Advice for Clara
Clara van Wel has an amazing opportunity to succeed in the music business but she needs to keep her focus on the music and the avoid the ''other stuff'' says Marlborough singer-songwriter Sarah Brown.
Brown said the 15-year-old New Zealand's Got Talent 2012 winner should stay in school while exploring the options available to her now she is a household name.
''It would be crazy not to take the opportunity and run with it. Everyone in the whole country knows who she is now. But there is no harm in getting an education,'' she said.
A spokesperson for Sony Music New Zealand said Clara's first single Where Do You Find Love would be available for download Friday, with a CD single coming out Monday. A full-length album has been scheduled for release in February 2013.
Brown, who released her Sydney-recorded album The Great Heart Robbery earlier this year, said she thought Clara deserved to win the competition.
And she had some words of advice for the rising star.
''She should absolutely go for it, but be aware of the industry. She has a lot more bargaining power than she thinks and it is easy to get caught up and excited. But you can get locked into a deal for five albums and you can get stuck.''
If she keeps it about the music and doesn't get caught in the ''other stuff''- sex, drugs and rock'n'roll- she will be fine, said Brown.
Brown said she and Clara first met the morning of Brown's wedding in March this year. She was getting her hair and nails done in Blenheim and her hairdresser had arranged for Clara to serenade her at the salon.
''As she was singing I just started crying- she was so good. So I asked her what she was doing later that day and she ended up singing me down the aisle at my wedding.''
New Zealand music business guru and former New Zealand's Got Talent judge Paul Ellis said Clara was the real deal.
Ellis, who grew up in Marlborough, said Clara was fantastic during the competition and that she deserved to win.
''She stood out head and shoulders above the rest. She had so much poise.''
He said it was a really smart to have the single out on itunes so quickly.
''That is the way the industry works. Get something out as quickly as possible to capitalise on her success. I would hope for her sake that she will get an album out by February, but it means she won't have much of a summer,'' he said.
Here is another of Clara's songs to enjoy
The Marlborough Express