Album a rite of passage for Clara

Clara van wel
Clara van wel

Singer-songwriter Clara van Wel is to release her self-titled debut album tomorrow, ten months after taking the top spot on New Zealand's Got Talent.

The Marlborough Girls' College student has been working with some of the biggest names in the music industry, including Joel Little, the same producer who helped catapult teen sensation Lorde to global super-stardom.

Seven of Clara's 10 original tracks were produced by Little, alongside musical director Mark Dennison.

Clara van Wel
Clara van Wel

The 16 year old says the album is about new experiences.

"All the songs talk about stepping into the world for the first time and growing up. It's a mixture of the fun, the heartfelt and the metaphorical," she said.

Clara recorded the songs in Auckland in two parts, working first with Little and Dennison and then with Don McGlashan of The Mutton Birds fame.

"It was really good. It was my first time, and both Joel and Mark were really accommodating and fantastic in helping me develop my ideas," she said "Working with Don McGlashan was wonderful too. We got on really well and the whole environment was really relaxed. I learned a lot from him about song-writing and the musical process."

The young recording artist was not overwhelmed by the celebrated talent surrounding her.

"I think once you get into the studio, everyone's just a person. We were all just musical people, wanting to make music together and to enjoy the process."‘

Clara admires Lorde's success, her clever lyrics, and said she wishes her all the best.

The year 12 student flew to Auckland yesterday for an appearance on New Zealand's Got Talent to be broadcast on Sunday. She is also to make a music video for her single, Wait For Me, released last month.

It would be a bit strange performing as a guest and not a contestant, she said.

A lot had changed since she first appeared on TV a year ago. Even her music had matured, she said.

"It's more to do with me," she said. "When you're young, you grow. Every new experience has influence."

The Marlborough Express