At only 19, Claire Wilkinson aka Clairity has released her own EP, written with Kesha and been featured on shows like Teen Wolf. Her single “Velcro” made our top tracks of 2015 and we have been loving her ever since. Her evocative songwriting speaks to the outsider in us all. I got to speak to Claire about her newest track “Words Like Weapons”, her musical heroes and her what it’s like listening to yourself on TV.
Ryan: You new song, “Words Like Weapons”, is wonderful. It’s deeply personal, in a way we haven’t seen in previous works. Do you think your current writing is trending towards this deeper, potentially darker and more intimate tone?
Claire: I think the writing on most of my newer material has definitely been a little darker, and certainly more mature in subject matter compared to the writing on Alienation. I’ve grown so much as a person in the past year since my first EP was released; I was 15-17 when I worked on those records. I also feel like I’ve had more time to figure out who I am as an artist. At one point, I realized there was so much of what I had to say that was left unexplored after the EP and I wanted to make a point to create a safe space for myself to be vulnerable and peel back the layers before releasing anything new – so that’s exactly what I did! “Words Like Weapon”s and many of the new unreleased records are akin in that they are very raw and intimate.
Ryan: Your music tends to speak directly to outsiders and the outsider inside everyone. If there was one message people could take away from your work, what would it be?
Claire: I have always believed that the biggest kept secret lies in the reality that everyone has felt like an outsider at some point or another because we are all hyper-aware of our own flaws and differences. My message to my fans has always been one of love, acceptance and self-celebration because I know how hard it is to cope with feeling different. I still feel like an outsider all the time, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I want everyone who hears my music to know that they aren’t alone, and that no matter what they have a community of like-minded people who love them exactly as they are.
Ryan: You’ve had songs featured on shows like Catfish, The 100, Teen Wolf and the Superbowl trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse. What’s it like hearing your work on TV?
Claire: Seeing my songs get placed on TV shows is probably one of the coolest things I’ve experienced so far. My dream has always been to write for film and TV and every time something I’ve written gets a sync, a little part of me gets so excited because I feel like I’m doing exactly what I’ve wanted to do which is extremely satisfying.
Ryan: I think you have a great power being such a strong female artist and being so young still. Who were some of your female idols growing up?
Claire: I loved Imogen Heap, Regina Spektor, Lily Allen, and Kate Nash as a kid. I recall also listening to Adele when she was much younger and first starting out. I heard “Hometown Glory” for the first time and thought, “ She’s so different and beautiful and strong and she’s doing exactly what I want to do.” In many ways, those women gave me permission to go after the things I wanted for myself.
Ryan: I know you a video game fan. What is your all time favorite game?
Claire: I don’t know if I have an all time favorite. I’m kind of a video game curmudgeon. Every time some one asks me about my favorite games I feel like I give the same answer, which bugs me a little bit. It’s mainly because I tend to play games nowadays when I need to escape, or even simply because I’m bored. At the airport I love to camp out at my gate and play things like Pokémon, Animal Crossing, and Legend of Zelda. I’m also a sucker for classic arcade games like Pacman, Tetris (I’m awful at Tetris), and Galaga so I’ve got them
downloaded on my 3DS.
Ryan: If you could have dinner with three musicians, living or dead, who would they be?
Claire: If I could have dinner with three musicians living or dead I would have to say John Lennon, Nina Simone, and Kathleen Hanna. Admittedly, my musical influences are all over the place but there are qualities about all three that I love and find very interesting. This is also a question with an answer that would probably vary from time to time for me. I feel like I’m always looking a little ambitiously to the past at artists who have stood for important, and relevant causes and created a path of their own. John Lennon was a remarkable artist and a voice for Human Rights, the Peace Movement, and many other causes. Nina Simone was similar in that she made a massive impact on the civil rights movement, and Kathleen Hanna started a dialogue which contributed largely to 3rd wave feminism.
Ryan: Will you be touring any shows anytime soon? I’m sure LA would love to have you.
Claire: I can’t say when I’ll be touring, but I’m sure I’ll be playing in LA, NYC, and Nashville as often as possible in the coming months. I’d love to go on tour but I think it’s still a little early to tell when it’s going to happen.
Ryan: When do we finally get a full album?
Claire: Soon! I’d really love to put out a full length album, but I I’ll likely put out another EP first. I think it’ll be a better segue into my new sound rather than just jumping from Alienation into an LP.