by Sherif Awad
Hello dear readers of Meeting Venus, I am singer Clara and I represent the new Brazilian music. Let’s go…
-I was an only child, I was born on the outskirts of São Paulo, but I am a singer by nature, I am not from a family of musicians. The film that marked my adolescence was TITANIC, when come I got home from school, I watched this film every day, it is true! I even knew the lines of all the characters. This film caught my attention for its greatness at the time, not to mention an exciting musical selection. In the theater, I confess that I had no contact, because I was from a humble family, I did not have access to theater plays because tickets were so expensive, I entered the theater for the first time at the age of twenty-something. On TV, I loved watching MTV, to follow the launches and musical trends, dreaming of being part of the programming with my clips. As the legendary Cazuza used to say, I grew up between bossa nova and rock in roll, I had many musical influences from samba with Clara Nunes, Martinho da Vila, Cartola and classical music, from MPB to Forró, from reggae to pop. All this be which I did he became enriching as an artist because I am totally eclectic and open to the new.
-I discovered the passion for music at the age of nine at my mother’s bakery, where a gentleman named Macedo heard me sing and asked if I would like to be a singer, promptly said yes and asked to talk to my mother if he could teach me music, even against my father’s wishes. My mother accepted and took me home to him, where I learned first which notes and songs were accompanied by a keyboard. A week later, I went on stage for the first time accompanied by a band, I had rehearsed a song by King Roberto Carlos, but when it came time to sing, improvising, I asked the band to play the song “a dreamer“, a great success at that time. I sang without rehearsing and raised the audience, so I never wanted to leave the stage. At that moment, I realized that music was my life, so all the paths I followed were to be an artist. Even without deep musical knowledge, I participated in several musical contests, I always won between the first and second place, which led me to participate in Raul Gil’s Program, competing for “Most beautiful voice of the year 2000. Everything indicated a promising career, but everything changed…
I faced many difficulties, starting with my mother’s illness, where I had to grow up very young to take care of her. Since I was twelve years-old, I have witnessed scenes that I do not wish for anyone, such as seeing my mother being admitted to psychiatric clinics. Calling in fear for her rescue and the sound of ambulances coming to help her in depressing scenes, still haunt my mind. My father was unemployed at the time, he was torn between his endless search for a job and taking care of my mother. In short, my humble family could not afford to pay for a music course or give me the psychological support to move forward with my dream… For many people, everything that happened in my in adolescence would be a sufficient reason to give up. But I chose to do make a difference and focus on my studies to win in life and be able to help my parents. I studied in public school and after classes, I was dividing my time between the university course, taking care of my mother, presenting a program on a community radio, in addition to singing every Sunday for the masses, to keep my dream of being an artist alive.
At the age of thirteen, self-taught, learned to play the guitar and I participated in a school music contest where I won first place and received a scholarship to the Orestes Sinatra Conservatory, the best musical conservatory in the region, where I improved my vocal techniques and making crazy the teacher “Claudia Sinatra”, since she was a Contralto singer with a thirst for learning, and so I me mixed with sopranos, baritones, basses, to learn each vocal technique, this thirst for learning gave me a great musical background where I intuitively learned to master several vocal techniques.
I knew that to be a great artist I would need a businessman and a big financial investment to make my CD, sell shows, marketing, strengthen my artistic name, I researched a lot about show business and realized that although I loved music, there is a lot to do in order to achieve my goal. I thought: “If I don’t have and I can’t even pay for a press officer, marketing, etc., I can learn. So I decided to take an Event Management and Organization course, a course at the time unknown, but it would take me to learn everything that happens behind the scenes and how to do it an artist happen.
I studied hard and got a full scholarship to Universidade Anhembi Morumbi, one of the main and most expensive universities in Brazil. Everything I learned in the course, I applied to my artistic career and so I created a project that mobilized the entire university, where I managed to record my first CD in the university studios. In addition, I created the 5 class, where during breaks or at the end of classes, students went to the bars to hear me sing. All of this earned me the “Innovation entrepreneur” award, in the “Student of the Year” category, I was awarded alongside renowned journalist Ana Paula Padrão and SEBRAE. Through shows close to college, my name was spreading and getting stronger in the music scene of São Paulo night. With that I played in the biggest events like Virada Cultural, Circuito Cultural Paulista, Sesc, HSBC, among others so dreamed by independent artists. I introduced myself with altoral songs, on major television programs such as “Programa do Ratinho – SBT”, “Programa Bem Estar”, “Encontro com Fátima Bernardes”, SPTV Newspapers and Bom Dia SP, I put my music on Novela das Nove ” Segundo Sol “(Program with the highest audience on the Brazilian television network) all on Rede Globo. All of these achievements independently, without a businessman or label, together with my partner Paula Alves, we opened our own production company and managed the sale of shows, marketing, etc… More than an event manager, I became a manager of my career, I am an artist always aware of opportunities and willing to make the world a better place through music.
