At age 9, she wrote her first set of song lyrics. At 16, she played her first gig at a burger joint in the East Village. Now, Claire Hawkins is about to release her debut EP as a student at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute for Recorded Music. We asked Claire to share some of her favorite NYU moments from the studio to the streets.
“I joined Clive Davis to study everything about the music industry that I could, and it’s given me so many amazing opportunities to work with and be taught by industry professionals who prioritize helping students grow. For example, this year we’ve been very focused on production. That’s how I learned to track electric guitar in the studio for a new song called ‘Ivy + Vine.’ It was my first production project of the year, and it’s been cool to see how much my skills have improved since then.”
“I took this photo while touring Queens with a friend at sundown. Although I’ve lived in the city my whole life, I still love to explore the boroughs by taking long walks without a set destination in mind. I bring a friend or pop my headphones in—then I’ll walk for hours, getting a feel for every neighborhood and seeing all different kinds of people. That’s how I found this gorgeous view, which, coincidentally, inspired the singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles to write her song ‘Chasing the Sun.’”
“The great thing about living near Washington Square Park is that there’s always something interesting going on, even in the winter. Around Christmastime, carolers sing under the arch, which is always fun to join on a whim. A few blocks north, my friends and I walk to the Union Square Holiday Market and help each other pick out gifts for our families. And because we love celebrating the holidays together, we also go ice skating and hold a Secret Santa gift swap!”
“I’ve been performing solo around New York City (and once in Paris!) since I was a teenager, but finally getting to play with a band was so much fun. We performed at Rockwood Music Hall, a venue on the Lower East Side, and everyone I played with there was an NYU student I met freshman year. In fact, two of those same musicians have contributed bass and cello to songs I recently recorded. That long-running collaboration makes those songs all the more meaningful to me.”