Multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer living in Brighton. Coming from blues and soul, Ciara has added a psychedelic twist to her music, creating a luminous, jazzy sound with atmospheric nods towards Trip-Hop. Inspired by the warming nature of female energy and embracing magic.
Women's Music News -
"Musician and producer Ciara Gayer on writing songs in trees, music theory and her upcoming EP"
Hey Ciara! I loved your live performance for Sofar Sounds London. When did you first start making music?
Thank you! I really enjoyed playing that gig and playing for Sofar in general. The shows are so intimate, which is something that I think compliments my style.
My earliest memory of writing lyrics and melodies was when I was about six. I used to sit in the tree in my garden and write… I wish I could remember what they were about....
I started playing guitar and piano around the age of eight. I always preferred the journey of writing my own music and hated reading music and theory (but I did end up teaching myself later on, because you’ve got to know how when you’re playing jazz standards).
Who are your biggest musical influences?
When I was 16, I went to this blues night run by an amazing musician named Benny Carr Guitar (he’s pretty legendary in south Devon). This night completely changed my attitude to music, as I was brought into the blues world. He’s an amazingly creative person who’s absolutely breathtaking at the guitar and is great at bringing people together.
I’m also massively inspired by Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Allen Toussaint, Dr John, B.B King, Sam Cooke, Etta James, Billie Holiday, Quincy Jones, Mel Torme, Aretha Franklin… the list goes on and on.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome as a musician?
Learning theory! I used to hate it so much when I was a kid because I could play all this intermediate stuff by ear but then was expected to go back and learn all this simple stuff out of a book, which completely contradicted why I loved music.
About a year ago, I started applying myself to the intermediate parts of theory (I’d luckily learnt the basics during GCSEs and college). Playing with incredible jazz musicians gave me the inspiration to study and there’s still lots to learn (the more you know, the less you know).
"Final act of the night was gifted producer, composer and musician Ciara Gayer, who even directs her own studio - Cellar Blue. Gayer has a jazzy, bluesy, soulful sound and an immensely powerful voice, which worked extremely well alongside her band. Gayer’s passion for music was evident throughout her performance whilst she played an assortment of charming original songs which oozed vivacity. Ciara Gayer was a great artist to end the night with and definitely one to keep an eye out for, you can listen to her music on her
The Mic -
Behind the Lyrics
of New Single
‘I named the song after 'mutual assured destruction', which is a phrase that denoted the means to the end of the Cold War. The idea that owning nuclear weapons, ones that could wipe out most living beings on the planet, had actually created the most peaceful era in known global human civilisations, is to me quite mad… But the song is more of a metaphor of how madness in politics and policies reflects right back onto our minds and shapes the behaviour of us in society. Mental health is something that affects everybody in their life whether they experience problems themselves or watch the people they love having to deal with it. Every single person I know, including myself, either deals with mental health struggles daily or experiences highs and lows. What I really wanted to highlight in this tune is that when everyone can share and experience things as difficult as the severity of some things I’ve seen, then we can all take a moment to appreciate and share our understanding and empathy for it. Sometimes what's nice to realise is that we are all people, each individual totally different and unique in their own way, but what connects us is our humanity and our ability to share and experience life through different narratives together.’
Mic Records Podcast -
"Ciara has a passionate and powerful voice"
3 words that describe your music
Soul, Jazz, Blues
Piece of gear that you can’t live without
Maschine - Mk3
Your experience with the Brighton music Scene so far
I used to love playing gigs when I first moved here - I’d play gigs like everyday, if not twice a day! But recently I’ve been a bit more chilled and I just like playing gigs when I can really embrace that time. I love Brighton it’s so dynamic and there’s so much going on! You can find live music everyday which is really special. And I’ve met the most amazing and creative musicians which I am so grateful for.
Studio, Gig or Busking?
I do love gigging, but at the moment I just love getting lost in the studio and making weird stuff that I don’t usually make. My favourite thing to do at the moment is to experiment with building synths out of nature sounds for short films online.
BRIGHTON WORLD RADIO SHOW ON BHCR
→ What do you mean by The Journey To Blue? Have you come from another genre?
CG I guess it’s not describing a journey of change in genre, but more so arriving at a destination that I’d been heading towards for as long as I can remember. I’ve always had quite a strong, soulful voice and when I was a young teenager I found the blues at an open mic and never looked back! Each song in the EP describes a step in motion of my overcoming of bad habits and learning to love myself and another. The introduction is about knowing myself, Space Cake is about learning to express yourself, Mr Boss Man is about saying f* you at the right time and the last track, Baby Blue, is about falling in love.
→ What do you want from your music, where do you see it going in the future?
CG It’s just my life and my passion and I know I will play and perform for the rest of my life. I also really love writing music for film, I love the emotional journey of that. You see the footage and you think ‘how does that make me feel?’ You have the freedom to weave music into a story line and inspire the watcher to feel more passionately about the characters experience.