…Aw man, I love this question so much, I get asked this one a lot. One thing I’d say for sure, and I know a lot of artist’s say the same but definitely keep your family close and be with people who keep you as grounded as possible. I think it’s very easy to get caught up in the LA Lifestyle and go down the wrong path, but as long as you keep doing what you love and stay motivated and driven that is what will keep you from falling.
As a part of my series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Claire Sully. Boston, MA native Claire, now 19, knew at age 8 that she wanted to become a professional singer. At age 10, she started playing the guitar and later the piano which she plays by ear. With a love of artists like Ashley Tisdale Lindsay Ell, Maddie & Tae, Britney Spears. Claire began to shape her own sound as a pop and pop country artist. In 2017, she began working with a producer and releasing her first original music including “All You Had” written and produced by Jackson Mancuso and later “Girlfriend”, which she wrote. It was produced by Ric Poulin manager of Bristol Entertainment Studios in Boston. Her music has been played on stations like Boston’s 92.5 FM the River. In June of 2018, she released her first pop country song “A Girl in Nashville”, which was written by Claire and her co writer Nikki Moore and produced by Jackson Mancuso and made it on hot country playlists on Spotify. She is currently performing locally at events and doing more collaborations with artists.
Thank you so much for doing this with us Claire! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I am originally born in Romania and grew up in Milan Italy. My mom is from Argentina, so I have family there whom I visit every year and my dad is from Massachusetts! I moved to Boston in 2011 and have big dreams of moving to Los Angeles! I have had the amazing opportunity as a kid to travel all over Europe and Morocco Africa, and as I grow up I’d love to see even more of the world which is why I want to go into the entertainment business because if I become successful I’d love to start touring and seeing more of the world!
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
Growing up, I listened to a lot of music and still do! I was one of those kids who watched a lot of tv and fell in love with the Disney Channel! At the age of 13, my cousin had told me about this coffee shop in Vermont called Radio Bean that holds Open Mics, and that is where I did my very first performance in public with my guitar and sang. My biggest Inspiration is Ashley Tisdale. I grew up watching her on tv and listening to her albums, and with that came the idea of wanting to be a singer. At the age of 15, that is when the idea turned into a “dream” and I knew that this is something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I had watched Ashley’s DVD of her music and film career called “Headstrong” and Justin Bieber’s documentary on how he got his start in the music industry and from that day on, I’ve kept an open mind and knew that this was the career chosen for me.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Since I started my career, I guess the most interesting thing that’s happened to me is recognition. I live in a small town in Massachusetts. I am always out and about, and I really don’t know a lot of the people that encounter me. I’ll see people roll their windows down and get their phones out and yell “Claire Sully is in town!” or “Sully is back” and I have no clue who they are! I guess being in a small town everyone knows you! I think another amazing moment was when my single “A Girl in Nashville” came out! The second that released, it did so well, it was on a hot country playlist on Spotify! I was so surprised because it was my very first country song I ever wrote and to see how popular it got in just one summer a year ago was just so shocking.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I think as a singer, my mistakes are always sometimes messing up my lyrics from my own songs or also singing covers! Luckily for me, people know the lyrics to my songs now so if I forget any of the words they know it right off the bat and they help me through it! I also just laugh it off because everyone messes up here and there! What I’ve learned from it is, everyone makes mistakes but also don’t over practice! I am such a perfectionist when it comes down to my shows. I want everything to be perfect and I over practice because I want people to enjoy what they came here for.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I just finished up some background work for a show that Chris Evans is in who plays Captain America and Jaeden Leiberher who played Billy in the movie ‘IT” the show will be out in September on Apple Tv. Sadly I am not allowed to say the name of the show quite yet until the trailer drops, but it’s a book I’ll give you that. I’ve always wanted to be an actress too, and I’ve never been on a movie set, so when I got the email from the directors this summer I was going crazy! I hope to continue doing more film work in the future.
I’m very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
Diversity in my eyes is so important when it comes down to the entertainment industry. We are all such unique people and everyone has a different story and that is what makes our artists and actors so unique. Being culturally different, I’ve been able to understand and relate with other actors and singers. Everyone has a truth and a story and a side to them and I think as entertainers, our job is always going to be more diverse than a regular “office” job. We get to expand our creativity and take it to levels where people get to relate with actor’s stories in their movies and singer’s songs and lyrics. Right now a big topic in the music industy is the LGBTQ Community. Taylor Swift’s whole album is about that world and I think it’s amazing how she is able to communicate such a strong message across the world and educate those who have a harder time accepting it.
