Words: Stevie Kearney
Age is just a number. If you're old enough, you're good enough. We all know the clichés concerning age. The advantage of being young is people are more forgiving of your errors.
Thankfully, 16-year-old Aberdeen singer-songwriter Cara Mitchell seems intent on not making any mistakes.
With a glittering CV already including support acts for Rachel Sermanni, Pearl & the Puppets and Juan Zelada, she has been carefully crafting a reputation in the north-east as not just a singer of renown, but a talented songwriter in her own right.
With a voice which stands comparison with artists like Regina Spektor and Ellie Goulding, Cara Mitchell has carved her own niche in one of the most over-subscribed sectors in music - the female singer/songwriter.
And that is what is so interesting about her music - it's not about age, but about the softest and most alluring voice, which draws you near before imparting its wisdom. Sometimes the best way to command a room is to whisper. Cara Mitchell has this quality.
Her live acts have mesmerised audiences in Aberdeen and beyond, but she remains a little aloof, keeping a sensible distance between herself and her growing reputation.
"There's never a set reason for writing a song. I guess anything that happens to me can lead to ideas and I take it from there", she says, giving little of her process away.
Expanding on the point, she opens up a little, "When I write I improvise. I never really plan out a song. I have a notebook that I use for noting lyrics and ideas that come into my head. Mostly I just get random urges to go and play guitar".
It is the simplicity of working alone and being your own boss which appeals. She is currently under safe management and getting the right gigs, so there seems no compelling reason to change a winning formula.
There would be no shortage of collaborators in the queue if she were to look for other musicians to work alongside, but she remains grounded on the path ahead: "I think further down the line I would like to experiment with other people being involved, but we’ll see where it goes."
Her vocals are the main point of distinction at this stage, although she remains particularly down to earth when quizzed about how she plans to stand out from the crowd: "Apart from maybe wearing a chicken suit when I go on stage, I think that by continuing to work hard and writing music, hopefully things will continue being as positive as they've been so far."
Cara Mitchell is an innate songwriter, able to capture a mood or a feeling in verse with apparent ease. This, to her, is just something she does - an ordinary talent in an ordinary world. What is actually emerging is an extraordinary new talent.
Watch Cara Mitchell live at the following gigs:
24 May: supporting Gemma Hayes at The Tunnels, Aberdeen
6 June: supporting Jonah Matranga/Dave McPherson (inMe) at The Tunnels, Aberdeen
3 July: Bloc Bar, Glasgow
Mini tour with Megan Blyth: 24 Aug at Cellar, Aberdeen , 25 Aug at Newmarket Bar, Thurso, 26 Aug at Market Bar, Inverness
Cara Mitchell elsewhere: Official site | Facebook | SoundCloud | YouTube | Twitter
Posted by Stevie Kearney