AZRA is an Asian-American "Substance Pop" recording artist, singer, songwriter, performer, hip-hop dancer, model, and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles, California. She is a multi-faceted force of nature. Her music is created on her own terms: always authentically, and always in her own unconventional way. Influenced by musical artists that range from Freddie Mercury to Madonna; to Whitney Houston and P!nk, AZRA’s music is mission-driven and inspirational, with infectious melodies and uplifting hooks. With her corporate management consulting, book authorship, and motivational speaking, this natural-born entertainer released her first EP titled Freedom in 2017 under her own label CLÚ Records. The EP features lush melodies along with uplifting, dance-worthy hooks, such as those on the singles “Shine” and “Gravity”. Since then, AZRA has opened for the Plain White T’s on their High School Nation tour, performed at major Pride festivals all around the country and has regularly performed live at college festivals, radio stations, storied LA venues (Viper Room, Mint, Peppermint Club), high schools and non-profit organizations. “Dimension”, her 2018 single co-written and produced by Grammy-winning artist Jamie Jones and his production partner Matt Wong, hit #1 on the Digital Radio Airplay Charts for two consecutive weeks, while the music video received over 200,000+ views on YouTube. In 2020, AZRA has been selected as a GRAMMY NEXT Artist by the Recording Academy as one of the future leaders in Music.
Her powerful stage presence, infectious energy along with her intimate to exciting song and dance performances captivate the crowd wherever she performs leaving them excited, connected and wanting more. AZRA, a lover of unconventional wisdom, has a life long goal to inspire people to be their authentic selves and live out their dreams like a boss, unapologetically and boldly. This message is constant through all of her songwriting, backed by pipes! A natural creator, AZRA constantly writes and looks forward to introducing her newest and hottest music especially during shows. AZRA creates and performs live frequently so she can continue to build and connect with her fans on this journey she calls: in the 6th Dimension.
She's garnered praise from LA Weekly, VoyageLA, BillboardSounds, VoyageLA, TWIST Magazine, All Things Go, PopWrapped, PopDust, Singers Room, All Access, The WiMN, Celeb Secrets, GirlHQ, Rawfemme, Women's Republic, and FOX News to name a few.
POP ROCK DANCE "SUBSTANCE POP"
Singer/songwriter/dancer/entrepreneur AZRA is a multi-faceted creative force of nature. She creates her music on her own terms: always authentically, and always in her own unconventional way.
AZRA puts her unique spin on everything she does, and the music she creates is designed to inspire and empower others to believe in themselves and to live their lives unapologetically. "I want to help people to forget about how things are supposed to be and make their own path in life, because being authentic is the best rebellion,” AZRA explains. “Music is my passion and inspiration is my mission.”
AZRA calls her music “Substance Pop,” which refers to her edgy blend of pop, dance and soul, with a touch of grunge rock and grit. “’Substance Pop’ is music with melodies that you can dance and sing along to, but the lyrics still have substance and depth,” she explains. “It’s music that takes you into another state of mind, what I call the Sixth Dimension.” Influenced by musical artists that range from Freddie Mercury to Madonna; to P!nk and Lady Gaga, AZRA’s music is mission-driven and inspirational, with infectious melodies and uplifting hooks.
Born Clara Lee in South Korea, AZRA discovered her passion for the performing arts at the age of four. Her family moved from South Korea to California when she was nine years old, and that’s when AZRA first began to learn English through obsessively listening to music. She began expressing her passion for performing through involvement in musical theater, and by joining bands, church choirs, and hip hop dance teams.
AZRA continued to perform throughout these early years, including dancing for a prominent hip hop dance company at Boston University and singing as part of an NYC girl group. However, while in college, AZRA’s performing career reached a fork in the road when she was just 19 years old. AZRA was diagnosed with juvenile glaucoma, which made her partially blind for several months and nearly took her sight permanently in her right eye. Instead of letting this break her, this traumatic experience inspired her to write an inspirational self-help book about relationships called The Cupcake Theory. During her free time from consulting for global corporations on business under her old employer, she spoke at author-meet- and-greet events for teens, young adults and women on encouraging self-confidence and healthy relationships. Also while in college, AZRA also started her own brand consulting and coaching business called CLÚ INC, which later led to a corporate management position for one of the Big 4 consulting companies.
