Busker What’s Your Story? Chloe St. Claire

Image Credit: George Perrett

Chloe St. Claire

“I love the spontaneity of busking. You never know what to expect!

I remember one day a couple started slow dancing nearby to one of my songs. That was
a really nice, special moment for me.”

Chloe St. Claire
Chloe St. Claire performs “Frostbite” LIVE from her ‘Young Like That’ EP at Gundaro Hall.

This fresh young Melbourne songwriter presents a sound that combines hazy guitars, punchy hooks and soft ethereal lo-fi vocals.

Chloe St. Claire says she writes songs for those who went far away, even when they promised to stay near. She says growing up in a small, isolated town in Victoria, her dad a musician and her mum an artist, creativity and lateral thinking formed the epicentre of her childhood.

Chloe (now 18) has been busking since her early teens. In an initiative of the Arts and Culture Department of the Greater City of Geelong called Connecting Song she was chosen as one of 3 local unsigned artists to be mentored by Adalita Srsen from the rock band Magic Dirt.

“I just loved Chloe’s songs as soon as I heard them. She has a strong songwriting sensibility, impressive in someone so young. She has a beautiful, unique voice, and I really felt like her music could benefit from going through that big studio production process,” Adalita said of her mentee, in an interview for Forte magazine in April.

We’ve connected with Chloe to ask about her busking experiences and where you might catch her performing next.

What do you love about performing, and in particular about busking?

“Busking is an incredibly unique way of performing. You can strike a really strong connection between the musician and the listener. I really love that aspect of busking. I think people are more likely to express their thoughts and opinions, and it’s a great way of meeting like-minded people. I also love the spontaneity of busking, you never know what to expect!”

What moments stand out as memorable from busking?

“One moment that comes to mind is when I competed in the regional finals up in Ballarat for the National Busking Championships. The town was so abuzz with excitement because there were so many buskers and creative minds roaming around.

I remember that day. A couple started slow dancing nearby to one of my songs that I was playing, that was really nice, a special moment for me.”

If you could choose a lyric from any song that means something to you, what would it be?

“It’d have to be from Gang of Youths‘ song ‘Let me Down Easy.’ I always find this lyric to be really touching and true, and I always hope to live life with the spirit of these words: You wanted to fight for a cause; then go out and fall in love; don’t stop, don’t stop believing; in truth and grace in the grievance.’

What’s a great piece of advice you’ve been given?

“My dad always tells me to ‘enjoy the moment.’ I am often guilty of becoming a bit of a worry wart, especially when I have a big gig coming up; or I know I’ll be playing to a large crowd. Dad always reminds me I should really enjoy and appreciate what I do, because sharing and getting lost within music is special. It shouldn’t be taken for granted.”

Where can people catch you performing gigs or busking?

“Currently I’ll be playing along the Victorian surfcoast and doing a bunch of gigs in both Geelong and Ballarat for the summer.”