Interview: Claire Reneé on Saying Goodbye to Unnecessary Friends & Her Lessons Learned

Claire Reneé © Angelo Kangleon
Claire Reneé © Angelo Kangleon
Claire Reneé’s shimming single “I’m Tired” relays the annoyance that arises from unfit friendships. Today, she speaks to Atwood Magazine about her sound, her new single, friendship, and more!
Stream: “I’m Tired” – Claire Reneé

Cutting people out of your life doesn’t mean you hate them, it simply means you respect yourself. Not everyone is meant to stay.

– Unknown

Radiant R&B/pop singer Claire Reneé takes her friendships seriously, and it hurts when others do not reciprocate that level of respect. Her new single “I’m Tired” (independently released February 23, 2021) expresses the disappointment that comes from putting all this time and energy into people who mistreat you. With glossy, soulful vocals gushing with powerful fervency, listeners can sense her deep anguish and frustration. Her enriching jazz-infused arrangements and laid-back melodies create a captivating dreamy quality.

I'm Tired - Claire Reneé
I’m Tired – Claire Reneé
Tired of saying it’s cool
When I’m hot
Tired of being okay
When I’m not
Don’t wanna say it’s all love
When you’ve shown me the opposite
No longer holding my tongue
And I’m calling out your bullshit
See everyone wanna be real
Til it’s time to be real
Everyone’s a savage
Claiming that they don’t feel
So if I say you on some other shit
Know that I’m foreal
And I don’t mind if you get in ya feelings
I’ll give you space to heal

New York-born and now Los Angeles-based, Reneé is known for crafting slow and sultry songs exuding a dazzling elegance. A classically trained dancer and now a dedicated vocalist, she puts so much heart into everything she does. Having that kind of passion, it makes sense she would look for that same quality in others. Friendships take work like anything else in life, and if you put in the effort you want that in return.

Atwood Magazine spoke with Claire Reneé discussing her unique sound, dealing with toxic friendships and more.


I'm Tired - Claire Reneé

Atwood Magazine: Your stunning offerings meld R&B, jazz, pop and soul. How did you develop your distinct musical style?

Claire Reneé: I think my musical style and ear is just a blend of all the genres that interested me most growing up. Any sounds or styles that influenced me along the way have influenced how I approach music and express myself authentically.

''I’m Tired'' is a jazzy soulful single that possesses a rich, relaxing quality. How did you concoct such a lush sound for this release?

Claire Reneé: From my heart. Dr. Dundiff produced such good material for me. I felt free to really work through what I was feeling, with this song. A lot of my writing is bits of my personality and story. Naturally I have a jazzy chill vibe, so that mixed with somewhat frustrating feelings is how we got the song.

The song is a narration of saying goodbye to friendships that do not add value to your life. What is the inspiration behind the track’s message?

Claire Reneé: Literally being tired was the inspiration. Life work balance was non-existent and I was overextending myself. I realized people I considered friends and have always supported, were not there to lean on, check in, or offer any support. That realization added another layer of being exhausted by one-way relationships. It affected me more than I thought.

What advice can you give to someone who feels taken for granted in a friendship?

Claire Reneé: Express your concerns and boundaries. If that doesn’t work or it doesn’t even seem worth the energy to even express to the person, distance yourself or perhaps let it go altogether.

Claire Reneé © Angelo Kangleon.
Claire Reneé © Angelo Kangleon.

What is the most important quality you look for in a friend?

Claire Reneé: I look for considerate and mindful beings. That’s two things, but they mean a lot to me.

You are a classically trained dancer that has been dancing since you were four. When did you decide to transition from being a dancer to a singer?

Claire Reneé: A couple years after I left high school I realized commercial dance auditions and dance company life was not something I could see myself doing at 35. I didn’t want to go to college for dance because it didn’t make sense to me as a dancer already out in the world getting work. I studied Music Business first which gave me the confidence to start writing songs and finding my voice.

You studied at the esteemed Berklee College of Music and The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. What are some important lessons you learned from your time there?

Claire Reneé: Learn how to advocate for yourself in the business as a woman. Learn to communicate with other musicians. Female vocalists tend to be seen as useless in terms of knowing what’s going on. We don’t just look pretty and sing. Our instrument is a part of the equation too. Also read through contracts and use lawyers!

Claire Reneé © Angelo Kangleon
Claire Reneé © Angelo Kangleon

Your upcoming album Wings speaks to the many sides of relationships including the one with ourselves. What’s a moment you can recall when you really felt like you found your wings?

Claire Reneé: Quite recently actually. Last year when I decided it was time to leave my job as a SoulCycle Instructor. It needed to happen pandemic or not. I made the leap and gained so much clarity for what I wanted for myself.

If you were stranded on a desert island with a record player and could only listen to one album, what would that be?

Claire Reneé: This is so tough!! Probably The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.

Lastly, are there any artists or musicians you are currently listening to that you can recommend to our readers?

Claire Reneé: Arlo Parks, Chloe x Halle, Lianne La Havas, Durand Bernarr, Emily King, Lucky Daye, Dua Lipa (she is so fun), Bilal and D’Angelo

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I'm Tired - Claire Reneé

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