BY EMMA CONNOLLY
A YOUNG woman from Timoleague is a finalist in a competition giving aspiring songwriters and musicians a chance to win €3,000 of music gear, a recording session and a chance to play a showcase gig at a top venue.
Clara Harte, who goes by the name Clara Belle, is the Munster finalist in ‘Star Nation’, the brainchild of pizza chain Four Star Pizza.
The competition invited musicians across the country to submit one original song and had an enormous response.
After studying in Dublin and pursuing an acting career, Clara returned to songwriting and for the last two years has been writing, producing and performing her own music.
She describes her music as ‘alt-pop songs influenced by soul and jazz music which still retain their pop sensibilities.’
Her winning track ‘City I love u,’ she says, is a reflection on her time living in Dublin: ‘I was living there when I started writing it, before travelling and then coming back, so I suppose it’s a love letter to the city. I had most of my growth experiences there, and it’s about that feeling of the city and how you can be nostalgic for it.’
Clara now hopes to release the song officially later this year and describing the feeling of being named as a finalist in the competition she said: ‘I was blown away! It’s amazing to have the belief and encouragement to make my music and get it out to a wider audience. It’s something I never thought could happen, and I couldn’t have done that without Four Star.’
Four Star Pizza’s Christina Hamilton said: ‘We were completely overwhelmed by the number of entries we received from local songwriters and musicians, and I think it’s fair to say that despite our small size, the island of Ireland is still one of the best places in the world for original musical talent.’
To listen to Clara’s track and have a chance to vote for her, go to Four Star Pizza’s Facebook and use the voucher code Star 4 for Munster. Voting closes on Thursday September 26th with the overall winner being announced at Whelan’s on September 29th.