An Interview with Claire Mortifee

By: Victoria Moorwood//

unnamed-9L.A.-based synth R&B artist Claire Mortifee graced the world with her debut LP Medicines last week, spreading messages of social consciousness and self-empowerment. In this interview, I spoke with Claire about her thoughts and perpetuation of self-love, positivity, body image, her creative process, the mind-blowing “Ouroboros” video, and her LGBTQ fans. The 24-year-old vocalist, Reiki Master, and life coach cites Amy Whinehouse and Erykah Badu as the inspiration behind her neo-soul and synth R&B sound. Here, she opens up about personal struggles she’s encountered, her advice for those in similar predicaments, and her shimmering views of mindfulness and love.

Your LP just dropped. Congratulations! Where did your inspiration for the project come from, and are there any overlying themes or messages throughout it?

Thank you! Honestly, a huge part of my inspiration shows up on the other side of emotional growing pains. I call these my breakdown/breakthroughs and they are beautifully fruitful in so many ways! The messages that come through usually center around re-empowering the self by re-connecting with Source/Spirit.

What was performing at Lightning in a Bottle like?

It was super fun! Erica Dee (IG: @missericadee) brought myself and 3 other kickass women up to bless the space with our powerful femme Light. Please do check out Aima The Dreamer (@aimathedreamer), Dakini Star (@dakinistar) + Kalibri (@spiritofkalibri)!

What was behind your inspiration for the “Ouroboros” video? It’s trippy! 

In the Ouroboros music video, my buddy Jason Bempong (also the editor and animator; IG @brotha_jason) is wearing the mask of Buddhist Deity Mahākāla, who is a demon slayer. This spirit had showed himself to me in the most visceral visitation of my life. I was literally waiting for this spirit to kill me when what dawned on me was that all that is wrathful is, in its core, driven by a passionate Love, whether it be for its mission, its master, or itself. When I had this thought, the creature became meek and turned into light. It was a super trippy experience. One that I am intensely grateful for. And yes… I was sober!

The Ouroboros video is a ceremony, a prayer in gratitude to the Spirit of Mahākāla, and also to the Spirit of the Ouroboros. They similarly remind me that each time we live through excruciating emotional hardship, we come out the other side with a deeper relationship to Source.

unnamed-11You preach a sense of positivity and mindfulness in your music, what do you want listeners to take away from your new LP?

I want my listeners to remember that they are both divine and divinely guided, and that it’s okay not to be okay. Contrast is a crucial step in returning more deeply to the Self, the I Am, the Spirit.

What message do you hope to send to your LGBTQ listeners? You embody principles of self-love and togetherness. What would you like to say to your fans who may be struggling?

I LOVE YOU, LGBTQ BABES!!! You are SO needed in this time here on earth and that is why you were created exactly as you are, in all your pain and pleasure. Thank you for existing! Thank you for offering this world your unique medicine. Your queerness is a beautiful expression of genuine Light, and any difficulty you or anyone around you experiences is an opportunity to go deeper into the Self. Connect with Spirit, listen to affirmations, write affirmations, meditate on Source, ask for guidance, remember that you are the light, and that you’re perfect exactly as God made you.

You also preach body love and confidence on your social media profiles. Can you expand on this?

Existing in a colonial, hyper-masculine, capitalist society that runs off of diminishing the self-worth of everyone involved is…intense. I have tried to take my own life before, I’ve tried to starve myself, and I know I’m not alone in these struggles! I also know that I benefit greatly from taking in content reminding me of my intrinsic and unshakable value, so that’s what I like to share.

What was your first experience creating music?

My first experience creating music was in my bedroom at age 14. I tuned a guitar some random way, and wrote a song about the dichotomy of my experience, one day feeling chill and the next “dining in the Devil’s atrium.” It was cathartic as ever.

unnamed-10.jpgTell us your experience behind making the video for your current single “Shanghigh.”

I had the opportunity to perform at Shanghai Fashion Week a few years ago, and my friend Colby Rex O’Neill (IG: @lotuseatersfilms) got hired to film and photograph the event. Late one night we decided to film a music video (why not? we’re in Shanghai)! That’s where the song got its name actually. One of the designers from the show, Hip and Bone (@hipandbone) dressed me, then Colby and I went bombing around the city, checking out public art installations, dancing about. It was beautifully fun. I added a bridge to the song after the fact, then we shot the rest of the video in Chinatown in Vancouver with help from my dear friend, Monica YL (@pseudomedia). Shout out to Potatohead People (@potatoheadpeople) on the music production side! Not to mention my tatttoo artist Liz (@inkbybettyb) who gave me a beautiful apophyllite tattoo in the video to aid in my spiritual ascension, which is what the song is all about – getting higher, raising our vibrations, and remembering who We Are.
What’s coming up next after your LP? Any touring?

Yesss! I’ll be touring the West Coast in September. More info to come on that soon!

Final message to fans?

Thank you for witnessing the journey of Claire with me. Thank you for your support and compassion! And thank you for bringing your unique and much needed magic to this space and time! Source was intentional with you. MUCH LOVE BABES!!!

Check out Claire’s music video for “Shanghigh” HERE: 

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