Take 5: Cariss Auburn

Cariss Auburn is a melodic & soulful singer-songwriter and self-taught producer from Wolverhampton whose influences range from 80s funk and soul to 90s R&B. Previously longlisted in Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent Competition Cariss has opened for soul legend Alexander O’Neal at The Jam house Birmingham & performed at Various ‘Sofar Sounds’ sessions across the UK. We love new talent – we decided to find out more from Cariss with a Take 5…

When did you realise that you wanted to be a music artist? What or who has inspired you ? 

Being musical from a young age I was in every band, orchestra and singing group there was at school and constantly wrote little poems and bits of music but I never believed it was a career path for me. As a hobby I learnt how to use software to record the bits of music that would pop into my head and it wasn’t until I ended up producing ‘Unphased’ that I realised music was something I could and wanted to pursue. It was selected from BBC Introducing WM uploader as their track of the week and was a moment of validation for me, a huge confidence boost to press forward.

Who, living or dead, would you dream of collaborating with?

James Blake, Tom Misch, Amy Winehouse, Bombay Bicycle Club, Lianne La Havas, Rina Sawayama? I can’t choose but those are just some of the people that I hugely respect. They transcend genre and just excel so freely with their music, they’re completely true to who they are as artists and I admire it.

Tell us about your single –’Too Tired to Sleep ‘-  what is the song about?

– ‘Too Tired To Sleep’ was inspired by the insomnia I experience from time to time. It’s almost as though I lose the motivation to sleep because it means starting another day. My mind won’t shut off, so I stay up to try and get tired enough to sleep – but thinking about sleeping just becomes another pressure! The song was a result of me navigating the frustration of being trapped in this loop

Tell us five things you love about the city/town you live in , and why……


  • My family and friends are here I, grew up here so there’s a lot of love here for me
  • There are decent hair shops so I don’t have to travel out to Birmingham!
  • It was where I did my very first performances as a singer – nervous at an open mic so I have special memories here
  • It’s every growing expanding and moving with the times I’m excited to see what Wolverhampton’s future looks like
  • There are beautiful green spaces, walks by the canals. I’m a homebody but I feel lucky to be able to slip into nature when I feel like it

What are you most looking forward to this year? 

I’m itching to get back out and perform live! Fingers crossed I’ll be heading out on my first UK tour, 5 dates as part of Punch Records’ Soul Acoustic 2020 postponed to September. Even more fingers crossed for my show before that supporting Isabel Abbott on the 25th of July at The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham.