Last Thursday evening in Schine Underground, artists Claud and Del Water Gap performed set lists that ushered in groovy, mellowing vibes for the Spring Launch Party of WERW, Syracuse University’s independent radio station. Opening for the event, Del Water Gap moved the crowd with fiery guitar solos and charismatic vocals, both of which commanded attention throughout the performance. However, Chicago native Claud shut the party down reminding everyone watching why they were the event’s main attraction. With acoustic guitar strums, light percussions, and delicate chimes infused in their music, Claud offered a unique indie sound which listeners found captivating.

Video by Gillian Farrugia 

When speaking with Claud after the performance, they had much to say about the sources from which they draw when creating their music, along with what sparked their passion for the industry.

“Once I turned 16, my brother got me a fake ID and I started going to concerts,” says Claud in reference to their musical beginnings. Star-struck by the atmosphere and energy of the live shows they attended, Claud decided to start writing music of their own about situations applicable to their own life.

When asked where Claud finds their musical influence, they were certain in sharing that they found expression through “past relationships and a lot of the time, other people’s relationships. I’m like ‘ooo, you’re heartbroken? That’s good! I’m gonna write that down.’” Nevertheless, Claud’s musicality on projects like EP Toast inherently evokes emotion and finds solace in accepting all of love’s consequences, both good and bad.

Before they referred to themselves as Claud, however, the artist formerly went by the name Toast, causing an alleged lawsuit controversy with the company Wonder Bread. When asked about the situation, Claud began to chuckle. “Actually, that was a joke. Yeah, they never tried to sue me. It was actually my manager Max who wrote that, and I was like ‘yes, let’s roll with this!’ We didn’t think anyone would take it seriously, but people have definitely been taking it seriously.”

From this playful joke, Claud has gained a significant amount of attention, particularly on the Syracuse University campus, where the young artist once attended before dropping out in pursuit of their professional music career.

Proclaiming themselves as a “disco cowboy,” Claud is currently touring throughout the Northeast, having made pit stops in Philadelphia, New York, and more. Over the course of the tour, Claud was able to fulfill a longtime dream of theirs by opening for Northern Irish singer-songwriter SOAK.

“Being the biggest fan of hers and seeing her play for the first time was just all so surreal,” shares the up-and-coming artist with impressive success at such a young age. With over one million Spotify streams on recent hit “Scarlett,” Claud recounts “refreshing that page for so long,” believing that “someone had to have typed that in.”

As Claud will continue to break career milestones along the road, fans are eager to see where the artist will be in years to come. The “disco cowboy” will continue to release songs about rocky relationships and emotional downfalls, all of which we are enthusiastic to witness.