Nineteen-year-old Finds Solace In Music
Leah Hamer || August 12th
Music is powerful. It can make you fall in love, it can heal a broken heart, it can bring people together who never normally stand beside one and other, and in the case of singer Paige Kearns- it can change your life. On the dawn of a new adventure with her band The Lucid Dreamers and after recently joining Manchester band Velvet Drift as well, I caught up with the nineteen-year-old dreamer on how music turned her world around.
Paige Kearns has always had music in her blood. Her dream was apparent at the age of five, when she would dress up in her finest glitter gear, and sing S Club 7 into her Pop Idol microphone. A childhood not too dissimilar from most young girls, including myself, but fortunately, Paige, unlike me and most girls, had remarkable talent from the offset, and this allowed her to develop her skills further. ‘I remember getting my first keyboard at the age of ten and learning how to play Unfaithful by Rihanna like the back of my hand. I just learned how to play four chord progressions which made it easy to cover any song and make interesting mashups.’
As Paige grew older, her music taste broadened beyond princess pop to the albums of Amy Winehouse, ‘At the time I had no idea that she was struggling with addiction, I just wanted to write music like she did. It was so inspiring and it really told a story you wanted to listen to.’ After actively seeking fresh genres and artists, Paige began her love affair with psychedelic rock, and her heroes, The Beatles. ‘I spent weeks binge watching Beatles concerts and interviews until I was a fanatic. They really taught me you could write music about anything…I was addicted to it, and everything about that era.’
Eager to get out of the bedroom, Paige became heavily involved with school musicals and choirs during her teenage years, ‘I knew I loved performing because every time I’d get the opportunity to perform on stage, I’d shake like there was no tomorrow and stage fright got the best of me multiple times. That’s when you know you love something, it frightens you because you want it so much.’
Now the high school concert days are long gone, Paige has found the courage to find her own feet, and release her own original material. Her debut single, No Addiction, was released earlier this year. ‘No Addiction was the first song that I’d written, but I just wanted somebody to give it that extra special treatment. Sebastian Herbert-Jackson was perfect for the song. We wanted it to have that old jazz vibe but with its own very unique and modern sound.’
No Addiction is mature, wise, and it speaks a great deal about Paige as both an artist and a person. ‘It represents when my life took an awful turn and had some very tragic experiences with mental health. I had no idea how to deal with anything that was happening around me.’ It is at this point that Paige began to seek solace through alcohol, as a means of numbing the pain she was experiencing. ‘I was looking for any reason to go out drinking and if that wasn’t possible I’d just drink at home by myself. I wouldn’t call it an addiction, but I felt as though it was something temporary to help me through the issues that were happening. It just took me a long time to realise I needed to face them head on.’
Brave enough to tackle the emotions she was engulfed in, Paige used music as a method of escapism and transferred her thoughts into the lyrics of her debut. ‘The song isn’t as black and white as you think and it doesn’t just represent the troubles of using alcohol frequently. It represents any addiction you may have, such as drugs or self-harm.’
Mental illness can be an isolating struggle in which the sufferer can often feel entirely segregated from others, although one in four people are said to encounter it during at least one point in their lives. So Paige’s honesty has allowed to her to connect to many other individuals. ‘I wanted to write something that people could relate to. I found it so hard to find people who had the same issues as me and that made it hard to talk about my problems. You become desperate and tell anybody who has a listening ear, just so you don’t feel lonely. I think the song really does open up the issues around it and that it’s okay to feel this way, but more importantly that you’re never alone in these situations. I’d like to think people would come to me if they were experiencing these issues. There is no shame in having an addiction, sometimes you just can’t fight reality.’
Although she is still fighting the battle, Paige has grown tremendously in recent months, all because of her love and passion for music which helps her overcome her daily anxieties. ‘Music has always helped me, it’s a way of connecting with people without actually having to talk about things that you don’t want to. It’s a way of keeping busy and it makes me happy when I produce something I feel proud of. Music really does bring people together, and can improve your mood so much, all I want to do when I’m sad is write a song. People could take any aspect of my life away, I’ve learned to deal with my problems through writing music and that’s something they’ll never be able to take away from me.’
Now Paige is taking on a new venture, with her cover band The Lucid Dreamers, made up of Adam Pearsall (guitar), Dave Rogers (guitar) and Sam Johnson (bass). ‘We’ve definitely got a great pick of musicians in this band. Sam has such an unreal talent on the bass. Dave is hugely creative and can add a tasty solo to any cover that we do. Adam can pretty much just play any instrument to an incredible level. I feel so lucky to have such great musicians around me because you learn so much from these people. We like taking songs and turning them into a chill, lounge or psychedelic type of piece of music. I think that’s why we find ourselves unique and that’s where the name Lucid Dreamers came from! Comes to something when you go from All Along the Watchtower to Poker Face.’
A fresh start for Paige beckons in September, when she will be heading to Salford University and beginning her career in the Manchester music scene with Velvet Drift- a five piece indie band formed by Viola Drift’s former guitarist Frankie Coulson. She has already begun working on new material with the band and they are sure to make a splash in the future once the band officially arrive on the scene.
However, her heart, will still be attached to Stoke. ‘With any luck, I’m hoping The Lucid Dreamers will maintain. All I can say is, I will never sing alone again. I’ve found that I work better in a band and with other musicians. Who knows where we could end up! Manchester will teach me a thing or two, so hopefully I will come back better.’
Whilst at university, Paige will be recording and producing her debut album, Relapse, with the hope of releasing it towards the end of her first year in Manchester.
Mental illness can be devastating to so many individuals but it is inspiring to see that with the help of music, Paige has managed to channel her inner emotions in a positive way and face her demons. With the past behind her, she is now ready to show the world who she is and what she is capable of.
You can download Paige’s debut single, No Addiction, at this link: https://paigekearns.bandcamp.com/releases
You can also catch The Lucid Dreamers at The Windmill Inn, Werrington, on the 20th August.