It's quite strange that someone who is seemingly at the peak of their very young career is already getting ready to say "Goodbye". Singer-songwriter Clara Benin, who got her start by posting covers of songs by Urbandub, John Mayer, The 1975 and Paramore on her Soundcloud and Youtube channels, announced the news of her hiatus and her first (and last) headlining shows with Stages Sessions. Clara calls it a "Thank You and Goodbye" concert, as she is taking an indefinite leave from performing live onstage to focus on her other interests. Initially a one-night-only affair, tickets were sold out within hours. A second show was announced a week later and both shows are now officially sold out.
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"I remember my fifteen year old self strumming my dad’s old nylon-stringed guitar in my bedroom and fantasizing I was playing in a coffee shop. Never in my wildest dreams did I see myself performing in arenas or international festivals, I just wanted to play in coffee shops and have a few people hear my songs. But as always, my God has a bigger and better dream for me. Around the time I turned twenty one, I got to do a coffee shop tour to promote Human Eyes. The night I launched my album, for the first time ever, I felt an entire room grow silent as I sang the songs I wrote and wrestled my life on. I don’t think I could ever get used to that feeling. The support I got from family, friends, and strangers was more than I could ever ask for. "
Her "coffee shop music" has produced two records - her first album (and college thesis) Human Eyes and follow up EP, Riverchild. It doesn't stop with her own, original music - Clara has worked with other musicians on several collaborations. Clara is featured on vocals in QUEST's 'No Greater Love', Ryoku's 'Window Seat' and 'Here Comes The Feeling' and Asch's 'Some Kind of Magic'. Her work has also extended to the small and big screens. She is the voice behind 2014's Hooray for Today! for an American fast food chain TV commercial. Clara also wrote and performed 'Araw't Gabi', the official theme for Jay Abello's 2014 independent film, Red.
Ahead of the singer-songwriter's sold out, two-night residency at Teatrino this weekend, we find out about the records that helped shaped Clara's distinct sound (and the ones that didn't):
Stages Sessions presents "Coming Home: A Clara Benin Concert" happening on July 29 and 30 2016 at Teatrino, Greenhills.
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Clara Benin, Keiko Necesario and Reese Lansangan
Acoustic, Indie Folk