Teen sensation glad to be home

SONIA BEAL
Last updated 07:39 10/12/2012
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Sleep was foremost on Clara van Wel's mind on her return home to Blenheim last week.

First though, the teen singing sensation had to perform at a real estate Christmas party that was booked before she earned celebrity status as the winner of New Zealand's Got Talent.

True to her word, 15-year-old Clara sang for about an hour at Blenheim's Wairau River Wines on Friday, earning her $250.

The Marlborough Girls' College student was booked for the festive bash two months ago at an hourly rate of $100.

The company decided to up their payment given Clara's new-found fame.

Her win on the popular TV One talent show last Sunday bagged Clara a cool $100,000 prizemoney, a new car and a contract with Sony for one album, to be released in February.

Back in Blenheim, Clara was ensuring she kept her focus on music.

"For me, it's all about the music," she said.

The past week had been a "blur" of people, media interviews, music recordings and meetings, so spending time with friends, family and her 11-year-old jack russell, Scratchy - not to mention getting some sleep - were her main priorities.

The first thing she did when she got home was lay on her bed.

Clara spent three long days in the studio recording her singles, Where Do You Find Love, Between The Lines and Lines You Traced, released on iTunes on Friday last week and on CD single from Wednesday.

Clara's unique voice was nurtured when she lived in England, where she lived till she was seven. She began a three-year singing lesson stint with renowned teacher Alice Tierney, who has worked with artists in London's West End as well as people with disabilities.

"She was amazing. She didn't try and make me sing differently - she just encouraged me to hone something that naturally came to me," Clara said.

Alongside her unique voice she has forged a somewhat unique style, with her shiny white Doc Marten ankle boots.

Clara described them as her "memento" from being on the show after stylist Briar Neville let her wear them.

Looking back on her experiences over the last few months during her involvement with the show, it was still fairly hard to believe, she said.

"It's all a pretty fun experience, it's something that I've enjoyed. It's been a dream come true, but it's also been a rollercoaster ride."

Over the summer break, Clara plans to fit in some camping and work on her new album. She has yet to decide with her family about what to do with the car and prizemoney.

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- The Marlborough Express

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