Where Are They Now: Catching up with Claudio Maselli aka Clide

12 November, 2021

For our new interview series ‘Where Are They Now’, we catch up with graduates from BIMM University Berlin to talk about how their careers and lives have changed since graduation, how they got their foot in the door and what they are up to now. We talked to Berlin-based singer-songwriter Claudio Maselli, aka Clide, for our first interview in the series.

While growing up in a musical family and learning to play various instruments, Claudio Maselli eventually started producing and writing his own music which led him to study Songwriting at BIMM University Berlin. He met his manager while studying and after participating in songwriting camps he started to release his own music. His debut EP ‘in my mind’ caught the attention of Sony/ATV Germany with which he then signed a publishing deal.

He recently wrote the Tokio Hotel hit single ‘White Lies’ together with VIZE and has just released his second EP ‘feelings’.

What inspired you to become a songwriter?

I am from a family of classical musicians and have learned to play instruments (piano, cello, trumpet) very early on and have gotten a musical education, but I never aspired to be a musician myself until I started to produce and write my own songs. And then (thanks to the support of my parents) I started to study Songwriting at BIMM.

What has changed in your career since graduating?

A lot! During my time at BIMM it has always been my goal to have established myself in the music industry until graduation and to stand on my own two feet. During my last two years at uni, I actively tried to network and to develop connections outside of BIMM. This way I have met my manager, did a couple of songwriting camps and worked on my own songs. In 2020 I started to release my music which worked out pretty well and which got me the attention of many people in the music industry – and eventually the publishing deal with Sony.

How did your studies at BIMM University Berlin help with your career as a songwriter and artist?

It definitely broadened my musical horizons and it brought me knowledge about the industry. It was great to be surrounded by so many talented fellow students and to be inspired. Additionally, I had the time to work on myself and to become better at what I do. I think the most important thing that everyone who studies should know, is that you have to be proactive and that you have to use your time outside of uni to work on your skills and actively network in the industry. You have to take every opportunity – whether it is meeting a guest tutor at a Masterclass or at a networking event. It requires a little bit of luck to be in the right place at the right time, but you can acquire this luck for yourself.

After your graduation you stayed in Berlin – what do you like about the city and why is it the perfect place to make music?

I am from Berlin and have always lived here so that’s why it made sense for me to stay here. Berlin is also, especially when it comes to pop or dance music, the best place for songwriters and producers in Germany and Europe with it’s huge music scene. Also, it is an extremely cool, open minded and multicultural city, which I like. But I am also thinking about moving to LA. I was there for the first time a couple of months ago to get to know the city and do a few sessions and I really like it.

You wrote Tokio Hotel’s last hit – what was it like to write for such a huge band?

That was really cool. Originally, I had written the song with VIZE, with who I previously wrote ‘Never Let Me Down’. When I found out that ‘White Lies’ will be released and Tokio Hotel are going to perform it, that was incredible! Back then I was a bit too young to really experience the success of the band but of course I knew who they were and knew that they were legends. I was able to get to know them in the studio and I have to say, they are very cool guys!

For which artist/band was it the most fun to write for and why?

My collaborations with VIZE were great because it really helped me as a songwriter and immediately two very successful songs came out of this. It is also always inspiring to work with people who are more experienced and better than yourself. Through this I am learning the most.

With which artists or bands would you like to work with in the future?

There are a lot of people who I would like to work with. I would love to be in the studio with G-Easy. Or with Benny Blanco.

You also make your own music under the name ‘Clide’ – what inspires you as an artist?

My main focus is on my artist project. Inspiring to me are situations, emotions, questions, fears, and different occasions in my life which I make into songs. I like to experiment with my productions and like to take elements from different genres and to be innovative. At the end of the day, I want to make beautiful music that has meaning to me and hopefully to a lot of other people.

Is your songwriting process for your own project different to the one for other artists?

Totally. When I write for others, which is mostly dance music, the focus is on making something commercial and catchy with a hit potential. I also construct the storyline by adapting to the artist with who I am working with. It is definitely not easy to write a good pop song that stands out, but it is not as personal as writing my own songs. For those it’s important to me that they are authentic and special and don’t sound like a song that could be by anyone. I am very self-critical but trust my feeling which tells me if what I made was good or not so much.

You already released your first EP ‘in my mind’ – on what projects are you working on currently?

‘in my mind’ was my first EP which mainly consisted of my favourite songs that I wrote in the past three years. Every song means something to me and through the release of the project I wanted to make a statement and define my sound as an artist. Last week I released my second EP ‘feelings’ which I mainly wrote last year during the lockdown. After releasing these two projects my focus is now on releasing singles, writing more songs, and preparing a live set. At the beginning of November, I am flying to London and a few weeks later to LA for a few live gigs and writing sessions, so let’s see what will result from this.

We are excited to see what Claudio is up to in the future! Listen to Clide on Spotify here.

If you are interested in studying Songwriting at BIMM University Berlin, you can find out more information about the course here.

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