From your personal experience, can you recommend three things the community/society/the industry can do help address some of the diversity issues in the entertainment business?
Like I mentioned, Taylor Swift’s album is about the LGBTQ Community and I think that it is resolving an issue that is being dealt with today. There are people who have a harder time realizing that people within that community are exactly like us. They are to be treated the same and accepted for who they are. I think writing more songs about it and coming out with more movies about it is a great way to educate our kids and the world because our generation is constantly changing and so is the entertainment industry. I also feel like the entertainment industry has changed so much that the songs we hear on the radio now are the same. We hear the same message and sound. I feel like we should be telling more of our truths and our stories. It’s just more entertaining than to be hearing a melody and synth when the message all it is is sex.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
Growing up, my family was always telling me what to expect with this industry and what to look out for. I was educated at a very young age about signing contracts and talking to managers and how to deal with money so luckily for me I think I have a majority of it down now. But one thing I wish I was more educated about was “using people” in high school, I was working with an artist development company and also working with producers and co writers from LA and Nashville, so when people had heard about that, they wanted to be my friend just because of what it is I was doing. I never really got known as a person and everyone liked me for my talent. So that is one of the things I wish I was told more about as I entered the industry. Now I am always really paying attention and watching how people act with me to know if they’re going to be a real friend or a fake one.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Aw man, I love this question so much, I get asked this one a lot. One thing I’d say for sure, and I know a lot of artist’s say the same but definitely keep your family close and be with people who keep you as grounded as possible. I think it’s very easy to get caught up in the LA Lifestyle and go down the wrong path, but as long as you keep doing what you love and stay motivated and driven that is what will keep you from falling.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I love the idea of inspiring people because I try to be a positive influence for my friends, family and fans. I want to write a lot of songs and come out with albums that are as true to me as possible. I want people to see what I go through as a young adult, what I’ve been through as a teenager and what I go through now. The same goes with movies. I started out with background work and I want to build myself up as an actress and hopefully grow as an entertainer. Through each movie or tv show I want my fans to see that I evolve just like I would with my music. Not everything will sound the same, eventually I will go through changes and I hope people will relate to my story.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
In all seriousness, a lot of different people! I think Ashley Tisdale as mentioned before, she’s my icon and seeing her evolve as a singer and actress just motivates me so much as an artist and I hope to follow in her steps when I make it as a singer and or actress. She has kept me motivated and driven all these years and has helped me keep such an open mind. My twin sister Ana, is another big reason I am doing what I love. She’s a dancer so she relates with me on so many levels when it comes to this business. She has always told me to never give up and to keep striving. She’s one of my biggest role models and I hope to make her proud one day. My mom, is just an incredible and strong woman and she’s a big reason I get to do what I love most. She’s musical herself and growing up with music in her life, she’s been by my side and supported me since the day I told her I wanted to pursue this career. Lastly I have such an amazing group of friends all over the world, whether it’s Milan, Argentina, or Massachusetts I have friends who’ve been with me since day one and have supported what I want to do for a living and I hope to make them proud soon!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Yes! My life quote is “Life’s a Climb” by Miley Cyrus. Miley is one of my favorite singers and when I heard about that quote it really opened my mind and expanded my horizons. In life you never know where you’ll end up. We go through ups and downs. One door closes and the other opens. Opportunities are just waiting for you and if you don’t take them, you’ll live your life with regrets.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I would just love to have breakfast or lunch with Ashley Tisdale. I’ve brought her up so many times in different interviews and with all my friends and family. It feels like we live with her! I just think she’s so down to earth and humble and she’s always stayed true to herself. I’ve followed her journey since I was 7 years old and my biggest dream is to work with her one day. I don’t care if it’s a single or a movie, I think as long as it’s something it’ll make me happy! I’ve gotten noticed by her on social media so that’s always been fun 😉 My DMs are always open for you Ash!
How can our readers follow you on social media?
I am on Instagram @ClaireSully27, Twitter, @ClaireRyerson47, Youtube, @ClaireSully27, Facebook @ClaireSully, Snapchat @ClaireSully27, I have a website: clairesullymusic.weebly.com