'New Zealand's Got Talent' winner Clara van Wel. Photo supplied.
New Zealand's Got Talent winner Clara van Wel
released her debut single, Where Do You Find Love,
yesterday. Scott Kara caught up with the 15-year-old
Q Congratulations Clara. Are you ready
for what lies ahead?
A Show business is tough. I think it's
all about how you approach it. As long as I can stay the same
person I was when I first auditioned, and I've got my
wonderful parents who are keeping me grounded and it's a good
experience. It's an interesting experience, and it's a
Q What are you going to do with the
A We haven't had a chance to sit down
and finalise anything but I definitely know I want to give
something back to New Zealand in the way of charity or
something because it has given so much to me.
Q What was the experience of being on
New Zealand's Got Talent like?
A It was the most amazing thing I've
ever done and I'll hold it with me for the rest of my life.
All the crew, the judges, and Tamati, and the people I met
along the way were so fantastic and I had much more fun than
I ever imagined I would.
It's quite an intense process, because everyone's running
about and you have to perform to the people in the audience,
but you also have to get it into your head that you are
performing to a million people [TV viewers] who aren't even
there. And it can be intimidating, but I think the important
thing about performing is to use what the audience give you,
and that buzz you get from them listening to you, to enhance
Q So where does your talent come from?
A My family are musical, and my sister
Daisy does a lot of singing and dancing and stuff like that.
But it's just something I've always loved to do and it's been
very encouraged throughout my whole life.
Q Other than your family, who else
A Musically, always Bic Runga. And I
admire [Sir] Peter Jackson's work. What he's done in terms of
giving New Zealand something to get behind is really
brilliant. I've written a song about The Hobbit. I
like writing stuff about that. It's called There and Back
Again, and it uses poetry from the books and stuff like
that. It's on YouTube actually.
Q You do the singer-songwriter-style
songs very well - but can you play rock 'n' roll too?
A I think the song I did during the
semifinal, Between the Lines, got quite rocky and it
was fun playing with a band. But I don't attempt to write in
any particular genre, it's just whatever comes out and
whatever I can say with conviction.
Q What makes a good song in your mind?
A I think a lot of what's been lost in
the new sort of techno move through music is the lyricism and
the story of songs. Some of it can be quite repetitive, but
there is some music that makes you stop and listen to what
the story is about and you realise it's actually something
really special. And I think that's what's important, the
person who's singing has to really connect with the lyrics
and sing the song with conviction.
Q What makes NZGT stand out from
other talent shows?
A I think it's been really brilliant
the way New Zealand got behind this show because it supports
a variety of different acts and it gives the opportunity for
all these different types of people to launch themselves,
which is fantastic.
Q Did you think you were going to win?
A I actually never even let my head go
there. When I auditioned I never really thought about the
enormity of it, and I didn't really think about what it might
mean until that moment when I was on stage waiting to hear
what name it was going to be.
Clara van Wel's debut single, Where Do You Find Love,
is available now digitally and on CD from December 12.