Clairo on “Pretty Girl” and making chill pop songs for the whole internet to enjoy

“I think it’s really important to be genuine and authentic with everything you do.”

October 19, 2017

There’s something special about Clairo. The 19-year-old Boston singer, who's been releasing little lo-fi pop gems on SoundCloud for years, has managed to garner a tight following. That fanbase increased significantly with the success of the video for her beachy loosie, “Pretty Girl.” In the clip, Clairo sits in her childhood bedroom and dances along to her song goofily. It feels pretty candid; she told The FADER it took her about 30 minutes to film the whole thing.


Clairo just started college this fall. She says she feels “like Hannah Montana sometimes,” leading a life as an singer and an ordinary student. "I guess with every video I put out,” she said, “I realize how much of a fanbase I actually have and it's pretty overwhelming, but it's a good overwhelming.”

Watch Clairo answer some questions above, and read the conversation below.


Tell me about making the song "Pretty Girl" and where the inspiration for the song came from.

It was like the first original pop song I made. Everything else I had made prior to that wasn't really intending to be a pop song, but, it just ended up being that way. The song was originally about a relationship I had and [how] I felt like I needed to be a pretty girl for someone else. I felt like I needed to change a lot about who I actually was to be perfect for them instead of just being who I am genuinely. I was writing a song about how messed up that is and how that shouldn't be a thing in relationships and about how we should always be confident in who you are to begin with.


Was wondering if you could talk about the song’s very organic sound.

[laughs] Thank you. I don't know, I didn't intend for it to be a lo-fi song. I kinda was just using the resources around me which were pretty shitty. I used like a little keyboard that I had and I was really into ’80s pop music — my mom is obsessed with it — so it kind of inspired me to do something like that.

Can you tell me about the day you made the video?


I woke up, it was like a terrible day. My hair was disgusting, my skin was so gross, like, I didn't even take off my makeup from before the night before. It was just a terrible day for me to look in the mirror. I had nothing to wear; it was bad. I decided it was the perfect day for me to make the music video, and to portray that I don't need those things to make myself who I am. It was just a video of me dancing around to my own song and lip syncing. It took me thirty minutes. It was something that was so quick and stupid. But yeah, it ended up being really cool, actually.

I saw this comment on the video that I love. It was like "You are aesthetic goals." I was wondering if you could talk about that?

I get that a lot, I don't really know why. My stuff gets in a lot of vaporwave Facebook groups for some reason. I think it's really funny when people slow down "Pretty Girl" and make it this slow, weird song and I just think it's so funny people think it's this calculated style when I made it in like thirty minutes and I made this song in probably like two hours. I get comments like that a lot. I make a point to tweet out really funny comments I get on YouTube videos. I have the most ridiculous ones. People always think I'm high, like people always think that I'm stoned in every video I put out. I have no idea why.

Who would you say are you inspired by?

Brockhampton right now. I love everything about them and the whole "do-it-yourself" attitude is everything that I'm about. Everything they put out is well thought out and so genuine. I feel like if I met them I would know exactly how they would act and I think that's how every artist should be. I think it's really important to be genuine and authentic with everything you do.

Disclosure: Clairo is signed to FADER Label.

Clairo on “Pretty Girl” and making chill pop songs for the whole internet to enjoy