BRI CHANGES FOCUS
SINGER songwriter Bri Clark has been bunkered down in a Melbourne studio to record her first EP.
The Rivervale 23-year-old came to the attention of music lovers in 2015 when her first single “Never Far Enough,” which she’d uploaded to Triple J’s Unearthed website, was played by the popular radio station.”
“They played it on my birthday, I’d just turned 22 and my friend texted me, ‘You’re on the radio’.”
She thought her big break had arrived. However, her next single failed to launch.
“Lots of money was put into that one, a huge push in marketing and backing, I figured that was the way to get noticed.”
“It was a huge kick in the face,” she said. “It made me realise I’m better off focusing on being a better singer-songwriter on my own.”
When asked if her talent for music was genetic she laughed.
“I don’t know where it comes from – my parents were both accountants.”
But she admitted honing those talents was a lot of hard work.
“For about eight months I didn’t leave the piano, from 9 to 5, trying to make something every day even if it was just an idea or a riff, lyrics,” she said. Bri Clark’s career threatened to come to an abrupt end when she was diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune disease.
“It was really hard to describe, you lose your ability to move, I had lumps on my wrists and a really bad fever,” she said. “I was in Royal Melbourne Hospital for a week.” A rheumatologist diagnosed her with Lupus. “I just lay there like, OK, thanks,” she said. Clark could not perform live for most of 2016. She has to keep her stress levels low and maintain a strict diet to avoid triggering what’s known as Lupus “flares,” debilitating symptoms of increased disease activity.
“I wouldn’t get out of my pyjamas for weeks at a time.”
Clark said it was a good creative process but one she often hated. Inspired by singer-songwriters such as Imogen Heap, Missy Higgins and Ben Abraham, Clark has described her sound as having a wide, atmospheric quality.
That cinematic quality is evident on her second single “Shiver”, which was nominated for the 2016 West Australian Music (WAM) Song of the Year.
On tour she has appeared as a support act for Airling and Clare Bowditch as well as Grammy Award-winning artist Shawn Colvin.
Bri Clark will be playing on the WAM Wheatbelt Tour from February 17-19.
Bri Clark: “For about eight months I didn’t leave the piano.”