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SPOTLIGHT: Meet the Philippine indie darling Clara Benin 

by Joshua Gerona

Recently updated on March 4, 2024 10:59 am

IF a parallel universe does exist, many would probably wish that Filipino singer-songwriter Clara Benin would remain in the field of music due to her unique wit in crafting relatable lyrics and comforting beats. 

Born and raised in the busy streets of Metro Manila, the 30-year-old indie artist started her music career at fifteen by writing songs and posting covers on the internet. 

Looking at music as a source of comfort and inspiration, Benin would further venture into the world of music by joining the Elements National Music Camp, a music masterclass aimed at honing the skills of singers and songwriters in the country. 

Veteran musicians Ryan Cayabyab, Noel Cabangon, and Joey Ayala participated in the masterclass as mentors. 

Having been mentored by notable musicians, Benin would self-produce her debut album, ‘Human Eyes,’ in 2014 with the help of her father Joey Benin, a former member of the band Side A. 

In November of the same year, she released her first EP album, ‘Riverchild’, with five tracks produced, written, and mixed by herself. 

The EP was her thesis project in college and served as an advocacy campaign for bringing children to school. 

The proceeds from the album went to the Tapulanga Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps the less fortunate to get an education through scholarships and healthcare assistance. 

As a woman thriving in a male-dominated industry, Benin was grateful for all the women in her life—her mom, sister, and best friends—who supported her unconditionally. 

Benin is known for her calm and comforting music, mixing the genres of folk, indie, and acoustic in her discography. With her prolific talent in crafting homely yet sophisticated songs, she has often been dubbed the indie darling of the Philippines. 

Benin was featured on New York’s Times Square billboard in 2020 and got three nominations at the recently concluded 8th Wish Music Award, including the Wish Artist of the Year. 

She recently launched her sophomore album, ‘befriending my tears’, and went on a tour since September last year. 

This article is part of the March RA Spotlight. Vote for Clara Benin in the poll here.

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