like everyone else,” Clare says.
“When I’m sitting there with my cuppa joe on the sofa watching, I’m a fan like anyone else. I love it – it’s such a clever show, it’s really fun.”
It’s somewhat fitting that Clare’s time spent relaxing in front of the tellie is still so closely intertwined with her work. Describing her work-life balance as “an elusive beast”, Clare spends most of her time occupied with her creative practice – whether it be songwriting or business.
“Some days, I’ll drop the kids off at school and I’m literally sitting at the desk typing all day, doing administration, and then I might fly to la and write a song with someone.”
“I quite enjoy the variety of it, but I think we all live with this idea that there’s someone who is doing it better, who is balancing it better, who is in more control of themselves – but we’re all doing the best we can.”
Clare has a history of morphing business with pleasure, having worked for years in the studio with her manager, producer, and father of her three children, Marty Brown.
So, what’s it like having love in the studio? According to Clare, “it is hot, hot, hot baby!” But don’t get too excited – the power couple have created rules to ensure they really do record when they ‘record’, and spend family time together after hours.
“Marty and I are like seven different people depending on the time of day that we’re working together, but I really enjoy the straight forwardness – we worked together for years before we fell in love,” Clare explains.
“But a couple of years ago, we had to get really conscious about it and set rules for ourselves. We don’t talk about work after certain hours and we definitely try not to talk about it in bed.”
Compassionate and modest, Clare considers her relationship with Marty to be “very typical of a lot of people in today’s day and age who are multipassionate sorts.”
“We are trying to do the things we love in the world, and the things that make sense to us and that mean something, and we’re doing it in conjunction to our families. It’s not an either/or. It’s not that classic ‘80s model of either having a family or career. We get very lucky when we have partners who support us in that.”
Having been a hit on the scene since the ‘90s, the Aussie singer is definitely doing something right. But despite her unquestionable talent, Clare feels the key to her longevity is not in her abilities but in her willingness to take control of her career and meet her goals in her own time.
“One of the great advantages I had was that there was no rush. It was not always about the quickest way to make money, but continuing to understand that as an entertainer that I’m always in the position to service. I’m there to bring something into people’s lives, and that’s what keeps me going.”
“I’m infinitely inspired by humans trying to do stuff – it’s really that simple. I see so many people in today’s day and age who are worthy of stories, so the thing that inspires me the most are people’s emotional lives.”
Giving the gift of song to the same people who have inspired her is one of the many ways in which Clare offers her passion and knowledge. Last year, Clare founded Big Hearted Business – a success made possible through one of the biggest crowd-funding campaigns in Australia.
“Big hearted business is not just for musicians – it’s for anyone who runs a business to do something good in the world,” Clare describes.
“I got really frustrated with seeing incredible people with great ideas and huge hearts having no idea about how to run a business and make a living doing the thing that they love. About two years ago, we decided to do something about it and we put on a conference and built a website about it.”
Big Hearted Business aims to support business minded Australians, and you can find it at bigheartedbusiness.clarebowditch.com.
BY STEPHANIE ESLAKE
This article featured in Warp Magazine, July 2014. http://www.warpmagazine.com.au.
Image source: Warp Magazine.