Flashback to February 2014--Kara Claudy was a young professional firmly fixed in the corporate world. She spent her days working on supermarket planograms and PowerPoints on shampoo pricing for multinational conglomerate Procter & Gamble before transitioning to boutique management consulting firm World 50 where she supported C-suite executives and their staff. One morning she woke up with no thought of pursuing music beyond writing songs in her bedroom, a cathartic creative outlet since youth. That night at Terminal West, watching childhood hero Vanessa Carlton perform, something clicked in her true artist’s heart, and she tearfully declared to her husband that she was stepping off the corporate ladder and turning her time and energy to her songwriting.
In a sense, that seemingly contradictory decision sums up the soul of the songwriter, singer and recording artist—Kara Claudy is a woman of paradox.
Born to a US Marine father and Korean mother, Kara is a global citizen, having lived in points as exotic as Okinawa, Japan (five formative years as a child) and Prague, Czech Republic (while studying abroad in college). Yet she is an all-American personality whose go-to outfits combine blue jeans or a vintage dress with her worn Dan Post boots (or the Justins, or the Ariats…). Ask her where she’s from and she’s as likely to say, “It’s complicated,” as she is to say, “I’m basically a Hoosier” or “I’m from Atlanta.” Though as she told Eide Magazine’s Lookbook, “Atlanta is absolutely home, and I’ve put roots down here — I’ve actually lived here longer than anywhere else now.”
Kara’s transient experiences have taught her that music brings people together in a way that transcends geographic boundaries, language barriers, and different backgrounds. This belief is evident in her songwriting, which, like others of her ilk, explores the experiences and emotional truths which perplex, confound, and fuel our everyday lives. In the words of Stomp and Stammer, her debut EP, Right Here, released independently in May 2015, boasts five “pretty, heartfelt, spill-it-out confessionals.” Topics span across unclear boundaries in relationships, new love, facing one’s fears to pursue a dream, and illegal immigration from an immigrant child’s perspective. In the words of Lookbook, “Her wildish bravery is shaping up to define her as a performing artist, though her songwriting is more comfortable and inspired by the everyday.”
Her Atlanta home overlooks the rail yard, “a place where she finds a deluge of musical inspiration: ‘It’s just this ever-changing landscape and it springs up for me just how connected we all are.’” A recent co-write with fellow Atlanta-based artist Brian Revels (of Americana/folk group City Mouse) titled “Machines” is clearly influenced by the rails. Captured in April 2016 by Rust Magazine in one take, the driving song with Americana roots challenges the listener to ask what and who they are working for with lines like “I’m a damn machine / made to be used / I don’t wonder who owns me / how ‘bout you” and “blood and a wedding band / tycoon’s crown jewels.”
While connection and community are an essential ingredient to Claudy’s oeuvre and personage, she finds herself in the midst of another transient experience as she currently divides her time between her acoustic project and a new electropop venture. When asked about her goals, she replies, “I want to keep growing, write great songs, and make a living doing it.” Having garnered press from numerous outlets including Stomp and Stammer, Points North Magazine, Eide Magazine's Lookbook, Songwriting Scene, CBS46, and NBC11, as well as winning the coveted Eddie’s Attic Open Mic in February 2016, Kara seems poised to do just that and more.