Interview with Clara Chung
Clara Chung (aka Clara C) started out as a Youtube sensation where her music videos went viral. Following up on her success Clara entered the competition Creative Juice Night held by KAC Media and won. She followed up with other competitions like ISA and Kollaboration which also handed her the first place prize.
In September 2010, she released her album ìArt in My Heartî and video for her single “Offbeat” which soon amassed a massive following as well. In February 2011, Clara announced that she would be touring with Dumbfounded, Feats In Inches, and New Heights from Seattle on the Loveprint Mini Tour.
Clara, your success has come so quickly! Do you find it overwhelming?
Yes! It’s a good and bad thing. If I feel extremely overwhelmed, it means that there’s a lot of things happening for me but at the same time, sometimes I work beyond overtime without realizing it and burn out. It feels like yesterday when I entered a competition not expecting to win. Now we’re selling out venues and touring the world for four months! On top of all that, it blows my mind that I’m able to do all that I do as an independent artist. If you want something done, go get it done yourself, right? =)
Everything I have heard or read about you paints a beautiful picture of you. You are always happy, grounded and down to earth. Do you think you can stay this way as your success and fame build?
Absolutely. I will always be down to earth and humble with myself. I think that the quickest way to lose inner beauty is to be arrogant and pretentious. One of the quotes I live by are by Ghandi: Be the change you wish to see in the world.
How would you best describe your music?
I’m a believer in positive music and I love songs that have groove and oomph. The first album was all about spreading positive messages pertaining to love and things. The sophomore album is leaning towards groove and soul and I can’t wait to write the songs I’m hearing in my head.
Do you draw on life experiences when you compose and write your music?
Of course! I have to sing about things I know and what do I know better than my own life and its experiences? In my first album, “The Art In My Heart,” I have songs like “Wait On Me,” “Fool’s Gold” and “Dear Daphne” which are some of the more emotional songs where I bare the experiences I’ve been through. I always try to leave a message in each song because every experience should be accompanied with some type of learning.
After your success on Youtube was it a natural progression to enter the contests you did?
Actually, the contests came before the videos did. For ISA, you had to enter with a video submission so I made a cover video. Then, I kept up the covering mainly because it was so much fun. After that, I entered Kollaboration LA and won 1st place by performing an original song of mine called “Offbeat.” Winning these competitions drove people to search for me online and so my Youtube following picked up speed. But, to answer the question, yes, everything felt very natural.
A user review wrote about your first album, “Art in My Heart”, “What an Angel must sound like. Clara C has one of those rare voices that is both sweet and haunting at the same time.” What does it mean to you to have fans react to your music the way they do?
It flatters me beyond belief. I think a lot of fans support and love my voice and music even more than me. There are fans who come out to every single show of mine possible even when they’re out of town and that boggles my mind. It’s definitely a genuine love and I’m so honored to have their love and support.
You have worked with Dumbfoundead, who personally I think is brilliant, what was he like to work with and do you like collaborating with other artists?
Working with Dumb never feels like work. Sorry, that’s just what we all call him although lately he likes going by Jonathan. He gushes with talent and we’re really great friends so everything comes easy with him.
What is next for you? Do you have another album in the works?
Yes! I can’t believe it but we’ve had an amazingly strong start with my debut album and we’re steaming into the sophomore album. This year we’re going bigger, better, harder and faster with everything! Everything that has happened so far confirms that my purpose was to make music in this world and try to spread as much sunshine as I can.
I understand you work with children with Autism and education is very important to you. In fact you graduated with a minor in education. You have even done a commercial for the deparment of education. Why is education so important to you?
When we discussed poverty, disease, crime and education in my Criminology class, the professor said that the answer to all of these was education. I couldn’t agree more. There’s an understanding in more developed cities that seems like common knowledge but it has never been taught to some third world cities that are disease-ridden and poverty-stricken. In my opinion, educating them on various topics is the fastest and most effective way to aid them.
As a Korean-American have you found any obstacles you have encountered?
I get asked this question in nearly every interview and every time I answer it the same way: no. I have never had an incident where my culture or ethnicity hindered my path to success. Art transcends race.
I have also read you are a big movie fan. Any favorites?
Oh, I love my movies. All my friends are huge film buffs or directors themselves so all we do is watch movies. Some classic favorites are Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and Shawshank Redemption. I like my Romantic Comedies too such as Sex And The City (1, not the sequel) and Something’s Gotta Give. I love action flicks such as Fast And The Furious 5 and Equilibrium or Kill Bill. I’ve gotta have my foreign films like Amelie and Pan’s Labyrinth. I’m a Disney lover so Aladdin and The Lion King are up there and I’m a HUGE fan of all comedies. The only movies I don’t really get into are horror flicks.
Any words of inspiration for those creative, independent musicians out there?
Go get it! Figure out what you were born to do and don’t rest until you make it happen! I thought that music was a distant dream that I would never actually get to pursue. In fact, I dismissed it so much that when the opportunity for music came along, I almost let it pass me by. We live in a world where dreams are very much obtainable but if you think that you can shortcut there without putting in the hard work and time, you’ll sentence yourself to spinning around in circles. Anything’s possible, everybody =).