Natalie Claro is a 20-year old alternative rock singer and producer. The Deli describes her music as garage singer-songwriter, with additional nods to electronic R&B and classical piano composition. She released her latest album Selfish Topics on August 10, 2019 and stopped by the Radio Free Brooklyn studio to talk all about her music, the meaning behind her songs, touring, and more. Read an excerpt from our interview below, and scroll down to listen to the full episode!
PR: We were chatting before about how amazing Hayley Williams is. Who are some of your other musical influences... I know you have a lot!
NC: I can’t even necessarily pick a favorite because artists influence me in different ways. For example, Steven Tyler energywise. The way he dresses, his confidence, his coolness. I want to be 71 and be that cool! Vocals from Amy Winehouse. Performance and dedication and diversity from Lady Gaga, that woman can do anything. Stevie Wonder’s songwriting, Freddie Mercury’s songwriting... I mean he doesn’t even repeat chords in a song!
PR: When you are writing your music, you’re also producing. Do you do that by yourself?
NC: I do all the writing and instrument playing by myself. When I go into the studio and have to record vocals, there’s an audio engineer there. When I’m at home and playing the piano, I’m rearranging things, I’m adding, I’m writing, I play all the instruments and do all of it myself. I want to learn how to use ProTools myself so I don't even have to have anyone else pushing the buttons. All the writing and everything you hear is me is a creation of me.
PR: What are some of the main themes of your album Selfish Topics?
NC: When going into music, one of the initial things I wanted to do is that I wanted to make music about other people, rather than about myself. About the world and what could be better about it, and anything except for me. All of 2018 was a disaster for me so I kept writing songs that were just venting, and then I thought people are going to think I’m romanticizing mental health. I felt almost embarrassed to release the songs. Then I thought no, these are topics about me. I’m allowed to vent! So I decided to call it Selfish Topics because all of the songs on there are about me.
PR: Can you tell me about your festival tour with High School Nation?
NC: I just finished the festival tour that was set up on the football field of high schools. The kids are so pumped, even the ones who are exhausted because it’s in the morning. It has great sponsors, Hollister, Truth, and Guitar Center had a booth where they could jam out and test out instruments. It’s such a great thing to bring to schools! High School Nation donates a recording studio to each school that they go to. It’s just the best thing. Everything from start to finish I would have adored to have when I was in high school.
PR: Can you tell me a little bit about your song Seven Twenty Seven?
NC: This is the weird “selfish topic.” This one is less about a funk or a feeling or an emotion, but a very specific thing that can happen to anyone. The months I was making Selfish Topics, weird occurrences would happen to me all the time. I saw ladybugs frequently in situations. I look at the time almost every day at 7:27. People will say it’s a coincidence and will try and debate with me, but I’m not exaggerating. I will be talking, going about my day, not on my phone, pick up my phone and it’s 7:27. I see it in situations where I will notice the number more like on YouTube views. I kept googling if the number meant something and nothing would give me a specific answer. I wrote the song in the sense of, this keeps happening to me, hopefully it’s good luck.
PR: I’ve seen videos and your show looks insane! What can people expect if they’re seeing you for the first time?
NC: I will not allow people to be bored. If you’re standing there and you’re not involved I’m screaming at you to get down, but it’s because I care about you and want you to have fun. My show consists of me being as aggressive as possible, but that’s what makes it fun! I promise I’m not actually scary. When you’re on a stage, you can do things you can’t do in normal instances.
PR: Do people come up to you often and tell you stories about your movie has influenced them?
NC: Surprisingly a lot. People saying that I motivated them to start music. I know somebody that literally started a band because they saw me in Orlando. He DM'ed me after the show and told me that his mom didn’t respect him wanting to be a musician
PR: What would you tell a young high schooler who might want to be a musician as their full-time career instead of the traditional 9 to 5 job?
NC: Be smart. Not everybody wants to go to college, and college isn’t for everyone. I didn’t want to have a 9 to 5 job. But you can’t get carried away where you allow yourself to be lazy and have no self discipline. You have got to push yourself to be capable. The people who work the hardest are always going to do better than the talented person who doesn’t work. You’ve got to keep pushing and be smart.