To celebrate the release of her official ‘Shower of Roses’ music video, we spoke to self-produced genre-bending Natalie Claro. She speaks about her struggle as an 18-year-old in the music industry, her debut album Disconnect, and her desire to use her platform for good.
When you first got into music, did you imagine making a career out of it?
Music has been a part of my life since I was a baby. I have always been in projects or activities pertaining to music – whether it being orchestra, school plays, dance, band camps. As much as it was a passion for me I did not really know I could have a career out of it. My Mum was the one who wanted me to pursue it professionally.
I refused to listen to her until I saw Paramore live in 2014. Seeing Hayley Williams throw her ass up all these ramps, running and jumping like she was some kind of sorceress made me instantly go “oh my god. I have to do that! That’s it this is what I’m doing.”
For those yet to listen to you, which genre would you describe yourself as?
I would say my genre is bluesy pop-rock. I am also heavily inspired by both alternative rock and R&B.
Was it difficult to self-produce your music, especially being so young?
Honestly, no! There was a instinct behind composing the music (I have been trained in so many instruments and genres my whole life.) The only struggle was the computer components; I have zero knowledge in ProTools.
But, every track and instrument you hear off my album has been written and recorded by myself from start to finish! I create the demos on Garage Band and Logic so that they are all mapped out and ready to go for the real recording.
Do you find it a disadvantage to be young in the music industry?
Oh my god, it is hell. 90% of the indie venues in the US are 21+ so it is a struggle to even find where I can get in. Even if they are willing to pull some strings, it is still cutting my audience in half since a lot of my demographic is under age.
As part of your autumn tour, you played at Howl at the Moon Indie Festival. How did you find it?
It was so much fun! Even though I had a very severe sinus infection and essentially wrecked myself. It definitely got me pumped for what is to come with my festival endeavours.
What do you enjoy about playing festivals?
The crowds are so hype! And that in turn makes me extremely hype which makes them extremely hype and… so on and so forth.
You said you are determined to use your platform for good – what inspired this?
I was definitely inspired by the amount of evil on this planet. To die one day having not created some kind of difference – no matter what scale it is on – makes me feel useless. I think if every person saw their potential to make a positive and influential impact we would live in a better world.
What causes are closest to your heart?
I have a very soft spot for kids. I grew up with the privilege of having successful and supportive parents and it breaks my heart to see children across the globe experience the polar opposite. Abuse; poverty; orphanages; illness; it makes my chest physically hurt just to think about it.
With the number of billionaires in the world I do not understand how kids are even allowed to experience these things! I have such an extreme level of respect for people like Lebron James, who built an entire public school from the ground up… I want to give every kid the privilege they deserve. It is not fair that some humans a born into the top 1% and others born into the bottom.
Do you aim to make people aware of these issues?
I do a speech on bullying and self-worth at every show to hopefully make a difference to the youngsters in the crowd. But you will have to see me live to hear it!
Does your activism tie directly into your songs or the themes of your songs?
Totally! My most popular song is ‘Baby Bug”’ off my first record (Disconnect, 2017). It is about overcoming obstacles life may throw at you. My album itself is titled ‘Disconnect’, referring to the departure of a world filled with insecurity and conformity. True liberation is cutting off toxicity and living your most authentic “you”.
Natalie Claro is a self-produced, unique, multi-instrumentalist who aims to inspire others to be themselves. Her debut album Disconnect was released in May 2017.