A singer and songwriter from Watford has released her debut EP, No Stupid Ideas. Next month she will also be releasing her first ever music video for one of the tracks on the record, Somebody Free.

I spoke to Clare Cordell, 27, to find out more about her music and an interesting YouTube series she is working on with other artists…

Where did you go to school?

I went to Bushey Meads secondary school (who’s claim to fame is that George Michael also went there.... obviously way before my time!

Were you always musical as a child?

Yes! Music was always been something that was around me growing up - my parents and my grandparents always sang to me, and the only song that would make me go to sleep as a kid was Christy Moore - Mystic Lipstick!

When I was in junior school we used to always sing in assembly, however punishment for chatting was to get up and sing a solo. This happened to me once aged eight, so I got up and sang Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream by Pete Seeger (don’t ask me why) and when it turned out I wasn’t an awful singer I was made to sit at the back on my own facing the window for the rest of assembly instead.

Was this encouraged at school?

Apart from being made to face windows for being a half decent singer at primary school (didn’t realise quite how much that has stayed with me!) yes, I was always very much encouraged.

At senior school if I was ever thrown out of maths or had a “mysterious sports injury” during cross country in PE I used to go and practise various songs in the music block or watch YouTube clips of Aretha Franklin. I’m also pretty sure the only reason they let me stay on for A Levels was so I would be Nancy in the school production of Oliver!

Describe your music

It’s a cross between easy listening blues and powerhouse soul music!

Do you play instruments as well as sing?

I play the piano very badly, and I wanted to learn the guitar but I was so bad that the teacher told me to “stick to singing sweetheart”.

What inspires you?

My musical influences come from a mixture of great female songwriters like Carole King and Bonnie Raitt, powerful vocalists like Whitney and Aretha Franklin - and old school blues artists like Etta James and Judy Garland.

I am pretty much just solely inspired by talent. Anyone who can tell their story and convince me of it through music inspires me.

Tell me about the series, Song I Wish I’d Written

I’ve constantly got a million and one songs on a loop in my brain and they tend to stay put until I can get them out of my system.

Sometimes they are my own songs which I can record release myself, but sometimes they are songs by bands or artists that I love or from shows that I’ll never get cast in, or songs that I’ll never get to perform live and claim as my own...

So I have created my very own video series called Songs I Wish I’d Written where I’m going to be working with YouTube and various artists on a wide selection of songs.

What are your hopes for the future?

Overall I want to be able to write, record and tour with my own music as a full time job. That would be the dream!

I would also love to have my own record label and venue in London where I can choose which artists perform there - I would always feature new artists and new work so that they get a platform! There is so much underappreciated strong female talent out there at the moment who just aren’t getting their stuff heard. We need more platforms for new music that focuses on people’s talent.

No Stupid Ideas is available on iTunes, Amazon Music, Spotify and many other music outlets.