Claire Reneé is a classically trained dancer who sings from the soul. Singing a combination of R&B, soul, Jazz, and pop while being heavily influenced by hip hop, this singer/songwriter’s raspy yet graceful vocals, along with her unique harmonies, always provide an incredible vibe and sound. Her natural ear for music and performance led her to study at Berklee College of Music and The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.
Her nine-track album Wings is inspired by relationships and how we cope with both the beautiful and challenging sides of it, touching on certain experiences that help us navigate through these situations. Claire confides, “The human experience encompasses lots of different emotions. There may be some anger, sadness, clarity, visits from spirit guides and even epiphanies. We lead out by honoring that we want to change or see change in our lives.
That includes doing work on ourselves, while reminding ourselves we will always push through and even find our Wings. Getting to the other side brings light and even empathy to the very same ones who hurt you, couldn’t show up for you, or wronged you in the past.”
This multi-talented artist has quite a unique background. Claire began dancing at the early age of 4 and trained at highly esteemed dance schools such as The Dance Theater of Harlem and Alvin Ailey.
Tell us about the genesis of your project. How did you get to where you are now?
The origin of “Wings” really was me allowing myself to write honestly and freely. In that, I noticed what linked some songs to the other in a really cool way. A lot of what was on my mind and what I was going through came through in a relatable way. I’m not sure if you are asking about me as a person or how my project got to where I am now, but the answer is perseverance and a strong belief that my voice and art are important and needed.
How would you describe the highs and lows of being an artist?
It’s a privilege to be a creative who gets to share my work with the world. I get so much joy connecting with others who relate, heal, or simply enjoy what it is I have to offer. Sometimes, the lows are when ego creeps in and makes you feel like you aren’t doing enough, appreciated, or supported enough. Being an actual indie artist is not easy, and I always have to step back and give myself grace for all that I do accomplish. It’s hard not to compare yourself to other artists from time to time.
What’s a musical guilty pleasure of yours?
I don’t really have a musical guilty pleasure. I am huge on normalizing liking what you like and not feeling weird about it or out of place just because it may not be expected of you or what everyone else is into. Whether it’s Bach, Black Pink, or Kenny G, I play it shamelessly if I want to hear it.
What are some sources of inspiration for you?
Nature, writing in my journal, reading interesting books and articles, other artists and people simply living life.
Who is an artist that you look up to more than others today?
Alica Keys. I admire that she is still making music about life, love, the human condition, and dreaming. She also has never had to flaunt how gorgeous or affluent she is in her songs. I respect her a lot and hope to work with her in some capacity.
Favorite activity to blow off some steam?
Tell us about your latest release and how it came about
Dr.Dundiff is a dope producer that I had worked with previously on his project “The Distance”. He ended up sending me a bunch of music he had been working on, and I ended up writing a bunch of songs. That’s basically it—two artists who were aligned at the right time. “Wings” is my expression of how beautiful, odd, frustrating, tough, and lonely my growing pains at that time felt.
What are some things you do to deal with anxiety and creative blocks?
Take a break. I go and move my body somehow since we can hold tension and stagnant energy in our bodies. I also take in other forms of art like movies, TV, or photography.
What’s the future looking like for you?
Does anyone really know? Lol, I can say it will definitely be filled with me writing new music, hopefully performing, sharing visuals, sharing more Yin Yoga and wellness content, and focusing on where I want to go with my music next.
What inspires your visuals, videos, looks etc?
I get inspired by my music and lyrics. From there I can start to focus on mood, colors, textures, and concepts. That then trickles down to explaining look ideas to a makeup artist or stylist or make it easy for myself if I’m doing that part.
What is the most embarrassing memory and most proud moment of your career so far ?
Most embarrassing was a drunk guy trying to get on stage while I was performing. Most proud so far is releasing an album in Japan and performing in Europe.
What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Always remember why you love what you do. That should always be the driving force behind your artist journey.
Where do you think the music and entertainment industry is headed after this past year?
I think the industry will be forced to use fewer gimmicks and invest in more meaningful music and artists willing to include more depth in their artistry soon. We are starting to see the shift slowly.