On the evening of July 13th in Hanoi, the Swedish singer & songwriter Clara Mae had an incredible performance at Roadtrip to 1900 – the very first event that features an international guest singer at 1900! We had a chance to meet & speak with Clara Mae about her music, influences, and her plans in the future.
How did you start your career & what drives you to pursue the musical path?
I started very young and we always have this studio back home when I grew up so I was sitting there even when I was like 10 and record covers & I started write my own music. And then I go to school, I study jazz music, piano & singing vocals and stuffs like that. But then I move to Stockholm when I finished high school and started writing music for other artists so I did that for a few years because I didn’t know what I wanted to do if was it pop or country? I was into everything and I was a little bit confused so I write music for other artists. Until I actually one day wrote “I’m Not Her”, and then I was like “OK, this song, I can give away, because it’s my song”. And I got signed to Atlantic Records in the US, and after they heard the song, from there on, I just started releasing music and writing music everyday of the week.
The music industry is very tough, it’s hard work, it’s a lot of ups & downs, but what makes me continue it’s being able to this, like come here, come to Vietnam, sing my song for people that know them, that what drives me, definitely.
What is your music influence? Who are you inspired by?
So many, in my music I get inspired by other artists of course but also my own life, books, I read a lot of books & watch a lot of movies, get inspired, you know, you need all the drama to get a lot of thoughs in your head. And then the artists that I look up to, I love Troye Sivan, he’s really good. I also like Robyn, from Sweden. That’s why I released “Call Your Girlfriend”, which is a cover of an old Robyn song. So that is more of an electronic vibe, and then Troye Sivan is more organic, so I mixed them a little bit.
Did you work with other artists & Who’s the most exciting artist that you’ve worked with?
I have worked with David Guetta & Tiesto which was really really fun. I actually asked David Guetta if he’s from Germany, he got very upset, because he from France, and French people are really proud. So that was a little bit awkward. So I have to say is David Guetta, he’s a legend.
Can you tell me the meaning behind your latest single, “Loved You Once”
Yeah, Loved You Once, all of my songs are about heart-break, that’s all I can write about. And the last song is about you’ve been with your boyfriend or girlfriend for years, but then you breakup, and then you acting like you’re strangers. And a lot of people I think are related to that. So last summer I was in my hometown in Sweden, and I saw my ex, and we completely ignore each other. So when was on my way home to Stockholm I was like “I wonder why I ignore him too and he ignore me, he just pretend we don’t know each other”. So that’s how I came up with the idea, why do we have to be strangers because I loved you once.
One of the biggest track in Vietnam is “I’m Not Her”. One of the fanmade video reached over 50 million streams. Can you explain to the audience the story behind the song?
I mean, that was a shock, even for me when I see “I’m Not Her” streams so well in Vietnam on Youtube. It’s crazy today how things can go viral, and you have idea. I’m from like a small town in Sweden and my song got big in Vietnam, it’s crazy. So I was super happy to see that, and I’m very humbled.
Do you remember your first ever gig? How did that turn out?
It’s probably for my parents in the living room I think (laugh)! But also when I was 10, I was in a music competition where you wrote your own song, mine is called “Hej vem mår du?”, which mean “Hi, who are you?” And that was like a TV competition where people called to vote. So I think that was my first real performance. Before that, definitely in the living room in front of my parents & grandparents, I perform a lot.
What’s the best thing of being an artist to you?
It’s getting to meet my fans and people that like my music, that’s definitely the best thing about it, no doubt.
Do you have any tips for some of the fans trying to pursue to musical path like you?
I get a lot of question on Instagram where people like “Can you give me any tips, I wanna be an artist as well”. And I said like try to find out who you are because that’s the question that everyone asking you. Who are you? What’s special about you? And that took me many years to find out who I am and what I wanna do, what type of music. And when you do, hold on to it, and write a lot of songs
Do you have any upcoming projects coming up?
I do, I have a feature coming out, I’m not telling you which DJ, it’s a secret, but it’s coming out really soon. He starts with “R”. And then I’ll have my another single coming this fall. And after that, an EP is on the way!