With a dash of red lipstick, Klara Zubonja is an individual full of life and energetic passion; further reflected through her vivacious and spontaneous music. At just eighteen years of age, the progressive singer/songwriter is well on her way to success and is currently recording her first album.
Born in Unanderra, Zubonja has been immersed in music from an early age through the traditional Croatian music of her cultural background. She began playing the violin at seven, laying the foundations for her musical development. Learning at the Conservatorium of Music in Wollongong allowed Zubonja the opportunity to travel across Europe with the Bluescope Youth Orchestra. It was life experiences such as these that shaped her “burning inner desire” to write and sing her own music. In 2010, Zubonja, along with the help of teacher and mentor John Spence, began to create her own music and take lessons to refine her vocals and gain confidence.
Aligning herself with artists such as Kate Nash, Sarah Blasko and Kate Miller-Heidke, Zubonja’s lyrics are derived from real life experiences – with each song usually containing several concepts. Her provoking song structures and expressive range characterise Zubonjas style, which dapples in a wide variety of genres to create an alternative sound.
During the recording of her two singles ‘Birds In My Living Room’ and ‘Individual’, Zubonja gained a significant insight into the experimental recording process. Like the song title, her recording was almost entirely individual as she faced difficulties of the lack of available musicians in the Illawarra – “I was still in the stage of finding what I did and didn’t like as a sound for myself, so that’s why I really took charge and didn’t call on people as much.”
Zubonja acknowledges her music as “different and in-your-face”, and struggled to find a venue within the Wollongong music scene that paralleled with her intimate style. This influenced her move to Melbourne to study a Bachelor of Music at the National Melbourne Institute of Tafe and network with like-minded musicians.
“There’s a larger variety of venues that are more suitable to my genre and the people here are more accepting of any musical style.”
Zubonja will return to Wollongong in July to continue working on her album, in which she has written sixteen tracks in the space of two months. Experimenting with varying instrumentation, the album will feature acoustic and electronic elements through different methods of sound production. Zubonja plans to release her album at the end of 2012 and perform gigs in both Sydney and Melbourne.
Check out Klara’s facebook page for music, updates and events.