New Member: Clare Bowen

October 31, 2016

Years before landing the role of Scarlett O'Connor on the prime-time television series Nashville and launching her career as a singer-songwriter, Clare Bowen grew up in rural Australia, miles from the nearest city, writing down everything she felt, heard, saw and dreamed. "Music was my connection to the rest of the world," she said. “I was brought up on my parents vinyl collection - everything from Vivaldi, to Elvis, to Dolly, to Springsteen, Edith Piaf and Etta James.”

Those references quickly expanded to include country legends like Loretta Lynn and Johnny Cash, and she heard her first broadcast of the Grand Ole Opry in her grandad's kitchen. Soon after, her classical vocal coach paused one of their lessons to comment on the "country lilt" that had naturally crept into Bowen's voice. It would be another decade or so before she'd duet with heavyweights like Zac Brown and Vince Gill, record songs with Grammy-winning producers like T Bone Burnett and Buddy Miller, or tour the U.S. with Nashville co-star (and fellow ASCAP member) Charles Esten, but those early experiences helped plant the seed, pushing Bowen one step toward Nashville and its musical community.

Bowen bought a one-way ticket to Los Angeles in 2012. During her first year in America, she caught the bus to her Nashville audition and landed the gig, playing a young poet turned songwriter, whose folk and Americana songs are influenced by a challenging childhood.

Nashville is more than just a television show to Bowen, though; it has become a launching pad for her own music. Playing Scarlett O'Connor required Bowen to sing hundreds of songs, play multiple instruments and overcome an irrational fear of microphones. It pushed her to write songs that she’d actually show people, drawing on everything she wrote down as a child for inspiration.

Bowen is currently writing and recording with an A-list Nashville producer for her debut solo album. On joining ASCAP, she said, "I'm so happy to be a part of the ASCAP family. I've been singing as Scarlett O'Connor for the past four years, so to be embarking on the journey of creating my debut album, and recording songs I've penned for the first time ever, I'm very grateful to have the good people of ASCAP looking out for me as an artist and a writer. Their effort toward ensuring songwriters are protected is both admirable and comforting. And they're a pretty good hang too."