Born in the island of Malta, singer songwriter Claire Tonna is the artist known for her profound exceptional voice and her performances; loved and praised for being a celebration of human emotions.
Coming from a very musical family Tonna’s musical roots go back a long way, from childhood she played guitar and grew up singing with her father, though her first official experience in a band was as the voice of electronic duo Particle Blue, alongside musician/producer Antoine Vella. “This was the project that basically opened new doors for me as a songwriter,” she says, She dedicated herself to music but also learnt how to use music to deliver a message, she explains.
In the space of five years, Particle Blue delivered one critically acclaimed album and was on the verge of bigger things abroad, but personal developments on her part led her to quit the band and focus her energy elsewhere.
“Elsewhere” turned out to be a long way from music. For two years, she turned her back on singing and playing because she felt she had “nothing to say to the world”. Instead, she focused on her inner self, “which became the best place for me in the world and there I found what made me happy”.
It was this voyage of self-discovery doing humanitarian work in Calcutta (India) and other countries (and the relentless insistence of friends all round the globe) that led her to start singing again, this time as a solo artist.
The solo live experience freed her condition or expectation and allowed her to open her heart to everyone with no inhibitions, secrets or limitations. As a result, her solo live gigs became renowned for their intimacy and the special ambiance that Tonna’s performances projected ‘live and direct’ to the audience around her. “As a result, there have been times when I’ve shed tears during my performances and times when I’ve felt an overwhelming sense of happiness, and I’m sure these emotions have been felt by those listening too.”
Since 2008 Tonna lived in Spain and its islands collaborating with various artists,producers and celebrated musicians creating amazing spaces through music and her powerful voice. She also combined her passion for humanitarian work with music and began to organize solidarity concerts in prisons, mental hospitals, orphanages and other marginalized spaces in Calcutta(India) and all round Spain.
“Sharing what I love and channeling it through music has made me a very happy and whole person,” she says.“I rely on the positive vibes of life around me and project them through my voice, my music. I see my gigs as a celebration of human emotions leading to joy.”
This, she says, is what life is about: transforming the nothing and the everything into something beautiful for everyone.
“Music can be means to deliver healing, love and joy and that’s what I want to do with all that I am as long as this voice of mine lets me sing. The voice is a gift and I feel it belongs to everyone and so should be shared.”
After decades of performing singing and playing Tonna’s voice and music has developed its own class and nature and everywhere she goes she keeps leaving her listeners in awe.
Short in stature but big in personality;she shares this infectious smile that is permanently fixed on her face boosted by a sparkle in her eyes that lights up the entire room; and the fire that lies behind it all is simple, she says: “It’s all about sharing my gift to make people feel themselves and awake their beauty in Life” .
Tonna just released her debut studio album “THE PORT” , an innovative acoustic album holding works from writer maria mar, and produced by the legendary Mario Sammut ( aka Cygna). “THE PORT” was launched in New Zealand in the beginning of 2013.
(Edited from article by music reviewer Michael Bugeja, the Times of Malta)