YouTube Singer Wows Viral and Live Audiences

Clara C performing in San Francisco.

The Guitar Center in San Francisco went from empty to a full house within half an hour for an afternoon performance by YouTube artist Clara C.  The 24-year-old singer-songwriter has been touring all over the United States within the past month for her Live Vocal Effects Tour, presented by TC-Helicon.

For someone who had seen “Avengers” twice and did a concert in San Jose within the previous 24 hours, Clara’s energy remained upbeat from the beginning of her show as she kept it friendly and casual when greeting her San Francisco audience.  She was met with cheers and marriage proposals from the already enthusiastic audience as she fully expressed her love for the “City by the Bay.”

Within the hour-long performance, she wowed her audience with her diverse vocal range as she sang the songs “Heartstrings” and “Offbeat” from her debut album, “The Art in My Heart.”  

She even performed her cover of the song “Rocketeer,” originally by music group and friends Far East Movement.

In addition, Clara also treated her audience to a few new songs from her upcoming sophomore album; including songs called “Quesadilla,” “Fish” and a song she’s thinking about calling “You’ve Got It All.”

Each song that she performed was met with a responsive applause and cheers from the audience.  They fed off of her vocals, instrumentals and quirky dialogues in between.

Following a quick Q-and-A session, a meet-and-greet took place afterwards.  A long line of fans made its way around the store and Clara stuck it through by taking pictures with fans, giving hugs, signing posters and even signing people’s guitars.

Asked what her impressions were of her two Bay Area concerts, Clara said that both were really fun.

“Yesterday was the first time we hit San Jose versus San Francisco.  I’ve been here many times,” she said.  “San Francisco I always love because everybody has much flavor to them.  It’s just [the] city that breeds people like that.  And San Jose, the energy was just amazing.”

Born Clara Chung, the New York-native expressed interest in music from a young age.  She recalled an early memory of how, as a toddler, she crawled up onstage during a Christmas program and stole the microphone from a girl who was singing.

“I think I had interest from a young age but when I really realized that that’s what I wanted to do was about three years ago,” she added.

For most of her life, Clara was a closeted musician, discouraged by her circle of friends who told her she shouldn’t pursue it. However, upon gaining new friends, they were the ones who pushed her to do it.

For Clara, being the winner of Kollaboration 2010, an Asian American-oriented talent show, and posting her music on YouTube became a launch pad for her music career.

“The people who have been doing it way longer like [YouTube singers] David [Choi] and Kina [Grannis] have been finding a lot of success on it so I already knew that it was a good platform,” she said when describing YouTube as a tool.

Despite her audience gained primarily via YouTube, Clara doesn’t feel confined as opposed to mainstream artists.  She sees the medium as simply another way of being found.  She currently has nearly 157,000 subscribers.

Her popularity on YouTube has allowed her to perform at a wide variety of events and venues, including the International Secret Agents concerts, the Hollywood Bowl and at the White House Department of Education in 2010.

In addition to her success as a musician, Clara has a degree in psychology and a minor in education from UC Irvine.

“I wanted to have a safety net; something that I, you know, wanted to have a degree under my belt and I enjoy psychology just as much as music,” she explained.

For a while, she was doing music and worked as a teacher for autistic children at the same time, but due to difficulties, she wound up pursuing music full time.

Already Clara has several things lined up for the remainder of this year.

Her second album is scheduled to be released sometime later during the summer.

She will be featured in a new documentary called “Uploaded: The Asian American Movement;” a film directed by Kane Diep that explores the representation of Asian Americans in pop culture since the inception of new media.

Clara will also be having a joint tour with fellow YouTuber Choi starting this fall.

When asked for any final comments, Clara addressed her fans saying, “Thank you if you listen to my music. You keep my dream alive.”