Clara's new single worth waiting for

19:09, Sep 19 2013
clara van wel
Superstar: Clara van Wel working on three new singles at Roundhead Studios in Auckland earlier this month

It's been almost a year since Blenheim teen Clara van Wel first appeared on our television screens and won over the judges on New Zealand's Got Talent.

The 16-year-old singer songwriter's new single, Wait For Me, was released today, and this time the teen had a bit of help from a veteran Kiwi musician.

Don McGlashan of The Mutton Birds fame worked with Clara on three songs, including Wait For Me. He provided backing vocals on the other two tracks, which will be released later this year.

clara van wel
Clara's new single worth waiting for

The pair collaborated on the songs after her manager suggested they might work well together.

McGlashan came to Marlborough for a few days and the two worked on three tracks.

"He's sort of like a book editor," she said.


"He tweaks little things and makes small adjustments."

McGlashan taught her a few things about song writing, she said.

"It made a big difference.

"It really lifted the level of the song."

Clara said she hadn't worked with a musician of McGlashan's calibre before and she appreciated the knowledge he shared.

"He has a wealth of experience and he knows so much more about the industry. It was great to learn from him."

Her new single was written in the music block at Marlborough Girls' College, where the year 12 student has been studying for NCEA level two.

She described the song as quite fun and a bit funky.

"It's almost sardonic," she said.

"It's about making fun of the fairweather friends idea, people who are there when they need you but not necessarily when you need them."

It wasn't based on anyone in particular, she said.

Things haven't changed that much for Clara, who was dubbed a teen singing sensation when she walked away the winner of New Zealand's Got Talent in December.

She might perform in front of huge crowds, but her life at home was still pretty much the same, she said.

"I have the same friends, the same family supporting me.

"The only difference is I get to fly up to Auckland and do music."

Music has always been her dream, but the teen is making sure she gets an education and will be back at school to complete year 13 next year.

"I love doing music, but being so young, I have no idea what I might do," she said.

"I don't want to close any doors, so I'm keeping all my options open."

On Sunday she watched the first episode of the second season of New Zealand's Got Talent.

"It was really weird," she said.

"For the last few weeks I've been feeling nostalgic about the whole thing."

She wishes the contestants embarking on the talent show journey all the best and said the most important piece of advice she was given was to make sure you had a lot of respect for yourself, and for the people you worked with.

Today she's flying to Auckland for a whirlwind press tour to promote her new single before getting on a plane to Europe for a three-week Classical Studies trip.

She may have achieved more than most at such a young age, but Clara is still a teenager who suffers from the odd bout of hyperbole.

"I can't take my guitar. I'm going to be dying."

The Marlborough Express