19-year-old Claire Cottrill AKA Clairo, from Boston has successfully made the transition from bedroom DJ to acclaimed artist. While being lyrically inspired by Frankie Cosmos and Norah Jones, she also incorporates minimalist lo-fi beats to create her airy DIY pop tunes.
At 13 years old she began recording her first songs on her phone, later filming Maroon 5 covers using her webcam. She soon moved on from hiding her talent in the dimensions of her small phone storage and publicly shared them on SoundCloud and Bandcamp throughout high school. She would post originals, covers and remixes under the developing guise of Clairo or DJ Baby Benz, armed with just an acoustic guitar and second-hand drum machine, exploring the ranges of pop and electronica.
But it was her YouTube channel that earnt her the public status she has today. Her original track ‘Pretty Girl’, which was posted on 4th August 2017 unexpectedly went viral, now having over 18 million views. The low quality, webcam style video shows Cottrill flaunting her natural looks, contrasting with the Instagram-perfected facade many girls her age put on. The video descriptions reads “The reason I made this music video was to actually help myself. On the day I made this, my hair was greasy, my skin was bad, I had nothing to wear, and I didn’t want to leave bed. I had just woken up in this video and you can definitely tell (lol) I felt really ugly but realized that it’s perfectly okay to feel that way/have those types of days. […] it’s okay to have flaws and it’s okay to embrace them and it’s okay to be silly and stupid. You all might already know this, but I’m happy that I know this now”.
She released her debut EP diary 001 on 25th May via the independent label FADER. diary 001 includes three previously released singles ‘Pretty Girl’, ‘Flaming Hot Cheetos’ and ‘4EVER’, as well as three brand new tracks ‘Hello?’ featuring Rejjie Snow, ‘B.O.M.D.’ featuring Danny L Harle and ‘How’. Pitchfork rated it 7/10, saying “diary 001 exhibits the kind of subtle charms that only arise after years of careful labor […] She has worked hard to make it sound this easy.”
Her music is definitely confined between the four walls of a bedroom though, as her first headlining tour completely sold, while she also supported the ‘New Rules’ star Dua Lipa on her US tour in June and July. Catch her in London and Manchester this September with tickets on sale here!