Following the success of her debut single, “I Want You Bad,” we got the chance to speak with Claire Frazier, who along with being a singer and songwriter, is also a recent high school graduate. Besides her declarative debut, Claire Frazier has also dropped a few more singles this year, including “Thrills” which was produced by Dave Cappa and mixed by Erik Madrid and Dylan McDougle.
Born and raised in Alabama, Claire Frazier has a deep-rooted connection to music, with her sound revolving around her life experiences and the free-spiritedness that high school adventures bring. We spoke about her inspirations, earliest musical memories, plans for the future and so much more. Check out what she had to say below!
BTS: How would you describe your style and genre of music to those who are not familiar with the name Claire Frazier?
CF: I think I have a quirky and fun, yet polished vibe about me. I am creating music that is relevant to the life I’m living. I feel like my stuff is super nostalgic and easily relatable. My music is definitely classified as pop and I’m inspired by artists such as Taylor Swift and Camila Cabello. I love how they produce pop music that can really capture a particular mood and aren’t afraid to be vulnerable to go deeper than the surface of their feelings.
They seem to be involved in every aspect of their music. They pay attention to every lyric they choose and make sure it corresponds to the tone of their track. I’m trying to do these same things in my music.
BTS: As an artist who began making music while in high school, how hard was it to find that balance between school, studies and following your passion?
CF: I first found my love for performing when I did my first musical theater show in fourth grade. I was Susan in “Miracle on 34th Street.” I was so shy but I loved to sing. I am thankful that the director gave me that chance when I auditioned. It changed so much about my confidence. In middle school, I continued to do community theater but dreamed of performing on Broadway. As I started high school, responsibilities began pulling my time away from theater. I was taking really hard classes and did a varsity sport. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t hard to balance everything. I struggled. I wanted to do it all, but decided to stop focusing on theater so I could excel in academics and running.
I had to refocus my love for performing musically into writing music. When I had any extra free time, I would write. I loved writing and journaling. It was my outlet. It still is. High school was a hard time for me. I learned a lot about myself and my friends. Writing provided me with a consistency that other things did not. Writing was there when friends were not… when winning was not. Although I had to sacrifice performing in high school, looking back, I see how this allowed me to explore other creative outlets. I could express myself through writing on my own time and fit it into my own schedule. After receiving a surprise gift card to record in our local studio for Christmas my junior year, coupled with the opportunity that my current manager gave me when he heard me on Instagram, I finally got into the studio to record!!
Now that I’m in college, it continues to require a lot of planning to create music. I share a dorm room (with the BEST roommate) and I don’t have a studio that’s convenient to use.The creative process has definitely proven to be a challenge, but honestly, with the pandemic, everyone I’ve worked with has been willing to do virtual sessions and this has worked well with my college schedule.
BTS: What are your earliest memories when it comes to singing and/or creating music?
CF: My very first memory of performing is when I was in my first community theater show in 2011. I was pretty shy when I was younger and so when I went to audition for “Miracle on 34th Street,” I figured I’d just get an extra role. To my surprise, I got a lead part. That’s when I fell in love with telling stories and expressing emotions. Being able to connect with a live audience is something so special that I hope to do it again someday soon. It gives that same kind of rush that I’ve always gotten when I cross the finish line at the end of a race… a sense of accomplishment for something I’ve worked so hard for.
When I was little, I’d slam on the same keys on my keyboard over and over again and belt random words at the top of my lungs. I remember in the summer after fourth grade, I made a song that was called “untouchable” and it went like “I’ll fly, fly so high, in the sky I’m untouchable, and then so so fast, in a blast, I am one, don’t care, what they say, in a way that is mean, cause I, know the real, know the real me.” The song literally makes no sense but I remember every time that I’d sing it, I’d feel empowered. I fell in love with that feeling.
BTS: What artists would you say you are influenced by and what about them inspires you?
CF: needtobreathe for sure. My dad has always played them a lot so their music was something we could listen to and sing together. They’re so honest and open about the ups and downs of life. I saw them in concert a few years ago and their energy was amazing! I’ve always loved going to see live concerts with my family. That’s something I really miss now. It is really special to be able to see artists connect with their fans.
Adele. The emotion in her words, as well as her tonality/execution is absolutely perfect to me! I would play her albums on repeat when I was younger. I have memories of myself hiding away for hours in my grandparents’ loft trying to cover her songs when I was younger. Her emotion is so raw and believable.
Justin Bieber. I was so fascinated by his story growing up and wanted to “be found” just like he was. I remember sitting at the movie theater watching his documentary and being in complete awe. My cousin used to dress up as Justin Bieber and force my brother and I to be his backup singers and dancers. I didn’t mind it though.
Taylor Swift. I love how her music is universal. She is a pioneer for women in the music industry. Time and time again her music has been there to help me through different stages of life. It’s been inspiring to grow up watching her musical journey. She made me believe that anything is possible.
Odesza. My friend introduced me to Odesza a few years ago and I have been obsessed since then. I love the way their beats have the power to make you feel a certain type of way. Odesza’s music is genius and I love it. I’ve always wanted to see them perform live. Their vocal chops, beat drops, everything. I am trying to incorporate elements they use into my music.
