"I for one, have such a fear of showing weakness that it is so easy to bottle up emotions that make me feel vulnerable," confides sixteen-year-old California native Claire Rosinkranz. Observing the need for society to normalise the open expression of feelings, she continues: "I don't think anyone should feel like they have to keep their emotions to themselves in order to feel like they will be accepted as a 'manly' or 'strong' or 'perfect' human. Being vulnerable is scary because you're so susceptible to people's criticism but I’m guessing it’s not healthy to bring those feelings into self-isolation, so I think it's so important for our society to work on being open about the things in our hearts, but obviously that's easier said than done." Hoping to destigmatise emotional vulnerability, the precociously self-aware teenager points to the dangers of the 'strong and silent type' mentality in her song 'Tough Guy' - the second track on her debut 'BeVerly Hills BoYfRiEnd' EP.
Acutely intuitive, Rosinkranz, who is also a classically trained ballerina, has been writing songs since the age of eight (yes: half of her life thus far), and explains her heartfelt songwriting process: "My songwriting process is literally always different. I like to make up stories, write about feelings and emotions, things that I have/haven’t experienced... people, someone else's point of view and honestly anything that's on my mind. Sometimes I sit down knowing what I’m gonna write about and other times I just throw out random lyrics and take it phrase by phrase. I usually write on an instrument, most likely my electric guitar, messing around with chords, and then simultaneously adding in a melody and lyrics. If I like it enough I’ll show it to my dad (who produces all of my music) and then we go into the studio to record and come up with ideas for the song."
About her EP's quick-witted title-track ("Spending all of his money / It's okay he's got a lot"), Rosinkranz recounts some family history: "My dad was telling me stories about my grandma when they lived in Beverly Hills back in the day, and after hearing about her life with her boyfriend, I wanted to write it into a song. I was focused on slightly exaggerating her life, but she is also a very charismatic European woman with a thick accent who was once an opera singer and is still very much a superstar. She made this song very easy to write." Her aforementioned paternal grandmother an Icelandic opera singer who toured Europe, her maternal grandmother known for writing books and songs for children, and a musical collaborator in her father, it comes as no surprise that Rosinkranz turned to music during the early onset of 2020's mass isolation - writing, recording, and producing the 'BeVerly Hills BoYfRiEnd' EP with her dad at their home studio.
"We'll turn the volume up, on some good boyband tunes," offers Rosinkranz in her breakout feel-good single, 'Backyard Boy' (the soundtrack of 2.6 million videos on TikTok currently, and rising), so we ask for some recommendations: "My first vinyl was an album from The Beatles and some of my favourite songs of theirs are 'A Hard Day’s Night', 'Yesterday', 'And I Love Her', 'Can’t Buy Me Love' and definitely others, but I've especially listened to those ones A LOT. I also listened to a lot of 1D, my friends and I still love to scream all of the lyrics to 'Steal My Girl' when we’re in the car. Backstreet Boys and The Beach Boys are also sick."
Closing her EP with 'Seriouslaaay', an open letter about mental health, Rosinkranz reflects on feeling lost in her head: "I'm pretty sure I remember sitting down with my guitar after getting mad at my mom and writing about how I was annoyed with myself because I knew that I was getting mad at her for the most petty reasons but I still didn't want to lose our 'fight'. Writing it was super easy because it was something that I’ve felt many times and I’m sure a lot of other kids know the feeling too. It also touches on some deeper emotions that a lot of teens experience as well and I'm glad to be able to deal with it by writing it down for others to hear."
And with an eye to the future, Rosinkranz promises, "I definitely plan on releasing more music this year. I've been working on some new songs with my dad and I am CONSTANTLY writing. I am so, so, so excited for y'all to hear the new tunes <3".
Watch the 'Backyard Boy' music video below - a.k.a. the most heartwarming and joyous thing you will see today ("My uncle was the director for the video and was constantly making up funny movements and ideas so I was just mimicking everything that he would do haha," says Rosinkranz about the video's adorable choreography):