Janne Schellingen

12 Jul 2020

Kali Claire: “As Long As I’m Making Music, I’m Happy”

All eyes are on the R&B songstress Kali Claire. She released her debut EP ‘Symptoms of a Teen’ last year and has put out three singles in 2020 so far. We had a little chat with her about her new songs, being a support act on Mabel’s European tour, and more.

What inspired you to start making music?

I’ve grown up listening to loads of music. My whole family used to play music, my mom, my grandma, my auntie, my grandad… So I’ve always been around music.

What music did you mostly listen to while growing up?

Literally everything. My mum used to play Jungle and R&B. My grandma always played “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” by the Beatles. So it varied a lot.

Who is your biggest inspiration right now?

Right now? I feel like it changes every day. If I hear a song and I’m just taken aback by it, if it makes me want to know how they created that song, then that’s my new favorite song.

What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you think about your own music?

I’m so bad at answering questions about myself. I’m trying not to think too hard because then I start rambling. I think it’s “growth”. I’ve been making songs for quite a while now, and when I hear my old songs and my new songs I can just feel the growth I’ve gone through as a person.

Growth is really important to you. Do you feel like you’ve grown since you joined Mabel on her European tour?

Definitely, so much. Just the traveling and seeing that there are different people that might know the words to your songs or want to see you perform. I think it’s crazy that there are people everywhere that just have this one thing in common that is music. I love that.

It unites people from all over the world.

Literally. I met a really nice girl in Germany, and we don’t speak the same language, obviously. But we just got on very well because we liked the same music.

What was the tour like?

This was the first tour that I was a part of, so it was really crazy just to see the production of everything and how much goes into it. There are so many things behind the scenes that nobody knows of. I used to go to so many festivals, and I never realized how much goes into it. It was eye-opening.

You wrote a lot of songs for Mabel as well. Are you planning on writing singles or albums for other artists or do you want to focus on your own music right now?

I think I just like writing songs. Wherever they happen to end up, I don’t really care if they’re mine, to be honest. I just like writing songs and being in the studio creating the song. As long as I’m making music, I’m happy.

You have released three singles in 2020, with one of them being “Easy”. What’s the song about exactly?

I feel like I’m quite an emotional person, I haven’t always been one. I’m quite sensitive, and I don’t really like people to know. So you know when you’re falling for someone, you’re starting to have feelings for someone and there’s that uncertain feeling? The song is kind of saying to be kind to me and to not stress me out.

The video clip is filled with stunning visuals. Do you think that it’s important to still create music videos in 2020?

Oh, I think it’s so important. Sometimes I write a song and I can see how I want the video to be. You know when you’re listening to a song and you can picture or feel it? When I hear a really happy song, I picture a field of rabbits just hopping along.

I just shot a video the other day that I helped collaborate. I’m helping direct new music videos, so I’m really excited. I love it so much! I’m a control freak, so maybe it’s best if I don’t have all the control. (laughs) But it’s really fun to be part of a process and get what I have to say across.

Your last single “All My Nights” proves how good of an artist you are. What does the song mean?

I like to overexaggerate a lot. It’s about feeling frustrated and going through the same thing over and over again.

What’s the thing you love most about making music? Is it touring or is it writing music?

It used to be the studio and actually making the music, but since doing the tour, I think it’s both.

Taking a look at your future, what are you most excited about? Maybe an album?

After the first tour, I really want to go back to the faces that I visited and just travel and perform.

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