Thirteen year old Fernie local, Nell Cline-Smith, released her first music video on Nov. 23 under the mentorship of Wayne Coyne, lead singer of the Flaming Lips.
The music video, which covers Nick Cave’s Girl in Amber, is part of a nine-song cover album the young singer recorded with direction and encouragement from Coyne.
“If you knew Nell, she’s very determined, so if she sets her mind to something she goes and does it,” said Cline-Smith’s father, Jude Smith.
Cline-Smith began recording the album in March, sending recordings over to Coyne who’s band added back up instrumentals and ultimately produced and mastered the album.
“She’s really excited to be able to have this opportunity and have Wayne as a mentor,” said Smith.
“I can’t overstate what an amazing person he is, he’s so supportive…He’s the type of guy that just seems to say yes to everything… his studio door is basically open for people to go in.”
Coyne and his band have a history of collaborations with artists including Miley Cyrus and Bon Iver.
“I feel really lucky to have the opportunity to work with someone like Wayne,” said Cline-Smith.
“He helped me when I was struggling with parts of some of the songs and when I was feeling nervous about it.”
Cline-Smith first met Coyne at one of his concerts a few years back. After giving him a hand written letter and briefly meeting backstage, Coyne left his number with the Cline-Smith family and has been supporting the young singer ever since.
“Nell was inspired to pick up a guitar after that experience, and she basically taught herself how to play guitar,” said Smith.
According to Smith, Nell would learn to play Flaming Lips songs, record them and message them to Coyne, who would offer suggestions in return.
“I think Nell and I just wanted to start to make some music and see what would happen,” said Coyne.
“Doing cover songs is a fun way, in the very beginning, to get things rolling along. I picked Nick Cave cause I love his music and lyrics and I thought Nell probably doesn’t know very much of his music and she might, because she has NO pre-conceived notion, just do something very simple, heartfelt and original… and she did.”
Cline-Smith further extends her gratitude to Alex Hanson for shooting the music video and making her feel comfortable while stepping outside her comfort zone, as well as to her vocal coach Rachel Behan.
“She helped me figure out how to sing the songs in a different way to Nick Cave and to have another take on the music,” added Cline-Smith.
With her debut album planned for release some time in the new year, Cline-Smith looks forward to writing and recording her own music in the future, with dreams of one day becoming a professional musician.
“I really want to keep recording and writing more of my own songs as well as meeting and doing collaborations with other musicians, especially younger musicians, because I believe the future musicians from my generation can make the world a better or just different place by taking music to the next level,” added Cline-Smith.
Cline-Smith’s video is available to watch on YouTube. Conceptualized by Cline-Smith and filmed in Fernie with help from a number of locals, the video is also featured on Coyne’s Instagram.