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A Rose Among Us: Natalie Claro

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Natalie Claro

 

Singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, and producer are just a mere four words to describe 19-year-old Natalie Claro. With her latest alternative-pop album DISCONNECT, new video for the chic and soulful “Shower of Roses”, and current tour, this multi-talented phenom is poised to become music’s next big thing. Be sure to check her out in a city near you! https://www.natalieclaro.com/tickets. Today, Miss Claro takes us on a journey about her album, what feeds her creative spirit, and her hopes for the present, and future.

 

AS: Greetings Natalie! Thank you wholeheartedly for chatting with me today

NC: Hey!! Thanks for having me I’m stoked!

AS: You’ve mentioned that your album DISCONNECT, is about liberation. What inspired it’s title?

NC: Ahhh so great to talk about this. To “disconnect” means to separate yourself from a world of insecurities and conformity. True 100% authenticity with your identity.

AS: Cool! What was your creative process for this album?

NC: Every song on this record are ones I wrote at different stages in my “coming-of-age” phase. That’s what lead me to the idea of compiling them all into an order that makes my album more like a novel from start to finish.

AS: Who or what evokes your mood to create?

NC: AHH! I have a song on the record dedicated to this topic. “My Calling, The Door”. Unless I have an overwhelming emotion flooding my body, then I’m essentially dissatisfied with the outcome of any song I write. This one in particular is about my writers block becoming so heavy, that it angered me enough to create a song about, well, writers block. So again I ask myself… why is my brain like this.

AS: (Laughs) I understand. Your music blends pop and alternative rock. Have you ever been interested in exploring other genres? If so, which ones?

NC: I already have! “Mountains” is upbeat folk, “Daisy” is blues, and “Here I Stand” is very stripped-down acoustic, just to name a few outside my norm. I would hate for all my songs to sound the same. Whatever personality the song ends up with based on the vibes I get while writing is what I try and make come to life during production.

AS: With it’s relaxing melodic content and the soulful, yet haunting tone of your voice, I can picture “Shower of Roses” in heavy rotation in both record and video. What inspired it’s title?

NC: “Soulful yet haunting” is SUCH a mood. I’m living for that description. Thank you! Although I’m not a very religious person, the title is a prayer my mom would say on her own in times of need. The way it’s intended to work is that you receive a single red rose when your prayer is answered. When she wished for true love, one day my dad and her met. His gift to her out of the blue was a red rose. One, to be specific. They’ve been married for 20 years now and are best friends.

AS: You’re very welcome and that’s great! You write and compose your own material which is always admirable in the music industry. What was the first instrument that you learned to play?

NC: Piano! I had my own when I turned 5. My grandpa put tape on all the keys and wrote the notes on them with Sharpie so I could learn.

AS: That is both awesome and endearing! Which instrument is your favorite to play and why?

NC: This is going to sound so weird, but Violin even though I’m actually garbage at it. It’s the only one I can actively say I literally cannot play beyond a 7th grade level. But there’s something about the thrill of being amongst an Orchestra that is indescribable with words. It’s also so nostalgic to me, my middle school orchestra instructor Mr. Fox made music such a passionate thing. He truly cared about all his students and made our awkward preteen years more tolerable. I still visit him whenever I’m in my home town. The most accurate comparison I can think of is Mr. Schuester from Glee. But yeah so, violin. How did I get so off topic.

AS: (Laughs) Not weird at all. We never forget our favorite teachers. Who are some of your favorite artists?

NC: THIS IS SO STRESSFUL okay Michael Jackson has been my obsession since I binge-watched his entire discography when I was 9 years old. I literally went as Smooth Criminal for halloween in 4th grade (what a weirdo, all the girls are in witch or princess costumes and I’m in a suit with a fedora and a fake machine gun.) Paramore is the reason I decided to pursue my love for music as a career, seeing Hayley Williams in 2014 running up and down ramps and screaming made me text my mom from the amphitheater saying “okay, let’s do this.” Other favorites of mine are Queen, Lady Gaga, Amy Winehouse, Zella Day, Manchester Orchestra, Cage The Elephant, twenty one pilots, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Steven Tyler…. I hope I’m not forgetting any.

AS: Great choices! Especially Micheal! Anyone who knows me, knows that he’s my number one. Do you see any elements of yourself in these artists?

