MP3 Claire Hazzard EP - POP: Folky Pop
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6 MP3 Songs
POP: Folky Pop, SPIRITUAL: Contemporary Gospel
Claire grew up in Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia, with her Dad, Mum and brother Tim. Right after high school she enrolled in a Bachelor of Education course at Christian Heritage College and moved to Brisbane to begin study. In second year uni her parents gave her a guitar for her birthday and she began to write songs. During Claire's final year of uni, a friend organised for Claire to showcase her songs to Dave and Nikki Gray of indie record label Christian World Media. They immediately liked Claire's songs and style and signed her up. With producer and friend Phil Slade, Claire set about recording her first album "The Goodness and Severity". Though young in it's sound and feel, the album found a niche in the Australian Christian Music Market. Christian radio picked up a few of the songs and Claire began singing at festivals and churches. It was a modest launch for the twenty year old artist, but one that would lay a solid foundation for the road ahead.
The years between "The Goodness Severity" (2007) and album number two "Claire Hazzard" (2000) saw Claire begin teaching, marry and together with her husband Pete, sell up, buy a caravan and travel through parts of Australia. In 1999 they landed in Melbourne and had soon connected with Paul Colman. Because of the recent formation of the Trio, Paul was less able to perform solo during this time so he began passing gig opportunities on to Claire. As well as these growing opportunities for live performance Claire began work with producer David Carr on here self-titled EP. David's production skills teamed with Claire's growing songwriting ability produced two radio hits. But it was "The Field"with it's poignant lyrics and musical simplicity for which Claire became best known in live performance.
At the end of 2001 Claire toured as support artist with PC3, thus increasing the recognition Claire received as an artist in Christian Music in Australia. In early 2002 Claire's third album "Whatever It Takes" was released. Radio once again snapped up several tracks, including "Whatever It Takes", "Where You Belong" and "Aeroplane". This album had a very polished sound and attracted a wider listener base, and as Claire's opportunities to perform expanded, audience support grew. In particular the Australian Gospel Music Festival became a key platform for Claire, as for many Christian artists in Australia. Live performances recorded during 2001 and 2002 became the stuff of album number four "Live and Transparent" (2002). This album, with it's fudgy but fun singing and chatting format stood in stark contrast to "Whatever It Takes" and afforded listeners a very 'down to earth' taste of Claire Hazzard.
Mid 2003 Claire and husband Pete welcomed their first son into the world. Claire abandoned the life of travel and performance to discover the art of being a full time Mum. Soon the family of three were packing their bags to leave Melbourne and spend 2004 at Cornerstone Christian Community in Dubbo. Claire speaks of this as the most exciting, challenging, transforming year of her life. This is where Claire first began to seriously rethink the traditional Christianity of the west in light of the life of the Kingdom of which Jesus spoke. A year flew by and before they knew it they were moving now to Central Queensland as Pete pursued work opportunities. In 2005 their second son was born and their third son two years after that. By now the family of five were well settled into life in CQ.
Claire had become involved in a small house church during this time and as relationships in the group deepened, the call on Claire's life to sing began to resurface. With the prayer, encouragement and the support of her house church, a well timed visit and timely words from long term friends Jared and Bec Haschek (Compliment of Gus), support from her parents and the blessing of Pete, the decision was made to re-enter the world of music. The years between had been refreshing, even healing, and now the call of God was clearer than ever to Claire.
Claire is now affiliated with Humber Records and is currently working on her fifth album, "The Spectacular Thing" with producers David Carr and Phil Butson. She will return this year to the stage with here first performance at Easterfest 2008 (formerly AGMF). "Everything is different this time around. I think back then the line between following God and running ahead of Him was very blurred for me and I ended up running ahead most of the time. This time with my three little fellas to bring up, I can't even imagine being able to do anything more than what God asks. I know if I follow him obediently, my husband and children will always come before public ministry - I really believe that's God's way - and I want it that way too. I don't want to run ahead. I don't want to fall behind. His provision has been amazing this time around. My feet are on the ground a whole lot more. Age and life and having children does that. Singing will have it's right place and that's enough for me."
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