The PINKTOBER® Concert Series continued Friday, October 16th in the Hard Rock Cafe Tampa with Tampa Bay Acoustic Music Festival alum and Hard Rock Energy Brand Ambassador, Natalie Claro. Every October, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa hosts a series of events to raise money for breast cancer awareness and research. This year, Hard Rock Cafe Tampa introduced a weekly PINKTOBER® concert series featuring four local female artists to raise proceeds and awareness for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Foundation #Pinktober campaign.
Last week's artist, 16 year old Natalie Claro, has been performing on the Hard Rock Cafe Tampa stage since her debut at the Tampa Bay Acoustic Music Festival (TBAMF) in June. While she has been writing songs since she was a child, she just recently started focusing on her music career a year ago. When she competed in the TBAMF she only had 3 original songs and now she has 17! Since her time with the Hard Rock Cafe Tampa, she has continued to perform at venues around the Tampa Bay Area, including multiple dates at the Hard Rock Cafe Tampa, and was voted Best Pop Act and Best Singer/Songwriter in Creative Loafing's annual Best of the Bay contest.
Natalie was especially excited to participate in the PINKTOBER® Concert Series and raise money for Making Strides because a close family member is a cancer survivor and the disease is hereditary in her family. Natalie connects to #Pinktober on a much deeper level stating "I've read the statistics and know that it's mothers, grandmothers and daughters being affected. Hearing about the research and statistics makes me want to be a part of the fight and that's why I'm happy to be involved."
Natalie sang her heart out for the cause during two "Pinktacular" sets filled with a mix of original and cover tunes. Natalie opened the set with audience favorite "No Diggity" by Blackstreet, wowed the crowd with an especially heartfelt rendition of "Carry On My Wayward Son" by Kansas, and shared a few originals including "Daisy", "Own the Night" and "Worth It In The End". She opened the second set with her original song "Baby Bug" followed by Michael Jackson's "Billy Jean", "Cough Syrup" by Young the Giant, "Secrets" by Mary Lambert and additional original songs including "Here I Stand", "Close Your Eyes" and "This Is My Lie".
She wrapped up the concert by autographing a hot PINK electric guitar custom made by Dean Guitars for auction, making one lucky fan very happy and raising $200 that will directly benefit breast cancer research.
After the concert, I had a few minutes to catch up with Natalie and learn a little more about what she's been up to since the Tampa Bay Acoustic Music Festival concluded in June. Natalie is "forever thankful" to the Hard Rock Cafe Tampa for holding the TBAMF because she feels this is when her music career really "got on track". She shared that she "walked into this world of music completely blinded on what to expect. I had bronchitis and still sang during the festival and walked out to a new world of music and opportunities" said Natalie.
Natalie has plans to release her debut single and music video "Stumble" in January, followed by another single in May. "Stumble" is one of the first songs Natalie wrote and while she feels her songwriting has improved substantially since then, she wanted this to be her debut single to both spread her message and allow her fans to see her improvement as she releases future songs.
While Natalie's fun loving spirit usually shows no sign of anger, "Stumble" deals with situations where "someone angers you, someone wrongs you and makes you feel worthless and is intended to have a raw feel" said Natalie. Like many teenagers, Natalie has struggled with friends who have wronged her in the past. "Sometimes people don't do things in a friendship kind of way, people can be mean and all about themselves" said Natalie.
The PINKTOBER® concert series continues this Friday with the Wild 94.1 Tampa Bay Talent Search Winner Francesca Giorgianni! Admission is free and all PINKTOBER® proceeds benefit the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Foundation. Check out the details here.