Words and photos by Anna Olinova for EDMLA
Sometimes you dance. And sometimes you dance in the conversation. I was lucky enough to do both with Rachel Wong, AKA Eau Claire at this past Splash House. We shared this wonderfully inspirational conversation immediately following her pool-side set.
EDMLA: Thanks for meeting with us! First of all, your set was awesome, so many amped people dancing!
Eau Claire: It’s such a good feeling to see that! You know, the past few years I’ve put so much time into it and it’s good to see people are into it.
How did you start making music?
Well, I had a break up with a guy and I was like “I’m gonna channel my energy into something positive.” I’ve always wanted to write music—this was before DJing. I watched the movie Pitch Perfect and had like an epiphany moment and was like “Yo, I could do it!” So I did my research online and I got Ableton. I went home after work and spent hours teaching myself.
It’s kind cool to be able to make something creative out of nothing.
I’ve always been interested in making music. In high school I did AP Music class and I did classical piano when I was growing up.
You can definitely hear that piano training in your work. Would you say piano house is your thing?
Yeah I would say so. Im all about the chords and bringing that good, full feeling into the sound. It’s just super groovy. I want my music to be fun and feel good!
What’s your inspiration?
I always wanna do something that feels good. Writing music, I will take a break, then play it back and if I decide I can dance to this myself in my living then I say, “Okay I’m gonna keep going with this.”
I have a lot of musical inspiration but I also don’t want to be like everybody else. I want to add something unique. Honestly, I couldn’t really copy anyone anyway. When I make music it just kinda sounds like how it sounds best to my ear. People tell me I have signature sound—which is good—and I’m not really trying. Thats just how it is.
You remixed Midnight Pool Party’s song, “Disease.” That song had been such a success. How did that come about?
Midnight Pool Party’s manager asked me to do the remix. I’d done a remix for one of his other artists before and that’s how the connection happened. I listened to the original song and I was really into it. The remix is a little bit different from my usual because I used some different techniques. Mostly the vocoder—the robotic sound—that’s not something I’ve ever used before and it was kind of cool to experiment.
Everyone loved it during your set! I noticed how many more people filled the dance floor though the duration of that track.
It’s crazy that people came! So thankful!
So I hear you have an interesting day job. Do you wanna talk about that?
Yeah I’m actually flying home tonight on a red-eye and going into work in the morning strait from the airport.
I’m an Oncology Dietitian. I work at a cancer center and I love it. I love working with people and taking care of them. It’s really rewarding. Everyone I work with is really ill and it’s sad but I really like helping them and that I can make an impact on someone’s life.
Also, working there gives me some really good perspective. I try not to get stressed out about stuff. There so many important things in life that you’ll miss out on if you’re if you’re stressing and uptight and get mad about little things.
That’s interesting, it seems like that’s a little bit of what you’re doing with your music too—with the feel-good music— it’s about the little things that you can do to make people have a better day! Because life’s hard!
Yeah, that was part of it when I first started doing music. It was a really good balance from my day job and I can still influence people positively in different ways.
I really enjoy it because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You got it just enjoy it, take it and appreciate everyone of you along the way. I wouldn’t be here without you sitting here and without all the Nap Girls.
Shout out to Nap Girls! So speaking of Nap Girls, what advice do you have for other women trying to make it in dance music?
Well, a lot of women that are doing it big like Anna Lunoe and like Nora En Pure. But I feel like I’m still starting.
I guess the biggest thing is if you want to do it, just do it. If you’re just going to read books and watch YouTube then nothing is going to happen. You got a just like, do it!
It sounds kind of crappy but just do it and be persistent and don’t give up. That’s actually one of my personality traits—I don’t give up.
AKA I decided to take apart my iPhone the night before I was is going on tour in Mexico. My screen was cracked so I was like OK I’m just going to do it! I’m in a take apart my phone. I was up at 3 o’clock in the morning and it and it didn’t turn on so I was like don’t just do that.
So when you’re about to go to Mexico, don’t take apart your phone, but in general just do it!
In general, just do it if you want to be creative and do something and reach your goals beside for fixing your cracked phone screen.
I think there’s a company that might’ve made some stickers or something like that…
So how was touring? How was Mexico? And I know you just played your first festival this year. How was that experience?
Firefly was just amazing! No one was there when I started playing but then people came for the music. When I started playing it was probably like a third or this… [shows video of very large, very packed festival tent]
Was it super surreal?
Yes! I was so nervous, I couldn’t eat. It was well over 1,000 people. I’ll have to think my agent for that. It was really integral in everything happening this year. A year ago I was struggling to find a local bar to play at.
This year is been super amazing and I can’t thank everyone enough for helping to make it happen. When I was at Firefly and I came back to work on Monday I was just sitting thinking “wow did that really happen?”
Do people at your day job know?
Yeah some of the doctors come to my events.
How do you work in the electronic music realm and also balance health and wellness?
It’s all about moderation. Have enough of whatever it is but don’t overdo anything. Also, I think it’s nice to be able to enjoy yourself without having to do drugs. I have played so many sets sober. Today, I got a drink but I didn’t even touch it because I was having so much fun.
Also organize yourself. I write a lots of lists. And calendars.
[She also casually mentioned that she ran 7 miles through Palm Springs that morning.]
What can we expect coming up from you?
I have an EP in the works. I’m doing vocals on it. Working on a song for Warner Bros. trying to work my way towards being able to play at more places and meet more awesome people.
This is been a really surreal experience. Anything is possible!
Thanks so much Eau Claire for chatting with EDMLA!
Catch Eau Claire for her first official LA show on Saturday, 8-29 at Wicked Paradise.
Sky Bar @ The Mondrian Hotel, West Hollywood
>> Tickets here