Interview

Clara!

Clara! is an up-and-coming DJ and vocalist living in our beautiful capital. She’s dedicated to redressing the stereotypes of the male-dominated reggaeton scene and trying to find a balance between making music and taking care of her child. With her third Reggaetoneras mixtape on the horizon, we were curious to meet the woman behind the moniker…

Interview by Laura Callewaert
Photos by Sasha Vernaeve shot in Brussels

Tell us, when did you know you wanted to make music? When did it all begin?
When I was younger, reggaeton was a big thing in Spain, especially during my early teenage years. The first time I played was at a little party in The Student in Schaerbeek. I was invited by my good friend Juliette [DJ Amigo III], who recently co-founded the Poxcat collective. We had a lot of fun and I decided to continue. 

I work on mixes and develop my own sound while Félix is at kindergarden or sleeping

Then, as reggaeton was making a comeback a couple of years ago, it came to my attention that there were almost only guys behind the decks, and I went looking for other women involved in the genre. Ivy Queen’s ‘Yo quiero bailar’, where she sings, ‘I want to dance, I want to have fun, that doesn’t mean I’ll go to bed’ became an important statement for me. I posted the first Reggaetoneras mixtape on Soundcloud and it got noticed by the Sister collective. That’s when I started getting more attention. The tape Reggaetoneras 2 came out a while after on the Gravats label, and now we’re here.

Okay, we’re curious. How does a typical day in the life of Clara! look? 
Well, it isn’t that sexy or anything! Having a baby while making music isn’t easy. I work on mixes and develop my own sound while Félix is at kindergarden or sleeping. Unfortunately, I need to have a side job to pay my rent, but I prefer to earn less money and have more time for my family, friends and music.

As reggaeton was making a comeback a couple of years ago, it came to my attention that there were almost only guys behind the decks…

How do you see yourself evolving? 
I’m working on my first productions with Maoupa Mazzocchetti, who encouraged me to sing. Besides that, I’m about to finish the mixtape Reggaetoneras 3, which should be out soon on Gravats. I also help my good friends Coquelin and Cloarec with their label PRR! PRR! And I have a show called Fuego FM with PRR! PRR! on LYL Radio.

Which artists would you recommend we keep an eye on? 
DJ David Coquelin, DJ Cloarec, DJ Amigo III, DJ Hyppocampo, DJ + Nurse +, Samuelspaniel, Doro, Felix Gastout, DJ R2 Drea2 and me!

Clara! is playing Beursschouwburg, Brussels, 17 March at 3 Years HE4RTBROKEN with Asmara + Manara + Kablam + Liyo & steff and Nevrland. The show is free for members before midnight. Become a member here.