Clara Yates in depth interview with Trance Farm 

Clara Yates: “I Can Finally Think Of Her With A Smile On My Face” 

October 4, 2019 by Erik Lake 

“The first song I remember singing was Celine Dion’s, ‘Think Twice.'” 

A few years after singing that song through the karaoke machine her father had bought the family, England’s, Clara Yates, was encouraged to join the local choir around age 11. “My mom had always enjoyed Opera, and I enjoyed listening to it with her,” remembered Clara. “But, I never received any formal training before this.” 

Her choir days came and went in the span of a few years as video games and movies became the focus of millions of teenagers, herself included. The Playstation 1 game, “Music 2000,” and the film, “Kevin & Perry Go Large,” were staples in her transition to Trance. “That movie soundtrack did something to me,” Clara said as she sat on her living room couch. “Lange’s, ‘Follow Me,’ took my fancy, and I thought to myself how I would love to sing like the women in Trance.” 

Her would-be Trance career took a sidestep into R&B for nearly ten years as a DJ. Although a great learning tool, and working with some of the premier artists of the time, the genre shifted towards an area in the second decade of 2000 that left her feeling uncomfortable, marketing-wise. Trance, on the other hand, “is not only a feeling but a trip down memory lane,” said a passionate Clara. “It’s my childhood, and I don’t have to put myself up on a pedestal for others to recognize and judge you.” 

Clara Yates 

With her mindset solely focused on Trance, 2015 saw Clara’s first break when her former manager, Maes•tro, placed a Facebook post seeking a female vocalist. Clara responded, was accepted, and collaborated on the track. She later learned that Alexander Popov would remix the song. When released, the record did well, so well that it was included in various Armin van Buuren mixed compilation CDs, thereby reaffirming her ambitions for continuing her work in the genre. 

Like a producer composing a track, writing songs is a personal release for Clara. Always reverting to past experiences, she sees no other point in trying to reach the listener. “They (listener) need to relate,” Clara profoundly said. “You can write for the sake of writing, but how will that come across to your listeners? They need to feel it as well as believe it.” 
With many of her releases written about love, death, heartbreak, lust, and even sex, her rewards are fan messages portraying how the lyrics helped them compartmentalize their emotions. “It makes me happy that I’m able to help people in some way.” 

At times, though, Clara writes songs to deal with her pain. In 2006, her divorced mother, Andrea, was suffering from severe migraines, facial discomfort, and depression. A visit to her doctor earlier in the day revealed that there was nothing more he could do for her. Andrea then drove to Clara’s house with a birthday card and called her to ask when she was coming home. “I told her I was busy and wouldn’t be back until later,” she remembered. When Clara arrived home, she noticed the card and tried to call her mother at her house. “I tried to call so many times to thank her, but she never answered the phone,” she emotionally said. “So, I just left a message on her voicemail.” The next day, Clara learned that her mother had consumed 136 antidepressant tablets and passed away in the upstairs bedroom of her house. “I never found a way of dealing with this or a way to forgive her for what she had done; every birthday cuts me like a knife as it did 13 years ago.” 

“Writing, ‘Why,’ gave me a chance to forgive and let go,” Clara proudly said. “When Giuseppe Ottaviani composed the melody around the acapella, ‘Why,’ was the best gift I was ever able to give her.” Clara listens to the song every day. “It gives me peace and serenity. I cannot thank Giuseppe enough for bringing my pain to life in an uplifting way. I can finally think of her with a smile on my face.” 

Giuseppe Ottaviani Ft. Clara Yates – Why 

Depicted in the title of the adjacent track, and certainly not aimed at diminishing the significance of the song, a direction that many vocalists are now pursuing is the elimination of the “featured” tag. Up until a few months ago, this was the accepted norm, but with collaborators shunned by not being included as a primary artist in the distributor’s eyes, many have seen the exclusion of songs on their streaming accounts. Clara doesn’t go as far as to say it’s an offensive title, but the featuring of artist names on someone else’s work now refers to the fact that they had no part in the writing of the song. Clara explains, “If you write a song with a producer, it’s the two of you. There have also been times where I have written the song from scratch, and the producer makes a melody around the vocal. So, it goes both ways.” 

