For pop singer-songwriter Tess Clare, music has always come naturally. Yet the Highland Park, Illinois-native’s ta- lent initially caught family and friends by surprise. “I don’t come from an artistic family. I’m an only child, but my parents aren’t musically inclined.” With a powerful, soulful voice that draws inspiration from the stylings of Adele and the late Amy Winehouse, Tess uses that voice to guide her overall style. “My music is definitely pop. I tend to write from my personal experiences and allow my voice to, in a way, dictate my sound.”
She started young, singing in Chicago area children’s choirs, but soon realized just how much she loved to sing. At eight, Tess began taking voice lessons and by 10, at the urging of her mother, Tess picked up a guitar. “That set the songwriting wheels into motion.” She began writing, recording and releasing music as early as 13. In high school, under the guidance of an instructor at the prestigious Northwestern University, she began classical voice training - all the while writing and performing locally and releasing music independently.
As her musicianship progressed, Tess made the decision to finish out her junior and senior year at Interlochen Arts Academy in Traverse City, Michigan. There, she wrote and recorded a four-song EP and later went on to release a single and accompanying video that was a collaboration with students from the film department.
In 2017, Tess found her way to Nashville’s Belmont University as a songwriting major with a music business minor. During her first day of her Intro to Songwriting class, Tess was asked to perform a song for the class and a few visit- ing industry professionals - including Stefan Dabruck and Chelsea Kent of Stefan Dabruck Management. “Chelsea approached me after class and asked for me to send her “Lovey” - the song I performed in class... I assumed she was interested in my songwriting.” Tess soon found the team was interested in helping her become an artist and ma- king her song an official release.
Founding a new initiative that engages Belmont students by participating real time in a record release with production, marketing and contract law, Chelsea and Stefan began to plan the release of “Lovey”. “The concept is really cool. Chelsea and Stefan will sit in on classes, hand selecting students to help in the project. I feel incredibly fortunate to be chosen for a program that combines so much professional talent and brings other Belmont students into the process. It’s allowed me to meet and connect with so many students from other areas of the music business college.” With the single “Lovey” and accompanying video complete, the program will lean on Belmont students to see the project through promotion - set to begin this fall. The single will be released on the German label Kontor Records in collaboration with BMG Music Rights.
“The process of creating music is central to my life. I hope that, in the coming years, I’ll be able to continue to make and record music, and have more opportunities to play live shows - because I love to perform! I’d also love to collaborate with other artists. Ultimately, I look forward to turning something that’s been a passion for years into a career.”