Listen

News 88.9 KNPR
Classical 89.7 KCNV

member station

Discover Music
World Cafe

How Clairo Turned A Viral Bedroom Video Into A Successful Music Career

790290111_2139036287.jpg

Clairo outside the World Cafe Performance studio at WXPN in Philadelphia.
Galea McGregor, WXPN

Clairo outside the World Cafe Performance studio at WXPN in Philadelphia.

"When you become something on the internet and not something in real life," Clairo explains, "It's this very strange cognitive dissonance where you're like, 'Well, is something actually happening, or am I dreaming that people know who I am?' "

Clairo wasn't dreaming. She started college shortly after uploading a song called "Pretty Girl" to YouTube — that same week, her bedroom music video reached a million views. Today, it has over 40 million views, and she's launched an entire music career from her viral success. She's appeared on late night television stages, played Coachella and is going on tour with Tame Impala in 2020. Clairo even produced her debut full-length album, Immunity, with a little help from Rostam Batmanglij.

We'll talk about how the former Vampire Weekend member reached out to Clairo on Instagram after hearing her 2017 song, "Flaming Hot Cheetos," how "Sinking" is a sexy song about rheumatoid arthritis ("Which is hilarious," she adds) and how she keeps up with her fans in relation to her rapidly rising profile. Hear the conversation in the player above, starting off with a live in-studio performance of "Bags."

Support comes from

Copyright 2019 XPN. To see more, visit XPN.

You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for.  If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.