“It’s an issue when I have people tell me they didn’t know I had such and such a song out in 2016 because it wasn’t on my Spotify account,” said Clara. “But, I now talk with Armada and the other publishing companies to ensure that if ‘featured’ is still in the title, the music is located where people can find me, and it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.” To aid in this process, many singer/songwriters have begun an industry-wide progressive move to use the words “with” or “and” in song titles to ensure their primary relevance in distribution. 

With Clara’s continued heartfelt songwriting, another with particular relevance will be an upcoming dedication to her friend, Ashley Wallbridge. The follow-up to, “Diamonds,” the still unfinished track will be a testament of their friendship and Ashley’s remarkable recovery from meningitis. Also, on the horizon, is the eagerly-awaited track, “Find Your Paradise,” with Ferry Tayle, while still finding time to perform live with the likes of Darren Porter, HALIENE, and her husband, Matthew Steeper. 

When Clara isn’t writing songs, the talented, Robert Myatt, dishes out some incredible melodies and lyrics, and the two often write together. “Almost everything he writes I feel an instant connection with, and we make it happen,” said an emphatic Clara. “There will be a lot of tracks coming out next year, which he has written, and I truly believe his talent as a writer needs to be shown to the world.” 

As our conversation came to a close during the early east coast hours, Clara summarized her four-year Trance career by saying, “To get here has been a very difficult journey over the past years, and to all the people, you have played a huge part in helping me get here. Richard Rinaudo, Giuseppe Ottaviani, Choonwear, Simon Tieni, Darren Porter, Assaf, Louis Tan, Pablo Artigas, and many many more, you opened the Trance doors for me, and I have walked through them with no turning back.” 

We invite your comments in the section below. 

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My interview on Doughnut Run (video below) 

A big thanks to the talented Australian DJ & producer Ahmer Atasever for taking me on this Doughnut Run. Ahmet  has interviewed some of best DJ's in the trance music scene. Musicians such as Richard Durand, Sean Tyas, Binary Finary, Darren Porter, Ben Nicky, Airwave, Roger Shah and many more.

This interview was definitely a very touchy subject when in comes to females in the music scene. As some of you may know that I started of as an R&B DJ back in 2001. I started very very young when I was in my mid teens. Oh those were the good times.

I remember the 00's being a great time if you wanted to be involved in the music scene. You could dress how you like, play what you wanted and was never put on this pedestall as a female. To be perfectly honest there wasn't that many female DJs back then.

When I moved to Melbourne, Australia in 2007 , I did continue my career as a DJ on the weekends, whether it be in pubs, clubs, functions & weddings ect, I enjoyed each and every single minute of it.

2013 rolled around and I was at my peak as my formally known artist name "DJ Claz". Well at least I thought I was. I toured quite a lot in 2013 mostly around places such as Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, New Caledonia and the rememberable festival in Malysia "Carlsberg Wheres The Party 2013 which included artists such as Miss Nine, Cazzette, DJ Eva T & moreAs the years were passing by I began to realise that female DJs were only getting booked for their looks and sex appeal not their talent. After all...sex sells right?  If you didn't have washboard abs, fake breasts, long hair, big lips and a slim figure you were no longer worthy in the eyes of club promoters anymore.

I had applied for so many agencies in Australia. One particular that I wanted to join and thought I would of done an amazing job was Lucky Ent. after receiving an email back saying that I am not marketable. I was basically being told to lose weight, grow my hair, get botox if I wanted to continue my career touring as a DJ then Kylie Jenner should be my "goals". I sadly backed out as I didn't want to change as a person and bow down to peer pressure just to showcase my talents that I had been working so hard ever since 2001.

In 2015 I finally felt like I was going back to my roots as I have loved trance music ever since the late 90's which was introduced to me by my dad. Yes he is a real party animal. All I can say is that I have been myself, I have never had to change who I was as a person on the outside or the inside just to be deemed fit to be in the trance scene. I fell as if they have welcomed me with opened arms.

I am proud of having the pleasure of working with the most talented and respected DJs & producers in the trance and EDM scene. 

 

I wont look back.

 

 

Clara Yates