It was 10 a.m. in LA and 1 p.m. in Massachusetts when I had the pleasure of connecting with Claire Chicha — better known as spill tab — on Zoom a few Mondays ago. She entered the meeting from her comfy-chic bedroom (think: tan walls, rainbow Christmas lights, floral red tapestry) wearing a white tank top and clear framed glasses.
By conducting a simple internet search, it’s pretty easy to find out who spill tab is (a bad bleep) and where she’s lived (NYC, Thailand, France, LA). She’s a Cancer, aggressively lactose intolerant, and she makes dreamy music in both English and French.
But who is she really?
I asked spill tab to share five songs that have shaped her as a person. Here’s what she said.
- Reverse This Curse by Escape the Fate
“I covered this Escape the Fate song on YouTube when I was like 11 on my shitty laptop camera. It was horrendous,” Chicha laughed.
But don’t rush to your search engine to try to find it.
“It’s long been taken down from YouTube — thank God,” she said with relief.
- Bridge Burn by Little Comets
Chicha was revisiting her iTunes library the other day — which she hadn’t looked through since she was 15 — when she stumbled upon the discography of one of her favorite bands, Little Comets.
“Just listening to the lyrics and melody I was like, ‘Oh, I am hugely influenced by this band,” she recalled.
Little Comets is an indie band from the UK. In their Spotify bio, it says that the band “exist[s] simply because they love making music.” This same innate passion is easily identifiable in spill tab.
- Warm on a Cold Night by HONNE
This electronic music duo is also tied back to Chicha’s youth.
“All around they were just one of my favorite artists when I was growing up,” she said.
Chicha’s life has always been immersed in music. Her father played the saxophone and flute and her mother was a pianist. She's had a knack for learning new instruments — harp and violin before settling on guitar — and after watching her parents work in the post-production world, a music career seemed achievable.
She did have some doubts about pursuing music due to the instability of the industry, but she is grateful for having studied music business in college.
“I feel like a lot of the reason why I felt equipped to go into music as an artist was because I understood the business world more,” Chicha explained. “I was like, ‘Oh, if this feeds into this, then this is how you market your thing, and this is how you upload your music to Spotify.’ Everything became more accessible and more possible.”
- 715 - CRΣΣKS by Bon Iver
“It’s always so experimental but never unlistenable,” she said of Bon Iver’s music. “It’s always so beautifully produced and weird but refreshing. Everything is just so emotional you’re just like, ‘Oh my god, I feel that.’ That’s so sick.”
If you’re looking for a soul-stirring song from spill tab herself, I’d recommend one of her latest singles, PISTOLWHIP.
- MALAMENTE - Cap.1: Augurio by ROSALÍA
As important as it is to reflect on her roots, Chicha is still discovering new music.
“I love, love ROSALÍA,” she said, thumbing through some tunes on her phone. “That song MALAMENTE was the first song that I ever heard from her.”
Last year, she was trying to land a gig as a tour manager. Now, since live shows have ceased, she has been able to dedicate more time to working on her own music.
“As much as it sucked being indoors and as much as my mental health was so unstable for this time, I do also recognize that it has been a sort of — well actually life changing — time for me and my friends,” Chicha said.
You can check out more of spill tab’s music, including her newest single "Anybody Else," here on Spotify.