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Interview: Clea


Clea. Check it. Learn it. Remember it. Because that’s a name you’ll be hearing a lot more. From making a name for herself after a subtle independent single release on Soundcloud. To being feature artist on triple j Unearthed. The past year has been a roller coaster of a journey for Brisbane songstress Clea, and things aren’t slowing down anytime soon. In order to find out more about this enigma of an artist, we sat down, had a coffee and found out everything we had to look forward to. 

AAA: Your new single Dire Consequences plays to a really funky beat, what time signature is it even in? 

Clea: I’ve always been a solo artist and my time signature is very flowing so its like in a band context its almost close to a jazz type set up where you just have to go with it.

AAA: When did that swap happen, from just you and a guitar to a full band?

Clea: I think I just realised that it was a step towards the next level. When you’re solo its really just based on the lyrics and the story telling but I wanted to bring in that next aspect of expectation. It just makes the whole thing so much more dynamic and creates more of an interest. I find even though some solo artists have successful careers it is a lot harder if you want to progress. I also just wanted to bring in some new instruments, some new ideas.

 I think I just realised that it was a step towards the next level.

AAA: It’s all driven by you as a singer/songwriter though?

Yes, absolutely. I wrote Dire Consequences and then I brought in Ali (The Cairos) cause I’m a part of Zefereli and that really helped me with the instrumentation cause he can pretty much play everything. So I told him what I wanted and I described the style and he whipped it up, he recorded it too at his dads house. Actually at the start of Dire Consequences you can hear a plate drop and that’s just cause his Dad was messing around in the kitchen.

AAA: So how did that partnership come about?

Clea: Well Ali is my boyfriend, we first met through mutual friends and then he heard my song polyester and he asked if I could sing on his song 54321 and so that’s how it all started. Then we got asked to support Gang of Youths, so ever since then I’ve been a part of Zefereli.

AAA: Lets talk solo vs. band, what are the pros and cons of each?

Clea: Well definitely the pros of being solo is the freedom , you can just play till your hearts content. Just like wack the guitar and belt your guts out, you don’t have to worry about any sort of timing which means the song can change especially live but you have to be more restrained with a band. Another good thing about being solo is that you can just pick up your guitar and go, you can play anywhere. Its more difficult touring with a band but is so much more fun, especially if you have a good dynamic between you, which I do, my band is beautiful and we get along really well.

I’ll always be solo artists at heart because that’s how I write my songs.

AAA: So you’re obviously loving being in a band but are we ever gonna hear the polyester acoustic stuff again?

Clea: Oh yes, absolutely. The set that I’m doing at Black Bear will be mostly band stuff but then they’re go off and I’ll get to do some solo stuff. That’s the root of it you know? I’ll always be solo artists at heart because that’s how I write my songs.

AAA:  When you released Polyester, it was all off your own back no label, no publicists or anything like that?

Clea: No, totally all me. I wrote and recorded it, its funny some people wanted to put it in their short film and I was like “cool, you can use the version you got off iTunes” and they were talking about meeting my producer and passing it by my manager, I don’t think they understood that I just recorded it in my bedroom [laughs]. The song got a bit of traction on triple J unearthed first but I didn’t realise because I didn’t have twitter. The Max (lavrgne *check spelling*) took it to triple j as a single and it just kind of organically became its own thing.

AAA: So I recently realised I have been pronouncing your name wrong, Clea is pronounced like Clay, do you get that a lot?

Clea: Yeah, all the unearthed guys were all over it but I think Kingsmill went the old Clea route. I’m half Greek so my full name is actually Cleantha which means God’s flower in Greek.

AAA: Your Black Bear gig is coming up very soon, what can we expect from that performance?

Clea: Pretty much adding the band to the songs I already have, maybe a cover if theres an encore which I’m gonna make my friends drum up because I really want to do this cover. Then if my friends fail you’ll never know what the cover is [laughs].

AAA: Are you at the stage of looking at turning the songs you have into an EP?

Clea: Yep because I feel like I’m at the stage in my career where my music is going in crazy directions. So I’d like to put what I have on an EP and then just work towards an album with the music I’m writing now. I’m going overseas in a few weeks to do some gigs in Iceland and London but when I get back it’ll be full steam ahead trying to get all this stuff recorded. It’s so possible to do music yourself now and I think its coming back to more organic way to produce excellent, excellent songs.

AAA: Exciting stuff, thanks so much for talking to us Clea!

Clea: No problem, my pleasure.

Tickets still available to Clea’s Dire Consequences Single Launch on Wednesday, March 2. Tickets available here!