Future Stars: ​​Clairo (FADER Label)

Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

19-year-old singer Claire Cottrill, aka Clairo, has been accused of being an “industry plant,” posing as an authentic indie artist on the rise when she is actually the daughter of a well-connected industry exec. Her dad is vice chair of MusiCares and runs Converse’s Rubber Tracks label. While there’s no doubt she’s had opportunities thanks to her father (he is apparently friends with the founder of FADER, whose label she is signed to), I’m unsure why there’s such a fuss over this. Her background is nothing abnormal in the music industry, and the idea that there is some organic way that artists can reach a mass audience with no connections or financial backing is pretty naive. However, industry connections can only get you so far: they can give you visibility, but they can’t force people to like you. Remember Kaya Stewart, anyone? Clairo’s Pretty Girl video wouldn’t have gone viral last year if it wasn’t simple yet creative, or if she wasn’t so cute and charming. Her recent single 4EVER goes even further to prove why she is relevant to a young audience today, with a melodic indie-pop sound and a video showing an idyllic teen life (it’s basically Rookie in a music video). Opportunities are important, but it’s what you do with them that counts.

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