Natalie Claro’s frenetic energy, deeply catchy songs, and dark themes make for a year-round must-listen, but, now, we can see her vision in a timely debut video for “Baby Bug.” And, not to knock your socks all the way off, but she was gracious enough to answer a few questions about her music, the all-inspiring Hayley Williams, how she ALWAYS stays busy, and why she always listens to her gut. Happy Halloween!
Where are you from? Where are you now?
I was born in Long Beach, California and currently live in Tampa, Florida
Tell me about the music you make.
I write and produce my own alternative/rock/r&b music. It’s almost always about my insight on people and the world we live in and how we all affect each other. Topics more complicated than partying or love songs (not that I don’t like music about that, I’m all about Ke$ha club songs)
I have a music video releasing this Halloween for my song Baby Bug!!
Does living in the South impact your music?
I think Tampa, Orlando, and Miami are a great cities when it comes to music opportunities and that’s actually been a great advantage. Anything from the perfect venue size to record stores willing to showcase anything and everything. It’s cool here.
How do your family and job affect your music making?
My parents play a huge role in my music. I’ve never been told “No” when it comes to needing assistance and support with what I’m doing, if anything they do everything in their capability to be involved and it’s awesome. I’m 18 and I still tour with my mom in the driver’s seat and my dad loading the equipment because they just love to be apart of it. As for my job, I have a pretty successful self-run party and holiday festival business that I try to keep on the down-low. (It’s not exactly “rock and roll” to have a side job haha.) It’s always been easier create my own schedules rather than to be employed, plus the typical teenager-working-a-fast-food-restaurant thing is just not my style. I’m more of a non-sleeping “no pain no gain” kind of person, I guess. If I’m not working on my music I’m on the phone with clients and scheduling dates.
What are your hopes for your music?
I have short term and long term goals. Just a word of advice for smaller musicians/artists: don’t do this if you’re just in it for money! Good luck. This isn’t an income whatsoever. If anything it’s the most expensive thing I’ve ever done. Selling merchandise and show tickets just helps me break even, so that I can keep going to the next project. I just want to help people. I’m frustrated beyond words that there are people in this world that are suffering and I feel like not enough people in positions of advantage are doing anything about it. I could go on and on about all the places a difference needs to be made in, but that’s a whole other tangent. I feel like if I make a big enough platform through what I’m passionate about I can finally do something about all these issues. Then…. at some point I’d like to make money because I don’t think anyone wants to be 45 and struggling to pay bills.
Where will you go and what will you do next?
I will go… up. Higher. Stronger. I will accomplish everything I’ve planned.
Where are you headed on tour?
I’m not on tour at the moment! I just finished one called The Invasion Tour that focused mainly on the East Coast but I hope to be touring again soon, I will be touring the West Coast this winter.
Who do you listen to?
Music-wise I listen to wayyy too many artists to list!! My influences range from mainstream pop, 80’s rap and R&B, all the way to Metal or classic rock. Advice-wise, I listen to myself. What are you saying to me? I can’t hear you over my own decision.
Who inspires you?
Well Hayley Williams is always my first response to this question because, if I didn’t go to see Paramore in July 2014, I wouldn’t be doing this. Seeing her run around belting her heart out made me realize that my music is capable of being more than a hobby. As for a role model, my mom is a huge inspiration for me. I always catch myself trying to be like her. She’s extremely wise and caring and doesn’t give a **** what anyone thinks! She lives to make her and her family happy and never to impress others.
Any favorite Southern women?
I almost said Aretha Franklin, but I fact checked and she’s from Detroit hahahaha, whoops. Soul music is all over. Anyways, I love Dolly Parton.
(Editor’s note: we still claim Aretha!)
Any other Southern women or non-binary or trans Southerners making music that we should know about?
Ahhhh I love that you are so inclusive! I don’t know anyone in particular, but hopefully someone comes along soon because I think non-binary and trans individuals need a LOT more representation in the industry.