In addition to her work in the corporate world, AZRA began modeling not long after graduation. She was discovered by a fashion photographer in Boston and entered a modeling competition, at which she was named the International Fashion Super Model winner. AZRA was also chosen as the winner of America’s Next Top Model for the CW28 New England Division. She went on to sign with agencies in Boston, New York City, and Los Angeles, where she walked the runways for designers for fashion week shows and appeared in print ads and commercials.
However, she realized music would always be a part of her DNA, so she reinvented herself once again to pursue her professional music career full time. AZRA launched her own record label under the CLÚ umbrella, CLÚ Records.
All of these personal experiences, bad and good, have made AZRA the person and artist she is today, and she draws from her past to create music that motivates and empowers her listeners.
In 2017, AZRA released her first EP, Freedom on her CLÚ Records, which featured AZRA’s lush melodies along with uplifting, dance-worthy hooks. She released two successful singles from Freedom, called "Shine" and "Gravity."
Since the release of the Freedom EP, AZRA has certainly kept herself busy. She opened for the Plain White T’s on their High School Nation tour, performed at major Pride festivals all around the country, was featured in many music press outlets, and has regularly performed live at college festivals, radio stations, storied LA venues (Viper Room, Mint, Peppermint Club), high schools and nonprofit organizations. Her last single “Dimension” co-written and produced by Grammy-winning artist Jamie Jones hit #1 on the Digital Radio Airplay Charts for two consecutive weeks, and the “Dimension” music video got over 200K views on YouTube.
Most recently, AZRA released a brand new single and video, “Skyline.” The “Skyline” video explores the themes of romance and beauty through fashion, art and music. The song “Skyline” is about the complexity of love, and how its imperfections make love beautiful and worth the fight. "Skyline" shines a light on the complexity and harmony of love relationships with lyrics like, “Just like a skyline / up close its hard to see / but we line up perfectly” and "We’re such a beautiful mess / Complicating happiness / a work of art / a work in progress." "When writing this song, I wanted to share my discovery that with love all things are not as perfect as they seem, which is what makes it so beautiful.” she explains. “That’s what makes love worth the fight.”
“My previous releases were more lyric-centric, while my new music still has a lot of meaning in the lyrics, but definitely has more dance vibes. The direction I’m headed is more hip-hop dance music that I can still belt and sing to. Also, I love adding gritty rock accents in my songs, so I’m always working on new sounds that bring that out.”
AZRA performs live frequently so she can continue to bring her fans with her into what she calls “The Sixth Dimension.” “My live show is like a high-energy dance party for inspired, excited people,” she says. “There are empowering undertones throughout the entire show. I like to perform with a full band, backup dancers, DJ/tracks and incorporate all types of props, lighting, and special effects during my show. Ultimately I’m the messenger between my music and my fans so I make sure my performance is the best that I can give each night.”
AZRA has received press accolades in Billboard Sound, LA Weekly, VoyageLA, TWIST Magazine, All Things Go, Pop-Wrapped, PopDust, All Access, The WiMN, Celeb Secrets, Singers Room, GirlHQ, Rawfemme, Women's Republic and FOX News, to name a few. She was also placed on Tune Core’s New Music Friday playlist with her single “Dimension.”
AZRA’s “Substance Pop” is a mixture of pop, rock, and dance, and it is inspired by her past struggles with self-expression, conquering a serious illness, and, like most of us, by love. By sharing her own story, AZRA hopes to inspire others to be empowered and slay in their own lives. “Follow your passion, create your own show. The world is your stage, for anything you can imagine is possible.”