Chantelle McAteer is a Northern Irish pop/rock/country singer songwriter, who’s been forging a solo career for herself for some time now. Recently we quietly introduced her as the new lead singer of The Rising. Now she’s officially “out” we bring to you our interview with her. Also be sure to check out her Essential Weekly Playlist.
EP: Hi Chantelle! We kinda introduced you to the world without saying who you were when we featured The Rising’s cover of ‘Born To Run’ a few weeks back. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, who you are, where you’re from, and how you came to be the lead singer of The Rising?
CM: Hi, I’m Chantelle.. and I’m a singer/songwriter from Northern Ireland. I was actually performing at an Open Mic gig and Chris Logan (guitarist) happened to be attending. After the show, he approached me and told me that he would be willing to help me release my own EP which was released on iTunes at the end of 2015. Shortly after, we started writing songs together and we made a good team with songs flowing out every time we got together. We started recording the demos for the new songs and based on the strength of these demos we realised that we should do something with the tracks and thats when he offered me the chance to be the lead singer of the band.
EP: You’ve been a solo artist, now you’re the singer in a band. What’s the pros and cons of each of these?
CM: As a solo artist, you are independent and that can be great because all creative decisions are your own, but it’s also pretty terrifying. However, with the band you’re with people who have each other’s backs and for me that’s like a safety net. There’s also more people to interact with creatively and on stage. When you’re on your own, there’s no place to hide and it can be very lonely. As much as I liked being a solo artist, I find that I work better in a team and I’m able to be myself with the band.
EP: It’s a big step for The Rising to go from an all male outfit to having a female lead. What was the reaction when you stepped on the stage at C2C? What do you feel you can bring to the group, and how do you think fans will react?
CM: I’m not going to lie, I was absolutely terrified of what the current fans might have thought. But, they have taken to the new female impact very positively and have embraced the different dynamic that I bring to the new and existing songs. For me, C2C was the best reaction I could have hoped for, the reception was amazing and it just felt so natural, as if I’d been part of the band for years. We had fans singing along to the new songs (which no-one has heard before) after one chorus. So that really got us pretty pumped onstage. After the end of our set people were coming up to us saying that they really enjoyed the show and asked for autographs, which is one thing I had never expected and I’m pretty sure I could get used to it.
EP: If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently, if anything, and why?
CM: Hmmm… well, I wouldn’t get as nervous and worry as much as I did, because the gigs went down so well and I enjoyed it so much!
So I would’ve just relaxed and enjoyed the experience, I think that’s it really.
EP: Who are your biggest inspirations? In music? In life?
CM: I have so many musical inspirations contrasting from Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Fall Out Boy to Bruce Springsteen. Loads of artists influence my music taste. As for life? probably the musical artists, my family, friends, seeing people reactions and stories.
EP: The music industry is going through a bit of upheaval, what’s your take on its current state? What advice do you have for anyone just starting out in music right now?
CM: Starting out in music is tough, but, my advice is to just write as many songs as you can and get better at your craft. Just don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and get your stuff heard because thats they only way people are going to notice your vibe.
The idea of becoming a famous and or singer overnight has largely faded due to record labels being less likely to invest in an unknown artist, unless they have a proven track record, such as success as an independent artist or coming from the reality TV shows where it’s about popularity and not as much talent. So I guess today it’s all about enjoying making music and being able to make a living from it.
EP: What is it about Ireland do you think, that so many amazing musical artists come from there?
CM: The fact that we are pretty isolated from where the music industry is we have to work twice as hard to get ourselves heard. So as a result, we have a very strong work ethic and desire to succeed. For example, we have to travel a lot to gigs, sometimes at great expense, such as C2C and other major touring cities. If you look at the legendary musicians who have come from Ireland they all have this same drive to succeed.
EP: What question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview, but nobody ever does?
CM: Very few ask about the songs; who and what the songs are about.
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