With incontestably gorgeous features and a certain air of elegance that is quintessential to the Barretto allure we are all familiar with, 17-year-old Claudia Barretto stands out with ease. Choosing a path away from the spotlight, Claudia’s own effortless and endearing appeal has allowed her to snag various endorsement stints and grace glossy magazine covers, all while winning the hearts of more than half a million followers on Instagram. While biological circumstances may have allowed her to become an au naturel beaut like the roster of Barretto muses that came before her, Claudia proves that she is more than just a bright-eyed charmer.
The recent launch of Claudia’s musical career is a fitting indication that she wants to sing to her own rhythm and make her mark in an industry so monumentally distinct from the acting profession that many of her familial ties have previously undertaken and excelled in. Her debut single entitled Stay also serves as an ode to the uniqueness that Claudia instinctively radiates. The song introduces fresh tones with a youthful theme which remind the audience of a musical genre that is yet to be revered in the local music scene. When asked about how Stay defines her as an up-and-coming artist, Claudia explains, “I think Stay as my debut song is perfect because I’d like to believe that it’s different from what people usually hear from Filipino singers. And I really wanted to introduce electropop to the music scene here in the Philippines, only because I want more types of genres to be acceptable and hopefully reach out to more people around the country.”
While she’s got the looks and the talent necessary to thrive in the industry, Claudia’s unwavering tenacity to go after what she wants is what will take her far. Behind her newly launched singing career and her dedication towards her academic responsibilities is her steadfast approach to maintaining her priorities—evidence that firm dedication goes a long way in achieving your goals.
After wrapping up an afternoon’s worth of shooting in a romantic bed-and-breakfast with a picturesque view to boot, we caught up with Claudia as she shared more about her passion for singing, her close-knit relationship with her sisters, and what sets her apart from her show business family.
You recently released your debut single Stay. As a kid, have you always wanted to be a singer or did you just decide on it later on in your life?
No, I’ve always wanted to be a singer. The only problem was I was always really shy and I wasn’t comfortable performing in front of people. Nobody knew I could sing—not even my siblings, not even my mom. It was only later on that I realized I really enjoy it, and in order to do that, I just had to get over being shy.
Coming from a family of renowned personalities, did you ever feel like you need to set yourself apart and find your own niche?
Well, not really. Naturally, I guess I’m just kinda different from them. We’re all the same in terms of having strong personalities. But in terms of career, we’re different in that way. Also, I’m a bit more private than them. But that’s going to change now that I want to start a career.
Going back to your new single, how did the whole process of conceptualizing and producing it come about?
Well, it started off with Universal Records, which is the record label I signed with. I signed with them for a reason, because they really made sure that I knew I had the freedom I wanted as an artist, like being able to pick the songs that I can relate to. So, from there, they helped me look for songwriters. Moira dela Torre, who’s under my management Cornerstone, wrote Stay for me.
“Nobody knew I could sing—not even my siblings, not even my mom.”
Who are the musical artists that you resonate with in terms of music style and genres?
Internationally, well, everyone knows I’m the biggest fan of Kehlani. I really like her sound, I like how it’s very relaxed, like it doesn’t have to hit those really high notes or whatever, but it still sounds very soothing to the ear. Popwise, I’m also a big fan of Ariana Grande. I like her sound as well. Locally, I look up to KZ Tandingan. I really love her, her voice, and everything.
If not singing, what do you see yourself doing?
Just finishing school, I guess. I’m very serious about my studies. The singing thing just came along and I’m just trying to work that with my studies but both studying and my career are my main priorities.
Would you ever be willing to try out acting?
Right now, I really don’t see myself doing it. I don’t even know if I can act yet. I don’t know, I haven’t really tried. I’m a really shy person. But we’ll see. I mean, I never say never.
Will you be pursuing a full-time career in singing or do you have plans to go to college and pursue further studies?
Yeah, for sure. I’m gonna make sure that it works hand in hand because school is so important to me. I think I chose singing for the most part because it’s the career I feel I can balance school with. If I was an actress, I’d be working every single day and I wouldn’t have time for school. This is why singing was the best option. And also because I’m naturally inclined to pick singing over acting because it’s something I love to do.
How have your family and friends been as a support system throughout the process?
Very supportive! They’ve been telling everyone they know to listen to it. They post my album covers everywhere.
What’s your relationship like with your sisters?
I have a very good relationship with my sisters. We love and respect each other so much and we look up to each other in different ways. Like even if I’m the younger sister, there are things that Julia loves about me and there are things that I love about her too. We’re very supportive and we’re never competitive or anything like that. We’re just very close.
How do you think your siblings would describe you as a sister?
They’ll say I’m like an ate. (Laughs) I’m a bit more serious than both of them—Dani and Julia. I’m a little bit more, like I said, private. I’m more laidback and simple. I also have a super strong personality and make sure that I always say what I feel.
What’s your favorite way of bonding with your siblings?
Well I guess since everyone’s so busy all the time, the best for me is just staying at home, watching a movie, and just hanging out. Another one is traveling because when we travel it’s really the whole family. It’s the only time we’re really together.
What’s one thing that your sister or your mom always tells you?
Just to be confident. Because they know I’m so afraid and I’m too conscious about many things about myself. So being confident is something that I have to work on and that’s something they always remind me to do.
What’s one thing about yourself that most people don’t really know of?
I’m a very empathic person. Whatever other people feel, I also feel, and probably 10 times more.
What advice can you give to young girls like you when it comes to balancing their studies and their passions?
Well, it’s doable, first and foremost. It’s doable, it’s not impossible. It just takes extra dedication and hard work.
Moving on to fashion, how would you describe your style?
I’m very classic. I’m not very trendy. I think I have to work on that because I want to have a persona when it comes to my singing career. But, as of now, I’m just very classic. I’m very relaxed and modest.
Who are you biggest fashion inspirations?
“I’m a very empathic person. Whatever other people feel, I also feel, and probably 10 times more.”
Who or what influences your decisions when it comes to dressing up?
My mom. I dress like a mom, that’s why. (Laughs) Everyone says so!
What’s your go-to outfit on a normal day?
A simple dress.
Which item in your closet would you wear over and over again?
My athleisure pieces. They’re the comfiest clothes ever.
Is there a fashion trend that you’re currently into?
I’m really into jumpsuits and rompers.
You recently went to prom in an Andrea Tetangco piece. What’s the inspiration behind the dress as well as your entire glam look?
Well, we wanted to go for something just elegant. Something that will still look beautiful years from now. I felt really confident in that dress. My makeup was—according to my makeup artist—very Korean-inspired, so it’s very skin-light.
What’s at the top of your fashion wishlist at the moment?
You also post about working out on your Instagram. What’s your secret to to staying healthy and fit?
I genuinely enjoy eating very healthy and working out, because it makes me feel more active, and it helps with anxiety and stress from school. It makes me feel better and gives me more energy.
What songs are currently in your workout playlist?
Well, I like to listen to hip-hop, rap. It’s embarrassing to talk about! (Laughs) I like things that make me feel intense.
As a teenager, what’s your skin care routine like?
It’s very simple. I just use the facial wash and the creams that my dermatologist gives me.
Which beauty product are you currently obsessed with?
I don’t know what it’s called, but it’s a Dior lipstick. It doesn’t exactly have color, but then it makes your lips more pink so it just brings out the natural color of your lips.
What are the top three beauty products in your makeup kit (if you had one)?
That (Dior lipstick), concealer, and blush.
What’s your makeup/beauty routine like before going to school?
I don’t wear makeup to school. I don’t work hard to look good in school, I’m sorry. (Laughs)