The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Claire Rosinkranz talks history of hit ‘Backyard Boy,’ future album

Jacob Slabosz
Claire Rosinkranz during an interview on Sunday.

The Daily Illini sat down with 19-year-old musician Claire Rosinkranz Sunday evening to discuss her career and her fame from a young age. Rosinkranz was at Lollapalooza to appear as a surprise guest during Louis The Child’s 8:45 p.m. set at the Perry’s stage. 

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.


DI: How are you feeling about your upcoming surprise performance?

Rosinkranz: Good, honestly, I’m like, a little bit tired right now, but I know that once we’re there, I’m gonna be ready to go do it. And also, I’ve never performed the song, so we’ll see how it goes. I’m gonna wing it. My body’s gonna do the work. 

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DI: What song is it? 

Rosinkranz: It’s called “Walls.”


DI: You had an after show last night, right? 

Rosinkranz:  Yes, I did. I opened for Maisie Peters at House of Blues. So fun. And that was just a smaller version of my set, but it was super sweet.


DI: You have a bit of a unique story. You got a record deal really young. 

Rosinkranz: Yeah, I’m like, still a baby. But then I was like a literal infant. But yeah, I was sixteen, I think. I just dropped “Backyard Boy” along with a couple other songs in an EP and I don’t even know what happened. Like, it literally just skyrocketed out of nowhere. And I was just like, I don’t really know what to think of anything. And then I started getting surrounded by a lot of industry people and had a lot of meetings. But yeah, then I signed a deal at 16. But I had my dad through all that too, so that was really helpful.


DI: How was your dad helping? 

Rosinkranz: He knows the industry a little bit better than me. And like, with business stuff, my brain is just not there. So he’s a little bit more aware of what to look for and what not to whatever but um, yeah, and he’s my dad, so he’s comforting.


DI: How did “Backyard Boy” come to be?

Rosinkranz: It’s not even about a specific person. I was sitting on the floor of my room and I was playing guitar. I kind of just wanted to write a song with super basic drums. And then I kind of let it just take over because it just felt kind of summery and played it by ear — that’s how I do everything, honestly. Outside of music, too. 


DI: You got a fairly large amount of fame pretty young. What was that like?

Rosinkranz: It was during COVID. It’s definitely weird and my life is not the same as it was before “Backyard Boy.” But I don’t feel like ‘Oh my god, I’m so famous’ or anything, because I’m really not. At least, I don’t feel like it. But somehow, I’m here at Lolla where I get to perform which is crazy. But it was COVID, so everything was online. I didn’t really know if any of it was real until I played my first show, and saw that all these people who listened to my music actually exist.


DI: What was that first show like? When was it?

Rosinkranz: I think it was two years ago, like right out of the pandemic. And I think it was Chicago. I don’t remember a lot of details. I just remember talking to my mom before I went onstage and I’m like, ‘Mom! I’m doing what I wanna do!’ 


DI: How did you get into music?

Rosinkranz: My family has always just been playing music around me. My dad was a composer and producer for his own projects. And so I kind of watched him do that and didn’t think much of it. And he also was classically trained, so he plays violin in the house. My mom played piano, and I think eventually I was just like, ‘Yo, I like this and I like writing songs.’ And so I asked my dad if we could start making stuff for me. And he was like, ‘oh, yeah,’ so I just made my EP and dropped it.


DI: Can you tell me what your recent release “Screw Time” is about? 

Rosinkranz: It was just about a lot of experiences I had when I was 18, literally last year. I had a really amazing group of friends and we just did a lot of crazy and stupid stuff. And it’s just kind of reflecting on all of those memories. I kind of still live through that song a little bit, because that was such a specific time in my life that I’m not living in anymore. I wouldn’t want to go back necessarily, but that kind of reminds me of my prime teenage years. 


DI: What do you have coming up? Do you have any music coming out?

Rosinkranz: I’m dropping an album Oct. 6, called “Just Because.” I’m dropping another single off of it next Friday, Aug. 11. called “Pools and Palm Trees.” But other than that,  the album, there’s so much that goes into that. There will be more touring, more shows and festivals, all that jazz.


DI: Could you talk more about the album?

Rosinkranz: It was honestly so all over the place. There isn’t really just one concept. I never know how to answer that because my year was so chaotic. I just wrote about everything that happened. I feel like it kind of gives the vibe of a young coming of age indie girl film kind of thing. But honestly, I don’t even know exactly what it’s about except for all my funny experiences and just figuring out life at 18 — that’s such a funny year. So, yeah, it’s all documented in this album.


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About the Contributors
Kiran Bond
Hi! My name is Kiran Bond and I'm a junior majoring in journalism and minoring in informatics. I started writing for The Daily Illini in the features section back in early 2022, before coming to buzz. I'm very passionate about music and journalism, so buzz editor is an awesome position for me! In my free time, I'm usually doing something musical! I'm in the Women's Glee Club choir and I play piano and guitar. I'm also probably listening to Fall Out Boy or another pop-punk or post-hardcore band. For any inquiries, feel free to reach out to me at !
Jacob Slabosz
Jacob Slabosz, Editor-in-Chief
Hey, I’m Jacob! I am currently a sophomore in computer engineering with a minor in German. I started at The Daily Illini in Fall 2022 as a news reporter and staff photographer, and by Spring 2023, I had worked my way to photo editor. Between March 2023 and March 2024, I was the Managing Editor for Visuals, and I have since taken over as Editor-in-Chief. When I’m not taking pictures for The DI or for fun, I enjoy cooking, water sports and tending to my numerous houseplants. I’m excited to use my background in coding to further automate out workspace processes and to see the content that our team produces!
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