Sunn St. Claire Talks YouTube, Success, and Soap Operas!
SUNN St. Claire is a brilliant young YouTube singer and pianist on her way to the top. She recently made a trip to Sweety High headquarters and told us a little bit about her life and what she's up to next!
It all started when SUNN saw a woman covering song on YouTube.
"It was years ago," SUNN said. "I was like- that is so cool, how does she do that? How does she know what chords to play?"
Some time passed before SUNN realized that covers were popular on YouTube.
"I eventually decided I needed to make my own," SUNN said. "I told my dad I was going to do it and he just said 'Good luck with that!'"
"I decided I'd make it really good," she said, "that I'd make it really fancy on the piano. It was 2010, and I thought that no one else had down that!"
Her first piano cover was uploaded January 2011. It was a cover of Grenade by Bruno Mars, a song she was obsessed with at the time. She played the piano by ear.
"It was a big leap," SUNN said. "I didn't know if anyone was going to like it. I didn't have any fans."
She said her manager at the time was not very Internet savvy.
"When I told him I was going to do the cover on YouTube, he went 'What's YouTube?'" joked SUNN.
SUNN did her first covers in her room with a laptop camera. She propped the laptop up on the top of her keyboard, hoping it wouldn't shift or fall as she played.
"The lighting was terrible," SUNN said. "The room looks yellow, and I wore a lot of black back then. Everyone was saying 'Wow, you look like Kristen Stewart!' At the time, Twilight was really popular."
SUNN got great reviews on her first cover. A friend of SUNN's in college shared it with her friends, and from there the views grew.
"Before that I had only done little talking videos," she said. " It was so shy. It's kinda weird now."
Back then, SUNN had only 5 subscribers. She had a small fan base on Facebook which she gained with the help of her first manager, who was associated with the Jackson family.
"I don't sound anything like Michael Jackson," SUNN laughed. "It was more of a social way to get my stuff out there. It was up to them if they liked it or not."
When it came to naming her first video, SUNN took a page out of YouTube sensation Christina Grimmie's book.
"I followed her titles," SUNN admitted. "I thought to myself, 'Well she has a lot of views!' So I named it 'Me Singing Grenade – Bruno Mars"
SUNN's next cover was "Firework" by Katy Perry. Soon, her dad bought her a real camera to record her videos with.
"For one, you gotta practice," she said. "You can't just throw something together and put it online and expect a huge following. You work hard, practice, and be as positive about it as you can be."
SUNN said that success is all about trying to be yourself, knowing what you're good at, and putting your best foot forward. And it's not as easy as it looks.
"I can do forty takes before I get a good one," she said. "People always say 'You do it so effortlessly, in one take.' You have no idea."
Though it can be frustrating, SUNN St. Claire gets through it by staying positive.
"You have to get in the mindset that an hour from now, it's going to be done. I'm going to edit it, and it's going to go online."
SUNN embraces her own talents and generally gets a lot of praise for the awesome work she does. Like most YouTube stars, she does get the occasional mean comment.
"With my cover of 'Get Lucky' by Daft Punk, a lot of people didn't like it," she said. "I was crushed! But I realized a lot of people won't like it, and you can't please everybody. Some people will love it."
SUNN sees negative comments on other people's YouTube videos often. Though she's not sure if the comments are inspired by meanness, jealousy, or boredom, she thinks that aspiring singers shouldn't pay them any mind.
"I know I worked really hard, and I feel like I did a good job in my heart," Sunn said. "That's all that matters, because if you ask 'Who is actually judging me?' it's really your friends and your family who support you. That's what's important."
In fact, her music is so well-liked that it's been featured in numerous episodes of her favorite TV show, the soap opera "The Young and the Restless."
"The first few songs were in the background," SUNN said. "When it was on, I said 'Everyone listen very, very carefully…"
The last song she had on the show, "I'll Never Be the Same" was featured more prominently. "She walked in the house, put her keys down, turned on the radio and my song was playing!"
Being super familiar with the show's storyline, SUNN even changed the lyrics so they would fit the storyline!
Sunn uploads a song every weekend, so fans know exactly what to expect. Tune in to her YouTube channel Sunday mornings!
"I say I upload every Sunday, but I really upload my videos Saturday night," Sunn said. "I can't wait. I get too excited."
SUNN thinks globally. If she uploads the cover at 9:00pm on the west coast, it's already midnight on the east coast, and early morning in Europe, where SUNN has quite a few fans.
On Sunday, SUNN will upload an original song that will appear on her upcoming album which will be out in August! The song is called "Be Mine."
Can't wait to see more from SUNN St. Claire? Stay connected by following her on: