Clara Benin: An Acoustic Evening at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

We have learned a lot of things about Clara Benin during the launch of her independently released album, “Human Eyes.” She is a shy girl and very soft spoken yet loves to do something magical every time she picks up her guitar.

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Clara Benin is the daughter of former Side A bass player Joey Benin. The 21-year-old is also the voice behind the commercial jingles of McDonald’s breakfast menu including her rendition of “Pure Imagination” and “Hooray for Today.”

A friend recommended her music to me and the first time I heard her on You Tube, I am hooked. I remembered her playing for You Tube sensation AJ Rafael in Teatrino as she showed a taste of Clara B’s music to be.

I think I have listened to her songs from this album many times and I am really surprised the first time I heard it all. It’s something new, natural and catches a great deal of OPM. I had a little problem though with some words spoken from the songs but her acoustic setting allows her vocals to be more expressive. Her music is melodically awesome, I love all the instruments incorporated in every song.Clara Benin - Human Eyes (5)

When I found out that she’ll be live staging an album launch, the last leg of her coffee shop music tour, I had to think twice because the venue was a faraway place from the place from where I live. Luckily, I made it to the launch held at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Net Lima branch in BGC on March 7, 2015. I must say that it’s all worth it as I get to know her music commitment from an interview.The venue was packed. “Ngayong gabi ay para kay Clara, siya ang bida,” enthusiastically says Quest as he opens for Clara in the launch with performances by Ransom Collective.

The songs she performed live had more rhythmic feel; it’s mainly the zest of live music. The quality of songs testifies how good a songwriter Clara Benin is, beyond the challenge to balance her studies and song creation.

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Clara Benin: Human Eyes

“Few years ago, I’m just in my bedroom playing my guitar as I imagine myself in coffee shops playing. And for the past few weeks, I’ve been touring coffee shops. It has been an awesome experience to meet many people and introduce my new album to them,” assures Clara with her overwhelming surreal experiences after producing the said album.

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“My songs talked a lot about past experiences and my observations of people and other stories involving people. “Dust” is the most personal song I’ve written for this album as it talks about who I am, how I got here and wherever this path would take me to,” reveal Clara about this new baby.

She also had an independently produced EP with 5 songs she released two years ago. “Producing this album allows me to be who I am in making my craft; I think that’s the biggest encouragement and support I can ever get.”

“The album is composed of songs written and melodies hummed in the secret places I’ve chanced upon, in the loftiness of the city, and in the darkest hours of the morning. When I finally narrowed down my track list of 10 songs, I noticed that they had one common theme: everything in the natural – what we see, touch and feel is all temporary. The truth is that we are merely human, frail and flawed, from dust we came and to dust we return. We feel ourselves with feelings ‘till it hurts and it heals and hurts again. But eventually, these things all fade away. It is up to us to decide whether to live freely or in bondage with these things.”

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“Be My Thrill” is probably the best song that first captured my heart as it has always been a crowd favorite. It catches the heartstrings enclosed in the song. Video by SessionsOnQ.

“Blameless” is eargasmic, jazzy and a surprisingly enjoyable release. “Closure” nailed a sense of isolation and loneliness but tranquil. “Easy” is a soundly likeable track. Other songs are “Human Eyes,” “Find Me,” “Cigarettes and Lighters,” “Naked,” and “Kingdom Come.” “Human Eyes” is a sheer treat of harmony and creativity.

Blameless, video by TheCBTLPH.

Clara Benin’s Inspiration

We know how supportive father Joey Benin is of his little girl, he nurtured Clara in the world of music. During the launch, he even jammed with Clara for a song and played his bass. It’s an awesome father-daughter moment to see in the middle of a cheering crowd.

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We asked about the best lines of her Dad that perk her up during spiritless moments. “My Dad knows where he is. In every situation, you should know who you are, where you are and why you are there. Like even before, he always remind me that even if you’re an opening act for an artist; ikaw lang pati acoustic guitar and nobody knows your name; pero if you’re faithful with that, worked hard for what you want, you will really get it – just some of things that I learned from my Dad,” uncovers Clara Benin.

Clara Benin: Achievements

Clara Benin has also written a song entitled “Araw’t Gabi,” the official theme song of the indie film “Red.” It’s an action film about how mere gossip affects the lives of the local drug dealers, junkies, and vagabonds in Bacolod. The film stars Jericho Rosales and written by Jay Abello and Dwight Gaston.

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Her love for song writing grows even more after her participation in the annual Elements Music Camp Batch 2013 in Dumaguete City. She gets to listen to more Filipino songs and meet a lot of great OPM artists because of Elements.

After the camp, she collaborated with McCoy Fundales to interpret Chi Bocobo and Isaac Garcia’s “Kung Akin ang Langit,” an entry to the 2014 Philippine Popular Music Festival.

After the launch,Clara Benin opened for American violinist, dancer, performance artist, and composer Lindsey Stirling.

Buy Clara Benin’s “Human Eyes album (Digital & Physical copies) online at http://clarabenin.happy.ph/#/shop. #CBxCB

Photo set from the launch can be viewed HERE.

The happenings at Clara Benin Album Launch, a MINT Exclusive. Video by MINT College.

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