Looking For A Good Life: Claire Rosinkranz Interviewed

“I've had lots of doubts or insecurities about other things in my life but music is one thing I've never questioned…”

Gen Z do it differently. Part of a new wave of female voices charting pop’s future, Claire Rosinkranz is driven by a passionate commitment to truth – her debut album is a point of rare connection with the watching world.

SoCal singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Claire Rosinkranz, embodies the verve and daring of pop’s glistening new wave in her lyrical catalogue. Serotonin boosts in the form of catchy, feminine rage-filled melodies have voiced the inner teen in us all. At its core, the themes explored by this generation of artists are not exclusive to any age group, discussing the pressures of society, the lows and euphoric highs of relationships, and the passing of time. 

One to place alongside Olivia Rodrigo and Billie Eilish, Claire’s taking on the world one anthem at a time. Having gained viral popularity at a time when the world was locked inside on their phones with her sun-drenched single ‘Backyard Boy’, her stratospheric rise set the scene for a new talent entering the music industry. 

Securing her a record deal at the age of 16, her rise has been immaculate. Dialling back the hype to refocus, she’s spent the past few years honing her craft. Still just 19-years-old, she’s finally letting listeners step into her own coming-of-age movie, with debut album ‘Just Because’ offering a collection of songs that have defined her formative teenage years. A place of solace, a slice of summer just as autumn falls, ‘Just Because’ is an entry into her world, navigating the cusp of adult life through dusky summer evenings with the windows rolled down – young and wild and running free. 

The singer speaks candidly to CLASH about her first full-length project, describing it as themes solidified from tentative ideas. “I was just writing songs with people, not with the intent of making an album. I was just like: wow, I have too many songs and I need to put all of these into something and so it’s gonna be an album and I don’t know what this project means. It was just kind of a word vomit. But now looking back at the entire project I do feel like there’s a bigger purpose. It’s become a healing tool and a diary of how I got through some of the hardest things that I’ve gone through in life so far. And following that, I’ve also used that album and those experiences to navigate some of the more difficult challenges that I’ve faced since that project.”

Claire pursued dance from a young age and eventually transferred that same sense of drive and determination to music. Both her father (a producer and composer) and her mother (a piano teacher) are musical, so it seemed like a natural progression. But what made this pursuit unique is her self-belief. “I’ve had lots of doubts or insecurities about other things in my life but music is one thing I’ve never questioned,” she asserts. “I mean, we all have our moments… but I just have never had any doubt. You have to believe in yourself if you’re gonna do it.”

Flawless production touches each of the songs on her debut album in a way that silently sentimentalises the relationship between Claire and her parents, particularly her producer and Dad, Ragnar Rosinkranz. Acting as her creative collaborator, her father has lifted and encouraged the singer through the ups and downs of crafting her album. “It was the first year where I experienced heavy stuff. I’m usually like the person who’s always listening to my friends and giving advice, but then I was like: wait a second, I need some people to listen to me. My parents watched me walk through stuff and I talked to them about everything. They listened to me and I think it was just really sweet to have.” 

Beneath the infectious pop and lighthearted intricacies of ‘Just Because’ lies a darkness that demands pause and respite. This is most apparent in ‘Banksy’, a lonely song with a beautifully haunting refrain: “Put me underwater so that I can close my eyes / Try to catch a break, but I still want to be alive.” “I had a lot of moments during writing this album where I just wanted to close my eyes. I just wanted to go away for a while,” she confesses. “I don’t touch on how deep some of the experiences were. I wrote happy songs so I wouldn’t drown along with the experiences – I needed something to lift me out of it. And I feel like that whole album became a healing tool.”

Light and airy whispers adorn her work as she captures the anxieties of her life. Over anthemic choruses on ‘Jupiter’, Claire wishes to be taken to another planet – to change the sound and drown out the loud. Or look to the microscopic string variations on ‘Polarized’, aptly reflecting the feeling of being a puppet on a string. Throughout this album, there are small subtleties in Claire Rosinkranz’s melodies that masterfully echo her vivid lyrics. 

Claire’s storytelling is captivating in the form of snapshots and personal diary entries that hum with existential angst and all the charisma and mischief that comes on the brink of adulthood. ‘Wes Anderson’ constructs a colourful and chaotic frame rooted in friendly advice; meanwhile this vigour is mirrored in two standout tracks from the record – ‘Swinging At The Stars’ and ‘Screw Time’ – as she laments and commemorates the whimsy and impermanence of her youth. “On ‘Swinging at the Stars’, it’s more about wanting to experience the fullness of living life with somebody else,” Claire admits. “Like, experiencing all these beautiful things together. Something I’ve learned about myself is that I love to feel a lot and experience a lot, and sometimes that means putting myself in situations that maybe aren’t the best. I’m obsessed with the abundance that comes with being alive. I guess if I was able to put that feeling into words, being able to feel it all would be that song.”

Summarising these transitional periods in her life, Claire falls into the wild embrace of friendships and romantic revelry on ‘Screw Time’ – an ode to the group of friends that supported her during ‘Just Because’. “It was like what you see in a coming-of-age film,” she recalls. “Constantly off-roading, exploring abandoned spots and going to the beach. Sometimes I listen to that song just to live vicariously through that time of my life. I’m in a completely different chapter now – which is awesome – but it was a very carefree teenage dream moment.” 

Looking over on these songs, it becomes another way to step back into little pockets of time in her life. Monumental and mundane moments that you wish you could bottle up and keep forever, pushing you to be present and live in the moment. The ‘Screw Time’ music video encapsulates the songwriter’s aesthetic dreams. From its cinematic film quality to hearty use of symbolism, Claire reveals how she collaborates with her friend and creative director, Samuel Fisher. “He does the videos and photos for me, and he’s spent so much time with me trying to capture life on the road and performing and travelling…whilst also capturing the intimate side of me, so I feel like me in my most authentic form. I have somebody who I trust, and my part of the art evokes and inspires his work.”

The song that took the longest to complete now rests as the final track on the album. ‘Mess’ embodies a profound sense of optimism in its soundscapes despite the sadness embedded in its deeply self-aware lyrics. Glimmering with delicate harmonies and Claire’s ethereal vocals, the arrangement is stripped back to make space for ballad-like strings and acoustic twangs. ‘Mess’ has unintentionally become a precursor for Rosinkranz’s new music, leaning more into the world she currently finds herself in. 

With the new year on the horizon, the studio is on Claire’s mind. “Lots of recording,” she grins. “Hopefully a project that’s gonna come out a lot sooner and faster than this album did.” ‘Just Because’ has become a time capsule of its maker’s emotions, a mirror of the experiences Claire Rosinkranz endured while making it. And although she may have been running away from the constraints of adolescence, it’s clear the 19-year-old is now ready to face the world head-on, confidently confronting whatever lies ahead.

As seen in CLASH Issue 126. Order your copy here.

Words: Sahar Ghadirian
Photography: Florence Mann
Fashion: Apolline Coquet
Make-Up Artist: Michelle Dacillo using BYREDO
Hair Stylist: Maki Tanaka
Creative Direction: Rob Meyers

Follow Clash

Buy Clash Magazine