Hello guys join us at Musicarenagh as we leap into the world of Clara Cloud’s captivating world, a world where music weaves stories and nature’s enchantment blends with ethereal melodies. In her latest single, “Weathervane,” Clara takes us on a compelling journey through self-doubt, infusing indie-pop elements with the rich tapestry of Greek mythology. As we embark on this musical journey, Clara invites us to explore the depths of her creative process and the inspirations driving her unique sound.
Drawing from her Canadian roots, Clara incorporates elements of Celtic and folk into her indie-pop creations, crafting rhythms that are both mesmerizing and evocative.
For Clara, music is a form of magic, transporting listeners to ethereal realms. Her upcoming video album, “The Woods,” promises to be a captivating journey, where Clara’s distinctive sound and evocative lyrics come together to create an immersive experience.
Now join us as we delve into Clara Cloud’s musical world, exploring themes of nature, myth, and the human experience that resonate in her art. Clara shares the stories behind her music and the journey of this season. Let’s dive in!
Listen to Weathervane below
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What is your stage name?
Is there a story behind your stage name?
My last name is MacLeod (pronouned Mac-Cloud), which I love and think also gives a really ethereal, airy vibe, but a lot of people would mispronounce. So to keep the vibe without the risk of mispronouncing, last year I changed my music to be under “Clara Cloud”
Where do you find inspiration?
I find a lot of inspiration in nature and in storytelling. I always weave in some personal experience into lyrics, but my biggest inspiration has always been telling a story through music (both sonically and lyrically). I’m also a huge lover of Greek mythology, so that theme makes its way into a lot of my work too!
What was the role of music in the early years of your life?
I started music classes when I was 5, but even before that it was a huge part of my life. My favourite movies were The Wizard of Oz, Sound of Music, Anastasia, and anything Disney, and my mom would make a stack of books into a “stage” for me to perform on. My whole life, music has been a constant source of joy and an outlet for me.
Are you from a musical or artistic family?
Yes and no! My parents both work in education and don’t have any musical background, but somehow all of my siblings and I ended up loving music. I have two brothers and two sisters, and all of us are connected to music in some way (my sister is a drummer and singer, my other sister plays piano and guitar, my brother plays guitar, and my other brother plays the trumpet). My family has always been supportive of my musical endeavors and all my siblings too.
Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
My background is originally in musical theatre, so Julie Andrews played a huge part in inspiring me to pursue music professionally. For my own identity beyond musical theatre, I was inspired by my partner Tristan, my best friend Jenna, and my family. I’ve always loved writing music and singing, but had never really shared it. During the pandemic, they encouraged me to put myself out there!
How did you learn to sing/write/to play?
Writing and storytelling is something I learned from my mom. She had me reading well above grade level (perks of having a teacher as your mom!) and fostered in me a love of stories. She also endlessly encouraged me to create my own. For music, I had some amazing teachers growing up that taught me piano, guitar, and voice. I also went to university for musical theatre and continue to learn as much as I can!
What was the first concert that you ever went to and who did you see perform?
I grew up in a really small town and didn’t get to see a ton of concerts growing up, but I remember I did go to see a local band, Lillix, when I was probably around 8 years old. That to me was so cool because they played pop-rock music, and most of what I’d seen live in the past had been classical or orchestra-based. It inspired me to want to do something like them one day!
How could you describe your music?
Indie-dreampop-folk with some alternative and Celtic elements!
Describe your creative process.
I like to try and get into a flow state where I just relax, don’t hold anything back, and let whatever words or music that want to come out of me, come out. If I’m already editing as I’m writing, or I’m thinking and analyzing the technical side as I’m creating, I know I’m not writing from an authentic place. As weird as it sounds, I find it best to sometimes zone out and allow the music to happen, then go back and adjust things later.
What is your main inspiration?
Nature, mythology, and the desire to tell stories!
What musician do you admire most and why?
So many! But two that always come to mind are Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles. I listened to them both A LOT in my formative years and was always swept away by their storytelling and how they conveyed emotions and stories not just with words, but with music too. The fact that they both went on to compose for musical theatre too is SO inspiring to me, as that’s a path I would love to go down as well.
Did your style evolve since the beginning of your career?
It definitely did. When I first started, I was more focused on writing within the limitations of what I thought people would want to listen to, so everything was a lot more generic lyrically and musically.
As I continued, I let myself explore a lot more. My roots as a person are in musical theatre and Celtic music (I grew up as a highland dancer), so I let those two elements shine through a lot more rather than suppressing them. I also let my lyrics become more specific based on the stories I wanted to tell.
Who do you see as your main competitor?
I don’t think in the music industry there really needs to be a competition element! If someone is doing a similar thing to you, it’s actually a really cool thing because that means there can be some fan overlap. In my experience, fans don’t listen to two artists, pick the one they like better, and stop listening to the other. I believe in anything that my biggest competitor is myself, and I’m always trying to grow and learn as an artist.
What are your interests outside of music?
I love acting and dance (particularly highland and tap!), writing stories beyond just songs, and creating new theatre works. I also love spending time outside, and spending time with my partner Tristan and puppy Pabu.
If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?
Teaching 100%! My parents and grandparents are all teachers and really impacted me growing up. Even while pursuing music, I still work as a music teacher.
What is the biggest problem you have encountered in the journey of music?
Honestly, funding! Funding is really hard to come by especially if you’re a very small artist. This album project is one I had to fund myself because every grant I applied for turned it down. There were a lot of times it almost didn’t happen (and it still has two more things we need to finish!), but I’m endlessly grateful for all of the amazing people who came together to help me bring it to life.
If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?
More accessible funding for emerging artists who have not had a breakthrough of any kind yet. Many of these grants cited lack of social media following and lack of streams to the reason they wouldn’t fund this project, and I feel like that’s a tough cycle that a lot of indie artists get stuck in, and the reason so many amazing artists and songs never get to see the light of day.
Why did you choose this as the title of this project?
Weathervane is all about essentially being caught in a storm of emotions. And if we think about an actual weathervane, when the wind is calm it points clearly in the direction it intends to, but when the storms pick up, its arrow swings around and loses all sense of direction.
It ties back to that idea that when times get tough, we can lose ourselves, our emotions can spiral, and we can be more easily influenced by what others are telling us.
What are your plans for the coming months?
My debut visual album “The Woods”, which this single is from, is coming out in just a couple of months!
Do you have any artistic collaboration plans
This album was done in collaboration with over 20 creatives from across BC. It was a project built from collaborative effort.
What message would you like to give to your fans?
I genuinely see every single stream, every single view, every single action of support, and I cannot even tell you how much I appreciate it. Music can be a really discouraging industry, but knowing that someone out there is listening at the end of the day means more to me than I could ever say. Thank you <3