As an artist, speaking your mind can be delicate matter. But it can also be a great way to draw attention to social evils such as discrimination, sexism, or racism. Many artists don’t share their opinions and decide to not criticize society in their music due to the fear of bad reactions. But if people who have an audience don’t use their voices, who else will do it? We need public persons who have the guts to stand up against injustice and inequality.

A clair statement aginst injustice

Hamburg-based musician Clara Pazzini is exactly one of those artists that dares to share her opinion with the world and doesn’t fear any consequences or bad critics. Her debut album BOXES which just arrived via HIER RECORDS is a clear statement against unfairness. She stands up for the disadvantaged, gives them a voice and wants everybody to be equal – without putting anyone into any box. The title of her debut represents exactly this: her own fight against thinking in stereotypes. She explains:

The album’s title stands for the boxes in which we are constantly put. Those boxes that are centred around normative binary perceptions. I think it is vital to claim your own path and voice and not let other people tell you who you should or shouldn’t be. The title song BOXES centres around the rage these societal discriminations evoke, the objectification and sexualization of the female body and the urge to be freed from them. People love to put you into preconceived boxes and expectations, and I am not letting them do that.”

Thinking outside boxes

Photo by Alexandra Kern

Pazzini not only spreads her message with her lyrics, but also with her music, which is hard to classify. It’s a mixture of pop, soul, avantgarde, electro, rap, spoken word and some other genres. Pure diversity. On BOXES, you can find an orchestral ballad (NOW) next to groovy spoken word piece (ANTIDOTE) and a poppy avantgarde track (VIBE). Everything is possible for the multilingual singer as she puts all genre-boxes aside. For her, the urge that people always need to think in categories derives from the fact, that we are simply taught that it’s easier that way. But by using all those preconceived boxes, people can’t be free. Pazzini experienced this firsthand when she started studying theater:

In the theatre and film industry, starting at school, the teachers tried to put me in boxes as to what specific type I am. I had to be the lover, the sexy female, the caring and responsible character, or the bourgeois and suffering little girl. I wanted to play different roles and mostly those considered to be written for men. I was shocked when I discovered that I could actually shock people by playing those different roles. At some very decisive point in my life, I said to myself: I am the creator and author of my own life and if no one is giving me the roles I want to play and nobody wants to work the way I want to work then I’ll have to do it on my own and write, curate, sing the shows I want to play. From 2017 onwards I created 7 different shows with the 8th coming up this fall. These shows always are with a different topic and dramaturgy. I write and create the roles; I direct and perform.”

The musician’s diversity isn’t only findable in her songs, but also in her life in general. In stead of only focussing on one art field, she sees herself as an artist with many different facets.

“I am an artist. Music is the main focus (this includes being a singer, a songwriter, a producer, composer) and being an entrepreneuse. I am and always will be an actress. It is one core element of my existence and my character. I am all these things and many more. Like everyone I have so many different faces and define myself through different roles.”

How to cope with the outcomes of Covid

On BOXES, Pazzini bundles many personal facets of herself in the diverse sound and lyrics. One big influence for her debut album was Covid, as she wrote some of the songs during the pandemic. Especially the two tracks NOW and ANTIDOTE cope with the outcomes of it:

NOW is a direct depiction of the world in lockdown and the questions you have as an artist at the moment: how can I have a perspective? How can I go on without certainty of venues where we can play? And then in the end to have the courage and strength to still believe in love and continue – even if it seems impossible. ANTIDOTE was a description of the capitalistic structures of our society and the fact that I was the CEO of my own venue, which I had to close down due to Covid: it was basically also a way of coping with this loss and shattered dream.”

But the main inspiration for BOXES hadn’t been Covid, but rather her personal anger and distress of the world we live in. A world that is filled with sexism, racism “and the political structures that are mostly based on discrimination and exploitation of people and resources.”

Using your own voice

By expressing her feelings and opinion towards society honestly, she wants people to fight together against the occurring social evils. For Pazzini, it is an important aspect of her own art to transport her opinion through it.

I think if you have an opinion you should try to articulate it. Not be shy to use your voice or if so: be shy and be open about it. Be vulnerable. I can’t generalize this, but I do not understand how e.g., male bands do not speak up about the unequal standards in the music industry. Maybe because we are taught, that you will lose your standing and your power, if you help and empower others – but we must stop letting the marginalized and discriminated groups lead the fight. We must fight together, because the patriarchal system in which we live affects all of us negatively.”

Pazzini is a fighter. A fighter for her own rights and for the rights of others. It’s a fight against prejudices and discrimination. And for her, there is one way to win this fight: stick together, believe in love, and spread love. She encourages the listener to be vulnerable and to believe in the strength and beauty which can lie in this vulnerability. Her debut album BOXES is the perfect device to make people reflect on society’s behaviour and make the world a better place without any prejudices and injustice.

BOXES by Clara Pazzini is out now via HIER RECORDS.


This article was made possible via the concept of ‘Smart Compensation‘ which allows to invest more time on specific editorial topics. Find out more about it in NBHAP’s Mediakit.