Chelsea Cutler. I love her words and her story. Just like Chelsea used to be, I am a collegiate athlete. I think it’s really cool to have someone to look up to who has been in the exact same shoes as you.
BTS: How did your debut single “I Want You Bad” come about? Is there a story behind the creation of the song?
CF: I was sent a short demo of the track late one night. I don’t know why I was up. I had school the next day and should’ve been asleep, but I really clicked with the mood of the track so I stayed up and wrote most of the song that night. That’s when I used to write most of my songs (before college that is)… I’d be sitting on my bed at night just thinking about the day, trying to sort out my emotions so I could settle down. If I couldn’t stop thinking, then I would start writing. I think it’s special to be able to look back on what was going on and see how much I’ve grown through these journals.
This song was written during a time when I was coming out of a relationship. There wasn’t anything necessarily wrong with the relationship, but I think the other person and I knew it was time to move on. My life is literally insane and I never know if I should let people be a part of the ride or just make it easier for them and remove myself from the situation.
“I Want You Bad” embodies that struggle I have. When I was writing it, I was feeling confused, sad, nostalgic, and exhausted. But after feeling all of those emotions over and over again, I saw that it was time for me to move on. This song is bittersweet, yet also triumphant.
BTS: If not singing and creating music, what can Claire Frazier be found doing?
CF: I love running. I am currently running for a Division 1 college, so it keeps me pretty busy. My days usually consist of school, running, and music (not always in that order). I’ve run competitively since I was in sixth grade. Running, similar to music and writing, has provided an outlet for me. Running allows me to escape whatever I am going through so that I can go free my mind and recharge after a mental break. Besides running, I also love spending quality time with people, my friends and family.
My favorite things to do are watching the sunset and being on the water (or just being outside) with them. My family always jokes about how my parents are going to move to Wyoming after my brother finishes high school so they can live on a mountain and be fully immersed in nature. I can definitely attribute my love for the outdoors to my parents. Some of my favorite memories include taking family trips to mountains and beaches where we’ve explored the beauty of nature.
BTS: If you had to pick a dream collaboration for yourself, what artist or band would you like to work with and why?
CF: I feel like my answer to this question is always changing. There are so many great artists. Right now, I’d have to say the answer would be Odesza. I think they could add so much to my music and, by working together, we could create an amazing track that truly makes listeners feel the impact of my words. I also think it would be a dream to work with Taylor Swift. I feel like I could learn so much from her journey and her talent if I could spend time one-on-one. She has executed her dream by setting goals, being disciplined, and always evolving. She is a great model for me to learn from.
BTS: During the pandemic, morales and motivation have been low for people across the globe, how do you keep yourself motivated as an artist and just as a person?
CF: To be honest, at first it was really hard. Just like everyone else, I was devastated and disappointed by everything that had been canceled because of the pandemic. So many things that I had worked so hard for had just been ripped away from me. My prom, graduation, national and state track meets, senior breakfast and senior parties were all canceled! I was mad and had a really depressed attitude. After about a month into quarantine though, I realized that, because I now had all of this free time, I could dedicate more time to my music. My family and manager helped me set up a mini studio in a “closet” off my bedroom.
For the months of April, May, and June I was in that studio almost 24/7. I got all of the writing and recording done for my singles and EP. I think it was important for me to change my mindset and look at the pandemic as an opportunity. At first, I was only allowing myself to see the negative. With the help and support of my family, I realized that all I needed was a change in perspective. The pandemic painstakingly forced me to realize that nothing is ever guaranteed. This revelation allowed me to take advantage of this new time I had.
BTS: What has the reception been like for “I Want You Bad”?
CF: “I Want You Bad” has done really well for my first release. At the moment, it is just under 250k streams. Listening back to it now, there are definitely things I would have done differently, such as make the writing a bit stronger, but I think that it was a good place to start. I had to start somewhere and it’s exciting to see your first independently released song do as well as this one has done. Going into this release, nobody knew I had been recording music. I didn’t know if any of my songs would actually come to fruition so I didn’t tell anyone what I had been working on for the past few years. When the song dropped, my friends and family were pretty shocked, but everyone was super supportive. I will always remember the release of “I Want You Bad” because not only was it my first, but it dropped on my 18th birthday.
BTS: What artists or songs have you found yourself listening to a lot recently?
CF: Recently I’ve been on an old Taylor Swift kick. One of the few CDs I had when I was younger was Swift’s “Red.” Whenever I play any of the songs on that album, I just get taken back in time. I love driving around at night and listening to music. My go-to during these drives is Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well.” Two other songs I’ve had on repeat are SHY Martin’s “Slow” and Robinson’s “Lie to Me.”
BTS: Finally, what does the future look like for Claire Frazier?
CF: With the pandemic still in full swing, it’s hard to have an exact plan. However, I hope to release my first EP soon! I’m continuing to create new music until then so I should have some more singles ready to be put out after the EP. I’d love to play some festivals this summer, but it really depends on how the pandemic is going. I’m trying to keep an open mind and focus on doing what is in my control. For now, that means I need to keep creating music while also trying to build my platform. I am so grateful for the opportunities and development that my manager provides, the professionals who are collaborating with me, and the fans who are listening! I am so excited to keep going!
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