Clara Lofaro is no stranger to adversity. It's a funny detail coming from a woman who radiates such magnetism, exuberance, and joy - her single "Just Smile" is on heavy rotation across America on Vanity Fair paper products television commercials. A Canadian-born pop singer-songwriter with bright eyes and a big grin as irresistible as her melodies, Lofaro knew from an early age that she was destined for a life in music, but would have to fight to live her destiny. As a high school student, Clara earned the opportunity to intern at Toronto recording studio Number 9 Sound. Upon graduation, Clara put herself through Boston's Berklee School of Music on a half-scholarship, much to the dismay of her family, who did not want Clara to leave the states or pursue a professional music career.
School was a battle for Lofaro. Far from home and working full-time while maintaining a packed class schedule, Clara developed nodes on her vocal chords, an injury which took years to overcome. "What made me endure was very strong hope," Clara explains with a light in her eyes. "I saw life differently than those around me since I was a little girl. I was on a quest to find something new."
Upon finishing school, Clara came to New York to pursue her music career, working a long string of equally unfulfilling and degrading jobs while struggling to attain permanent residency in the United States. "The hardest thing about moving to the States was taking any job I could get," Clara states, and then with a pause, "My options were very limited as a non-resident." Despite this hardship, Clara managed to release all of her albums while working to gain a green card, a very challenging feat - "I spent more than $20,000 on various visas before getting approved for an EB-1 visa." Known as an Extraordinary Abilities visa, Clara's is based on all of her achievements and awards in music. "If you're an entrepreneur in the arts working to get a green card, your accomplishments are not held at equal value to those in other professions. I had to work day and night to get my EB-1."
It was Lofaro's blend of grit and tenacity that propelled her to release her latest single, "Born to Love You," in the same month that she finally received her visa. "I finally feel at home in America," Clara reflects, "but that feeling didn't come overnight. My first two years here were very lonely. If I felt like I had another choice, I wouldn't have stayed. But I don't know how to give up."
Despite her hurdles, Lofaro has made a point of channeling her money and energy towards supporting those less fortunate. "It has been incredible feeling to give back to causes that mean so much to me. I have partnered with Action Against Hunger (ACF) and donated 30% of the sales from my second album, "Perfekt World" to them." In addition, Clara orchestrated live concerts and booked other artists where significant portions of the proceeds were donated to ACF.
It's been written that Clara Lofaro's songs are "laced with soulful grooves...vulnerability and defiance" in a dynamic blend of pop, R&B, rock and jazz. Finding inspiration around her grandparents' record player, Clara developed an early ear for harmonies and began singing in her local community church.
Clara recently released her latest single, "Born to Love You." From its inception, it was clear that the song was unlike other singles from Lofaro. "It was born in a dream," Clara recalls. "In the dream, I was invited onstage to sing for a packed house, and the band started to groove. I stepped on stage and began to improvise a melody and lyrics. When I opened my eyes, I had to run to my keyboard so I wouldn't forget the dream. I laid it down and unknowingly, my new single had arrived." Lofaro explains, "'Born to Love You' was inspired by music and a romantic love I held at equal value. After the love had gone, music survived. It always will." "Born to Love You," an equal parts raw and sizzling single, is testament to the enduring power of music as a universal connector to each other and, for Lofaro, to herself.
"Born to Love You" was recorded, produced and mixed in a Bavarian castle by Christian Lohr (Sting, Joss Stone, Andrea Bocelli), a multi-platinum producer and writer and co-mixed, co-engineered and mastered by Robert Smith (Lady Gaga, U2, David Bowie, Billy Joel). The music video was filmed at The Hive, a barter support free artist space located in Brooklyn, NY.
In 2012, Lofaro placed over a dozen songs in TV/film including her single "Just Smile" on a national television commercial for Vanity Fair's "Wipe on a Smile" campaign, which was renewed to broadcast this year. Last year, Lofaro's work was also placed on "The Voice" and "Last Call with Carson Daly," amongst many others.
In 2013, American Idol Season 11 finalist Erika Van Pelt is recording 4 of Lofaro's songs for her upcoming debut album. In addition to Clara's songwriting collaboration with various artists, she also produces at the legendary Avatar Studios in Manhattan. Clara has performed alongside Stevie Nicks, Edwin McCain, Kimberly Locke, and Jeffrey Gaines, and was heard by her largest audience ever when she sang "When You Wish upon a Star" for tens of millions of people in the Disney Super Bowl commercials featuring MVP players of the NFL teams. Lofaro is the recipient of 6 Toronto Music awards.