The appearance of Clara Chung (stage name Clara C) in town was a relief from the ceaseless downpour that has overcast our sunny island this monsoon season.

With her deep velvety vocals and irresistible optimism, it is no wonder both of Clara’s Nov 28 live showcases at Esplanade Recital Studio were roaring successes.

Before kicking start her showcase officially in Singapore, Clara ran around the streets with her guitar and sang to the locals, describing the effects of her pranks as “scaring the living daylights out of them”.

First showcase in Asia

Kickstarting Clara’s showcase in Singapore was Charles J Tan, a singer/songwriter based in Australia, who will be performing alongside Clara throughout her Asia Pacific Tour 2011.

Belting out breezy songs such as “Almost Sunday” and “What It’s All About” from his first EP, The Pelham Sessions, Charles charmed the audience with his clean, rounded vocals while switching between the guitar and the ukulele with ease.

After his performance, it was evident that the crowd could not contain their excitement as they cheered upon hearing Charles’ question of “Who’s excited to see Clara sing?”

Taking that as her cue, Clara sprung onto the stage in a denim jacket and a flirty-pink maxi skirt and ran around the circumference of the stage to give her audience a big high-five.

A cozy gathering with fans

With Clara’s infectious personality, the audience shed their quiet front and warmed up to her immediately. From engaging the audience with small talks in between her singing to teaching them how to clap to the beat of her songs, there were no signs of awkwardness from her, and that cemented her down-to-earth image.

She even prepared a small surprise for her Mandarin-speaking fans, when she thanked them in Mandarin. Being the entertainer that she is, the charming singer clamored for the crowd to teach her more Mandarin phrases, such as asking directions to the toilet, much to the amusement of the crowd.

The evening performance was like a cozy gathering with old friends, filled with good music and laughter.

One-man Show

Clara’s live performance was indeed a testament to her popularity. In fact, her vocals were so stunning that her videos seemed to undermine her natural talent.

“She’s fantastic…even better live! Her YouTube videos doesn’t give her voice as much justice as here,” says Joshua Cheam, 21, a private piano teacher who was at the performance.

Putting up a one-man show, Clara looped her own background music, played the wide array of instruments on the stage and slipped in snippets of recordings from her Macbook all by herself. And yet, that did not seem to bother her, as she sang her hearts out while swaying to the beat joyfully.

Serenading the audience with songs from her debut album, such as the popular The Camel Song, Til We Go, and Heartstrings, she also did covers of Far East Movement’s Rocketeer, which her fans reciprocated with thunderous claps and screams time after time.

She laughed, “I always like it when you guys yell and stuff! It’s the only time when people yell at me and it’s completely fine.”

When it came to the final song, Fish, the audience lamented without any slight hesitation and called for an encore. Despite her leaving, the faithful crowd stayed on, with one of her ardent fans shouting, “We’re not leaving until you’re out!”

Fortunately, the easygoing Clara gave in and even rewarded some of her lucky fans with autographed posters.

Clara’s journey to fame

Hailing all the way from Los Angeles, the 24-year-old Korean-American songbird shot to fame after winning in a series of prestigious singing competitions, such as Kollaboration 10, ISA 09: Los Angeles and the KAC Media Creative Juice Night.

Starting out as a YouTube artiste in March 2009, Clara gained an international fan base over a short period of time, with over 8 million online views worldwide.

With the prevalence of YouTube stars gaining recognition, Clara stood out from the pack with her soothing yet upbeat music and breathtaking vocals. Her quirky and playful personality also shone through her tongue-in-cheek writings on her blog, as well as her little antics in her videos, such as playing with bubbles and making silly faces.

Photos courtesy of Clara C & Charles J Tan.

After performing to sold-out crowds in western countries, the avid traveller set foot onto Asia and Australia for the first time in her Asia Pacific Tour 2011, to promote her debut album, The Art in My Heart.

If you want to Catch Clara C, here’s the tour lineup:

  • December 1 – MANILA (Music Museum)
  • December 3 – MELBOURNE (Arrow on Swanston)
  • December 4 – SYDNEY (The Basement)
  • December 5- SYDNEY (Gillian Moore Centre for Performing Arts)
  • December 10 – SEOUL (MMMG Itaewon)