Meet Claire George, frontwoman to Indie pop band HEARTWATCH and beloved Dharma Co. ambassador.
Claire is an Oregon native, now living in San Francisco, and is a master at languages, songwriting and composing. If you haven’t heard of Claire George and HEARTWATCH, put them on your radar now. Tonight, HEARTWATCH will perform at the Independent for the Noise Pop Music Festival (and their record release party!) where you can catch HEARTWATCH perform their new single “Never Let You Go” live, and other songs we have on repeat. We caught up with Claire and discussed music, inspiration, traveling, and sunglasses. See what keeps this songstress inspired, her favorite haunts in San Francisco, and her “dharma."
1) Fill in the blank: I put on a pair of the Kamala
sunglasses and head to soundcheck for our record release party.
sunglasses and head to soundcheck for our record release party.
2) The simple definition of “Dharma” is one’s duty/responsibility. What does “Dharma” mean to you?
I feel my Dharma is to be a positive and encouraging force in other people's lives. I want to inspire others to listen to their most pure self, and to follow what that most pure self desires. Specifically, I want people who have a passion for creating music to feel inspired and enabled to do so. I didn't start playing or singing until I was 22 years old, and I want people to know that if there is something they feel a desire to do, that it's never too late to start.
3) We can’t stop listening to the new HEARTWATCH single “Never Let You Go.” Can you tell us any fun facts about creating the song?
This song was actually such an inspired song. We were all together writing, and were feeling particularly excited about getting started on the new record. The boys started jamming, and all of a sudden this melody just came out of my mouth and it immediately felt awesome and exciting. When we went into the studio, we wanted this to feel like a really shining and poppy single because that's how it felt to us. Our producer did an amazing job with the vocal production and adding some bells and whistles, that I think really makes it shine through.
4) What inspires your music?
A lot of inspiration just comes from personal experience. On our last record, I found myself reading and drawing inspiration more from stories and ideas I had. This album feels more inspired by personal experience: relationships, personal growth, the struggle to be an artist.
5) What are some tips you have to staying positive, inspired, and motivated?
As an artist, it is really easy to get hung up on the ups and downs that come with seriously pursuing your passion. It's really easy to get caught up reading negative comments on the Internet about yourself. So first of all...you just have you remove yourself from that. Try to distance yourself from the negative forces in your life. I can't read the comments anymore ha! Staying positive is all about maintaining perspective. For me, when I get down, I take some time to meditate or do yoga. It takes my mind off the difficult things and refocuses me. I also read a lot to stay positive. I like to read other people’s stories and watch short films about other people’s lives. That often re-inspires me and helps me realize that everyone goes through tough times. Reestablishing perspective is a really great way to stay positive. I think going through tough times and having to struggle to get what you want helps keep you motivated. Working a job you don't feel passionate about is a HUGE motivator to be successful in what you love. Setting goals and keeping your mind set on those goals is also a huge help.
6) We are all born travelers. What is your dream getaway?
I have been feeling very drawn to go to both Cuba and South America lately. I went to Colombia a few years back, and fell in love with the vibrancy of the country. I want to experience Cuba as it seems to be like a time capsule, and that just sounds so romantic and lovely. I desperately want to go to Brazil and Chile, as there are some great music scenes I would love to tap into. Their respective cultures seem to be so rich and unique.
7) What are your top 3 places/things to do in your city, San Francisco?
I love walking around the city. It's such a walking-friendly city and on a beautiful day, there is nothing better. I would say my favorite thing to do is to walk through the presidio on a beautiful day. I love hanging out in the Mission - specifically going to Yoga to the People, and then getting tacos or ceviche at one of my favorite Mexican inspired restaurants (Lolo or El Techo, which has a rooftop bar with a killer view). Finally, I love going to see shows at my favorite venue in the city - The Independent. I usually walk there and grab dinner at one of my favorite restaurants nearby (Nopa or my favorite burger pop up shop, Wesburger), and then pop over for a show.
8) If you could see the world through someone else’s lenses, who would it be and why?
I would choose to see through Frida Kahlo - she was such a strong woman who worked through the traumas in her life, using her art and self expression. She was incredibly brave and strong and had such a gift for translating emotion into her art.
9) If you were to choose only ONE style of sunglasses to wear 24/7, which would it be?
I think I would wear the Nirvana shades, since they are so versatile.
10) What piece of advice do you have for people wishing to take the road less traveled (this can mean career-wise, travel-wise, etc)?
It's never going to be easy to take the road less traveled. Expect that people will not understand your decision; expect that it will be hard. Not just when you decide to take that road, but the entire time you are on that road; expect that the highs will be higher and the lows will be lower than life on the common path. But whenever you are going through those hard times, think forward to the end of your life. Try to think of yourself in 50 years, looking back on your life. Do you think you will be more satisfied looking back to have taken the risk for a greater reward or stayed the course for a more stable and predictable life?
Be sure to catch HEARTWATCH on tour:
3/3 Echo, Los Angeles, CA
3/6 The Casbah, San Diego, CA
3/8 Lowbrau, Sacramento, CA
3/9 G Street Bar, Grant's Pass, OR
3/10 Holocene, Portland, OR
Checkout the latest HEARTWATCH single, “Never Let You Go,” here.
Claire put together a custom Dharma playlist to get you through your week. Listen below!