If you’re music has been described as a mixture of George Michael and Lisa Stansfield, you’re probably doing something right. Recognisable to so many as the wonderful voice in ‘Fly Me to the Moon’, one of the theme songs on the iconic anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion, Claire Littley is now branching away from Frank Sinatra covers into her own solo material.

It’s paying off so far: her latest single, ‘Change the Game’, is a slice of soul-pop that is open-hearted and soulful, with breathy and sincere vocals that make it obvious where the Michael and Stansfield comparisons are drawn from. It’s a sound and style that is anomalous in today’s music landscape, but Littley has cleverly tapped into a warm sense of nostalgia in her music.

High on energy and big on feeling, the track focuses on diversity, gender, and ‘game changers’. It’s a compassionate anthem for the misunderstood to find inner strength, stand proud, and own those differences. As Littley puts it, ‘Change the Game’ is about the ones who “different; the square pegs in round holes.”

After taking a lengthy break from music after the tragic death of her partner, Littley returned last August with renewed purpose. ‘Change the Game’ follows previous singles ‘Moving Too Fast’, ‘Bye, Bye Girl’, ‘Fly Away’, and ‘Love Will Set You Free’; it’s a remarkable level of consistency in such a short space of time. A full album is also expected later this year.

To celebrate the release of her new single, we caught up with Littley as part of our popular Get To Know series to find out more about her life and career.

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How did your artist name come about? 

Easy one – it’s my ‘actual’ name.

How would you describe your music to your grandma?

Oh, this has really made me miss my Nan. I was right back with her then. Nan, if you can hear me, my songs are kinda poppy, soulful, chilled… you might have heard me working on some of the other jazzy, ballady ones too? I hope you like them. I miss you.

Tell us about a few of your tracks; their titles and what they’re about?

I’ve had four releases so far, since last August. The last two songs I wrote and produced on my own – steep learning curves as I hadn’t used Logic Pro before until this time last year.

‘Bye Bye Girl’ has been received very well. It’s about bumping into an ex and the shock, tongue-tied-ness you feel – ugh, we’ve all been there. I spent ages getting the drums just right on this one. I even bought a little percussion pad so I could get closer to the feel I was after for the drums in the intro – eat your heart out Gonzo!

‘Moving Too Fast’ is the last release that has grabbed the most attention until now. It’s all about slowing down in life and especially love. This song more than the others was compared to something similar to a mix of “George Michael x Lisa Stansfield”. That’s a huge compliment for someone so new to songwriting.

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What do you love about your hometown?

London is such an amazing city. We so often take the familiar for granted. We live such relatively free, privileged lives in the U.K. – it draws people from all over the globe and London is so culturally rich for that.

Career highlight so far?

Every single time someone tells me how one of my songs has been important to them in some way, or takes a moment to listen to my music, every time someone I respect gives me positive feedback or an endorsement – such as this article right here – each one of these is a career highlight. I am deeply grateful.

Fave non-music hobby?

Previous to lockdown it would have been bouldering but that’s taken a bit of a backseat to make space for music. My day job is in digital product design; I’ve always had a passion for art, design and photography.

What’s on your dream rider?

I heard I could get the brown M&Ms taken out?!

Dream music collaboration?

Around October last year I randomly connected on Instagram with a producer/songwriter who’s worked with some incredible artists and bands. We’ve messaged quite a lot over recent months. He’s incredibly humble, down-to-earth, sweet and funny. No ego whatsoever, just a pure love for songwriting and for it to have a place in other people’s lives.

I’ve been encouraged more than he realises with the little bits of feedback and advice he’s given me. There’s a couple of other musicians like this I’m fortunate enough to have connected with who’ve been so encouraging and supportive. These are the type of people I want to make music with.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

It’s so much easier to look forward to the future or back to the past, but really all we have is today. In 10 years time I’d like to still be appreciating the moment. Beyond that, I plan to be songwriting and making music full-time and living a content and fulfilled life.

What’s your go-to karaoke song?

I’ve only ever sung karaoke a couple of times, so don’t have one!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

It’s ok to feel how you feel.

What’s one obsession you have that no one would guess after listening to your music?

Doing my 10,000 steps on my Fitbit! Almost every day for years!

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