No Taylor Swift? No problem! Clara Benin is here to save the day

The indie darling celebrates the release of her sophomore album with a live show on September 22 at the Music Museum.

You could hear it a mile away—the wailing and lament of fans who cried in dismay when news broke that global pop star Taylor Swift would not be making a stop in Manila for her The Eras Tour. And while it’s understandably sad for anyone to miss out on seeing their favorite artist perform live, this shouldn’t mean closing yourself to other talented musicians. Especially those that are relatively closer and more accessible.

Enter the ineffably talented singer-songwriter Clara Benin, who has been in the local music scene since 2013. The eldest daughter of former Side A member Joey Benin, Clara has since made a name for herself as an indie pop performer whose original songs have resonated deep with young music fans today.

With two full-length albums under her belt, a sold-out two-night show at the Teatrino in Greenhills in 2016, the indie darling will celebrate the release of her sophomore album Befriending my Tears with a live show on  Friday, September 22, at the Music Museum at 8 pm.

Here they come to save the day

Photo from Clara Benin’s Facebook page.

As if getting to see Clara in concert wasn’t already a sweet treat in itself, fans can now look forward to both eclectic pop artist Ena Mori and rising folk-pop artist Syd Hartha who will be the opening acts to Benin’s concert.

Clara Benin, Ena Mori, and Syd Hartha have been in the music scene for a while now, so just imagine getting to see them one the same stage for one awesome show. You may even be reminded of the beloved ‘90s cartoons the Power Puff Girls.

During the press conference for Clara Benin’s Befriending my Tears show she really was asked, “Among the Power Puff Girls, Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, which one do you most identify with and why?”

Benin laughed, finding the question amusing and interesting. She thought for a bit and answered that she feels she is like Buttercup, since she loves green (Clara Benin fans, take note!), and Buttercup was her favorite when she was growing up. Although she also sees herself as a bit of a Bubbles because she can also be emotional.

And indeed, dressed in a white and blue striped polo, with one of her slender shoulders out, Benin spoke in a soft manner, which is very similar to Bubbles’ sweet persona, as she smiled coyly while answering questions from local media.

A father-daughter tradition

“He’s made such a huge impact in my music,” Clara says of her dad, former Side A member Joey Benin. Photo from Clara Benin’s Facebook page.

Aside from Ena Mori and Syd Hartha, Clara’s father, multi-awarded musician Joey Benin, will be joining his daughter to perform in a special segment.

“Every time I have a big show, I always make sure to have my dad join me on stage to play a few songs,” emphasized Clara. “He’s made such a huge impact in my music and being able to play with him on stage is always a fun and humbling experience.”

When asked what advice she has received from her dad about being in the music industry, Clara answered that “remaining humble and staying grounded” is something that she took to heart from her father.

Show rituals and the Clara Benin experience

There is so much music to enjoy, old ones to reminisce to, and new ones to discover.

Asked if she had any pre-show rituals, Clara, unsure for a second, looked at her manager for an answer. “Lola Remedios!” her manager shouted from across the room, much to the laughter of everyone present at the press conference.

Benin laughed, acknowledging that she does take the syrup before shows. Perhaps Lola Remedios is the key to keeping her signature angelic voice in top shape.

When asked what is the “Clara Benin experience” that she wants her fans to take away from the show, she answered: “I want the show to be like a warm hug. I want them to feel lighter than when they first came in.”

We may know a lot of people missing out on a Manila Taylor Swift show, or not being able to get a concert  ticket to their favorite K-Pop, or international act, but little do they know that they are missing out on a great showcase of our very own local talent.

With the internet, streaming apps like Spotify, and even YouTube, music has never been more accessible. There is so much music to enjoy, old ones to reminisce to, and new ones to discover. Don’t get stuck to the same five artists on loop, expand your horizons, and you never know—you just might discover a new local artist that you can easily catch live without having to sell an organ or two.  

The new lifestyle.