-Studying is fundamental to being an artist, first we study at school because we need to know how to express ourselves and understand what the world needs, we need to study techniques, whether vocal, instrumental, to be able to transmit our ideas clearly, study is the key word for success, be it in the artistic world or in any other way of work. Living in a country where the culture is so devalued, becomes more complicated, I often didn’t go to it is often not for a college or Conservatory because I had not money for bus. During my college, I only had three breads with butter that were my breakfast, lunch and dinner. As I didn’t have a computer or money to buy books, everyday I left home at 4 am and returned at 8 pm, spent the day at the college library studying to do my schoolwork and acquire extra knowledge to apply in my artistic career.
Now, for me, It is certainly important to have celebrities and renowned artists, especially those who know how to use their communication power to inspire and motivate people. In my childhood, there were almost no blacks in prominent roles, black artists appeared on TV and films in the role of slaves or employees, I always thought that that was not an example that children should see. When minorities or excluded from society stand out, we have the power to inspire multitudes and show that regardless of their belief, race or social status, we can transform our reality.
-As I said, if you be woman, black, gay, humble family and without financial conditions, indeed makes everything more difficult, in this case and in any job market, if someone does well, we have to do triple the result to get a space. It is a sad reality felt in the skin by thousands of people, having only one of the adjectives that I reported, imagine for me, that fits me in all? But in life we only have two options, be a “hunt” and surrender the difficulties and abandoning your dreams or to be “Hunter” as a song I did to tell my life story and inspire people to go further and continue, persevere, delete of your vocabulary the word impossible and make your dream it happens.
-The arts and entertainment sector in Brazil is one of the most lucrative and disputed, moving millions in the economy, whether through concerts, festivals, theaters, broadcasts, etc. Even before the Pandemic, we have already experienced a cultural chaos in Brazil, where there is a monopoly that privileges artists who already have their labels and great visibility, making it difficult to show and access independent artists in incentive projects such as the Rouanet Law for capturing resources, among others. Not to mention the companies that sponsor these projects, most of them prefer to invest in renowned artists that they contain in a large audience, instead of to support new artists and promote a local culture. The show business market in Brazil is a very closed circuit, where people control and monopolize, listen to the same artists, making it difficult for new artists to enter. With the new government, the situation became even more critical, the president of the republic ended the Ministry of Culture and reduced investments, beyond censorship in films and works that are supported by incentive rights that affect even renowned artists. With the arrival of the coronavirus, all events canceled, no project to support artists has been announced and is still trying to pass a law that reaches the collection of copyright, ending with one of the only possible sources of income for artists, because without shows, our only way is through the streaming. As independent artists, we have to love our profession to be keep the artists in this very unstable scenario and to yourself reinvent daily to create strategies to follow continue in the market and create new opportunities.
-With great gratitude, commitment and seriousness I start my new works. Be it going on stage, or composing a song or a jingle, immersing yourself in each work and the project, if commit it is not 100%, I don’t accept it. I always look for give my best, whether at shows or creating a music, I hope that my art is part of the life of those who can listen me and that my work can add value to the public.
-I confess that it is difficult to balance private life with professional, because the music is everywhere, at all times, whether in a movie you watch, a new song you listen to, a party I was invited to. My mind never stop completely, even more when we manage our career, everything becomes inspiration, and we have to be able to control it so that the work doesn’t occupy your whole mind. Everything I have in my life, was through music, my faith, my profession, my love, all my assets. For me is easy, but many musician friends or producers have difficulty finding someone in their personal life who understands a almost crazy complexity of our profession.
-My advice to rising artists is to study a lot, learn as much as you can about everything, from skills as a musician to music business, in the old days the record labels come after new artists, but not today, or you get ready, with songs of quality as the major labels, or you dont does he leave the house.
Currently, It happened a revolution in my career. In all these years, I used my registration name (Suellen Luz), but in 2019 I adopted the stage name Clara, in honor of 3 women in my life (My mother “Maria Clara Luz”, a mother of Paulinha “Clarinda”, who also nicknamed Clara, is the singer who most inspired me in “Clara Nunes. This change came about this moment of transformation, where I finally define my artistic concept, as I said, I am totally eclectic and market always requires a definition of musical and my style and has always been “Different from the Standards”. When to review music producer R. Mattos, starting this new journey, I’m recording at Mosh, or the biggest and one of the most renowned music studios in Latin America, recording or “Sabe” album, full of songs unprecedented, highlighted song “No Lugar do Outro “, which went viral in several schools for promoting socio-emotional education and the song” Caçadora “in its first week of release was performed in more than 30 countries, by the end of 2020, I will record my DVD.
-As songwriter, I have more than 400 songs, this curation process begins when analyzing the archives and separate the songs according as more has an artistic concept, that is, with my musical style that is a POP MPB, as well as selecting, I have a meeting with my music producer, and we line up as songs that talk to the project the most. The same process occurs with someone who is just an interpreter, usually a record label or the artist himself selects the songs that most have an identity similar to his musical style. In this digital age, we opted for the distributor ONErpm, which has several tools for distributing music on Spotify, iTunes, Deezer, among others and has interesting support. Today, the publisher that represents me does this work, but before, I did it myself. Like this the independent artists can create their page on ONErpm without free of charge and upload their music there, ONErpm gets a percentage of the sales of each song. There are other tools like a CDbaby, etc. You select the one that has the most to do with your needs.