17-year-old singer and songwriter Claire Rachel Wilkinson, better known as CLAIRITY, manages to make a sharp, sly statement within the landscape of electronic pop, carving out an elusive middle ground that's as witty as it is wonderful. A character that could be cut right from Kick Ass or a Wes Anderson flick—she's like the rad little sister you wish you had who splits her time between marathon Nintendo 3DS sessions, drawing, rocking Tumblr, penning short stories, and writing songs.
Beginning voice lessons at the age of eight, Clairity quickly developed a dynamic range. After learning how to play keyboards from instructional videos on YouTube, she'd spend her afternoons writing song after song, architecting a world separate from the confines of super-suburban White House, TN. Songwriter Pebe Sebert became a fan and sometime writing partner, even initiating sessions between her daughter Ke$ha and a still-in-high-school Clairity. An independent A&R scout handed off some of Clairity's music to Kara DioGuardi, and the two began a partnership that led to a call from Jason Flom in December 2015.
"My dogs were barking in the background and I was doing dishes," Clairity recalls. "The phone rang, and it was Jason Flom. I was internally freaking out, but he was like, 'I'm going to fly you out Wednesday. We'll have cupcakes, and I'm going to sign you!'"
"When I was in middle school, I felt like a total alien sometimes," she admits. "I'd watch the typical high school hierarchy, and it wasn't for me. In the song, I wanted to tell that story and incorporate imagery from this family vacation I went on. My little cousins didn't want to swim at night because they thought a shark was going to jump out of the pool and eat them. The vulnerability of that sentiment was compelling to me, and reminded me of my experiences in school. It isn't some anti-bullying rant though. It's lighthearted. When you feel like an outcast at a party, play this song. It's meant to break the ice, start a dialogue, and talk honestly outside of that comfort zone of what people think they are supposed to be."
So, what's the secret to Clairity's music? Well, there's both a method and message to her madness.
"I want to validate everyone's emotions," she declares. "There's no reason to feel awkward. Be who you are; even when it's not pleasing to those around you."