NC: Every one of those bands or artists are AMAZING performers! My live shows tend to resonate with people, so I really hope I can be as influential as these amazing human beings at some point.

AS: I’m sure that you will! What is your dream collaboration?

NC: Omg if I could sing Hook with Blues Traveler live I would be set. I would lay down and sleep for the rest of my life.

AS: (Laughs) If you weren’t a musician what would be your chosen career path?

NC: A less-satisfied chef or fashion designer. I intend to own a restaurant and start a clothing line at some point in my life!

AS: Do it! Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

NC: Both I guess? That’s what everyone says though. So I’m not special. I’m very outgoing and a great conversationalist but I can’t say I’ve ever been comfortable with having more than 2-3 close friends at once. But my career is based on screaming and yelling in front of large crowds of people so, let’s lean towards extrovert.

AS: I dig it. How would you say art benefits society?

NC: ARTS ARE SOCIETY! Society would be NOTHING without art. Music plays during sports games, in grocery stores, during school presentations, in churches, in weddings. Arts are in logos and on book covers and on buildings and on clothing and even in nature. Without art the world would be confused and lost. People make their best friends for life through concerts. People discover their true identities through lyrics. Peoples lives get saved by artists speaking up. Art and music ARE society. It is the foundation for love and connection… and mosh pits.

AS: I totally agree! I have always said myself that music is a universal language! What kinds of art do you feel everyone should be exposed to?

NC: Everyone should see a live musical once in their lives.

AS: How has your art shaped and enhanced your life?

NC: My professional career gave me an avenue to surround myself with ambition and people who truly understand me. But music has heavily been apart of my life since I was born because of my parents endlessly playing classics and literally throwing any piece of equipment I’ve wanted or needed at me. It’s entirely who I am down to the core.

AS: Cool! Where do you get your self-worth?

NC: JEEZ man these are the hard hitting ones! Making me shake out here. Self-worth is something that took me years of confusion and social stress to find on my own. I realized we have one life and seeking approval from others is fruitless, ya know? So I focus on independence and making my life possible on my own terms. I can’t say with confidence that it’s easy, but it’s 100% possible if anyone puts their mind to it. I want everyone in the world to feel this way.

AS: Great answer! What is your greatest strength?

NC: My parents. (What?) Yeah, it’s not even myself it’s my family. They make me who I am and are my best friends.

AS: What is your greatest weakness?

NC: (Trigger Warning) My anxiety and paranoia. It causes me to find problems where there aren’t any. I create issues in my mind that don’t really exist thinking I’m protecting myself from being oblivious when I’m really just hurting myself and pushing people away. Even reading the word “anxiety” can send me into a spike of stress. Fun! I’m only saying all this so anyone who relates knows they aren’t a hot mess. We’re all just figuring ourselves out.

AS: True! Describe yourself in one sentence

NC: “What the hell is going on”

AS: (Laughs) I think that we all have a little bit of that! What’s the one thing that people always misunderstand about you?

NC: You’ll have to ask them that one. Misconceptions people choose to have of me are none of my business lol.

AS: (Laughs) Perfect response! I think I may start using that one myself! What’s the one thing you would like to change about yourself?

NC: I’d like to be more understanding and aware of others’ emotions. I tend to forget that if someone is rude, harsh, or acting strange, that something could be going on in their life that I don’t know about. I’d also like to have less acne. That would be nice thank you.

AS: (Laughs) If your life were a song, what would the title be?

NC: Is This A Good Idea or Am I Just Being Ridiculous For the 10,000th Time In My Life?

AS: These would make excellent titles! What’s your advice for anyone afraid to be themselves?

NC: Unless you are in danger for expressing yourself (abusive family, etc.) then just rip off the bandaid and go for it. The more you care, the more others will see a window to care too. Nothing matters we are standing on a giant rock floating in an infinite vacuum of nothing. Do what you want.

AS: I hear that! What’s next for Natalie?

NC: More tours, some collaborations, more festivals, and absolutely zero new music until the timing is perfect.

AS: Let the fans know where to reach you

NC: Hit me up on Instagram and Twitter! @natalieclaro. That’s an order!

AS: Natalie thank you for the positive vibes and the sneak peak into your world!

NC: I had a great time!!

Ashly Smith
Ashly E. Smith is an author, poet, columnist, and freelance writer from Baltimore, Maryland. With her strong pop culture and entertainment backgrounds, Ashly strives to create articles that inspire as well as entertain.

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