Lockdown Stories – Cára Beard
Cára is a professional independent musician with an incredible history. Throughout lockdown, Cára has been continuing to master her craft and pursue her musical career, despite having to constantly adapt to new technologies and new audience demands.
Watch Cára’s interview for some insightful notes on some of the issues independent musicians face today. To read more of our lockdown series, check out the full series here!
Or if you feel inspired to start your own musical journey after reading Cára’s story, our team would be happy to help! view our range of starter pianos today! We would love to share your sound too -Use the #MillersMusic for your chance to feature!
Tell us about yourself and your musical history.
“I first started learning guitar when I was about 8 years old at school, I have always been obsessed with Miley Cyrus and all the musical stuff that was on TV when I was younger. So I did that at school and it was all very theory based – but then my mum found an academy called Play Something which was based in Hertfordshire. So I started going there for lessons and basically they would do concerts and put you in bands so it was really good for your self-confidence and you would always achieve something at the end of it.
From there, I started writing my own music and I was lucky that my guitar teacher pushed me towards that and took me under his wing so I started doing open mic nights and local gigs. After school, I went to music college and did a diploma there for 2 years. I learned how to use logic and further my musical education.
Whilst I was studying, my plan was to go to university and study songwriting but I got put in touch with Ben from The Shires, who are a UK country duo and he was doing this project where he wanted to put together a female group to start writing together and see if he could get us signed.
We did and were really lucky to get a recording contract when I was 18. So we were playing venues like Shepherd’s Bush and Empire in London. We went on tour with the shires, went to LA and did some writing over there and videos – I just never imagined it would happen to me!
So that lasted until around 2018, but I’m still going around writing my own music and hoping to release my solo EP this year, it’s ready to go but obviously I can’t gig it at the moment because of the pandemic but I’m excited to get that out there!”
How has music helped you through the pandemic?
“I’m lucky music is my career anyway, but it has definitely been difficult for musicians. It’s just not happening – Weddings and pubs are my main income, so I’ve had to move that all over to livestreams.
Livestreaming is great, but it takes some getting used to. It’s pretty weird playing a song and just having dead silence with people commenting, but that’s been really cool to adapt to, I’ve definitely learnt a lot more than I thought I would during this time.
I’m lucky I have my own recording equipment at home, but just learning those skills more and editing, video editing just to be a part of the online world because everyone is going crazy with it. Music is my life really, I love listening to it, and thankfully people have still been putting out albums so I still use it as my own creative outlet. I’ve always found if you’re feeling sad, write a song about it!”
What do you think can people gain from learning and instrument?
“I just find it so rewarding, even when I was younger I was learning songs that I had seen other people play and I was always in awe of them – I remember thinking “I’d really love to do that!”. That’s why it’s so satisfying when you finally get that chord, or finish that song, it’s such an achievement and you can always set new goals and keep going with it. I never thought music would take me where it did.
I think it’s brilliant for everyone really, it gives really good mental stimulation and it’s all around. You listen to it when you sleep, when you study, when you workout so I think it definitely helps mentally.
I know I’ve made loads of friends through music too so that’s something I’m really grateful for so I’d definitely recommend anyone learning an instrument, there’s always an instrument out there for somebody – whatever it is!”
Where do you think the future of music is heading?
“I think it’s really exciting. I’ve watched a few artists who have done collaborations and put on festival style things online where whole groups of artists play together online. There’s one pub in particular that I follow where the landlord there has done a music fund to support local musicians on their scene – he started from that, he’s now basically running a full media company now – he’s got a radio show, runs live events on his pubs page for music.
Obviously streaming is where it’s going I guess for music at the moment, with the Spotify’s of the world which is one way of earning whilst you can’t gig or sell your merch but I do also follow the broken record campaign to basically try to get through to parliament that streaming is not enough for artists to earn a real living from. It is definitely positive that we are now having these conversations and hopefully we’ll begin seeing some changes for that soon.
I think more and more people are taking the jump now and finally making music for themselves. It’s not easy to be an indie artist, but it is far more accessible now, you don’t need a label or a manager, so hopefully more artists will be coming out of the woodwork which is really exciting!”
What are you most excited for the coming year?
“Personally I’ve found so much time in lockdown to focus on what I enjoy about music and my writing. So I’ve got an EP coming out later this year – I’d love to be able to do a mini-tour once that’s allowed and hopefully get back on the wedding circuit again!
Just being able to go out and hug your friends really, just going out and seeing everyone again, but definitely concerts and gigs again. It’ll be great to be back in one big group of people, but who knows when that will happen.
My EP is a pop-experimental style and has been messing around with some fun synth sounds. Lennon Stella, Billie Eilish and trying to push myself and push some boundaries really, it’s all kinds of songs that I’ve written from personal experience.”
If Cára’s story has inspired you to take up the call and get playing, our team would be happy to help you get started, contact us today or view our range of fantastic starter pianos!
Alternatively, we’d love to share your sound with the world too! Use the #MillersMusic for your chance to feature!