Clive Senior on Being ‘Reckless’

The singer-songwriter ruminates on freedom and its consequences on her newly-released single.

Nicole Rosenthal

Poised and controlled yet exuberant and daring, Clive Davis senior Claire Hawkins illustrates the message of her single “Reckless” through a modern dance performed by Megan paradowski in her new music video. Though it isn’t Hawkins contorting her body in calculated yet wild positions, she’s subtly telling us that being reckless doesn’t necessarily mean being careless — it is daring to take a chance. 

“I was playing with the idea of what it means to be reckless,” Hawkins said about the inspiration for her new track. “As someone who overthinks nearly everything, I don’t really fit the classic definition of the word. For me, being reckless is doing things you love without letting the possible consequences stop you. The hook ‘I don’t want to know’ is about ignoring those consequences and moving ahead anyway.”

However, despite the bold approach she yields today, the folk-pop songstress, pursuing a double major in Recorded Music and French, was surprisingly hesitant to start her undergraduate career in music. 

“I really thought for a long time that I wasn’t going to study music or even go to school in New York City, since I grew up here,” Hawkins said.

She admitted that she always pictured herself at a small liberal arts school studying foreign language like her parents.

“I applied to the Clive Davis Institute thinking of it as more of a dream than a reality, but when the time came to make my college decision, I realized there was no other place I wanted to be,” she said.

As for Hawkins’ musical inspiration, she deemed it endless. Inspired by retro female showstoppers such as Patsy Cline, Lori McKenna and Brandi Carlile, as well as modern-day divas, Christine and the Queens, and Janelle Monáe, it is no wonder Hawkins takes on a strong female presence with her captivating vocals.

“I think one of the things that makes a songwriter great is the ability to find inspiration anywhere,” Hawkins said. “I journal a lot, so some of my songs come from that. I also love writing right after seeing a show. Good music makes me want to make more good music.”

The New York native is no stranger to live performances of her own, having played at Mercury Lounge, Rockwood Music Hall and The Bitter End, as well as venues in Berlin and Paris while studying abroad. However, live gigging is currently on hold as the singer has immersed herself in the studio to work on her next project.

“I’ve been in the studio a lot this semester,” Hawkins said. “I don’t have any upcoming shows on the calendar at the moment because I’ve been focusing on writing and recording … It’s still very early in the process, but I’m really excited to be back in the producer mindset.”

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Nov. 5 print edition. Email Nicole Rosenthal at [email protected]

Correction, Nov. 11: A previous version of this article implied that Claire Hawkins was the dancer in the music video for “Reckless.”

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