Claudia Valentina takes control on new single Extra Agenda: "Let's flip the script, I'm the f*ckboy"
Claudia Valentina has been waiting a long time for this.
The Guernsey-born, London-based upstart was been hustling behind the scenes for years, since she was a teenager, laying the groundwork for future pop supremacy. You may have caught her 2020 EP featuring the enigmatic 4:15, or the short-but-sweet braggadocios C'est La Vie last year, but more is coming. Now, she's finally ready for you.
Extra Agenda is Claudia's first big release of the year, and big is very much the operative word. Deliciously sound tracked by Weeknd-esque post-disco production and a raw, straight-to-the-point vocal performance reminiscent of Rated R-era Rihanna, Extra Agenda is all about taking back control. Lyrically, it flips the script entirely on what you expect relationship-wise. As Claudia says herself, "I'm gonna be the f*ckboy today."
Armed with a massive chorus and immaculate vibes to match, Extra Agenda seems poised to explode following its release last night. Featured as one of our essential New Releases this week, we jumped on Zoom with Claudia to discuss how she made a banger this big, and what's next.
Hi Claudia! Extra Agenda is a massive banger, obviously. What a way to start the year!
Totally, it feels like it's got more energy to it. I'm excited about it, so that's fun!
The situation you found yourself in is easy for anyone to guess by listening to the song - but how did it come about in the studio?
I made it in LA with Koz [Dua Lipa, Haillee Steinfeld] and Trey Campbell [Banks, Ella Henderson]. [We said] shall we flip the script? I'm going to be the f*ckboy today.
The beat was so full-energy. It gave me Weeknd vibes, I love him. I haven't really done anything like this before, as much as I love his music and the throwback vibe. I've just been experimenting for so many years, I've done like a billion sessions and a 1,000 genres or whatever - there's still so many things I haven't done yet that I needed to dive in to. And I loved it, so I've done more since in that vibe.
Lyrically, the song as you say flips the script - it's refreshing to hear this twist on a pop lyric we've heard many times from a male perspective, but not necessarily a female one.
100%. As I was writing it, it makes you feel like, listen, 2022 - love doesn't have to be as deep as we make it out to be. Everyone loves everyone, right? It's not that deep! [Extra Agenda] points to the shallow things that guys say to girls. As I was doing the video, I also realised it's about embracing love in different ways. It doesn't have to be forever.
You seem really excited for this release. As you should be!
I've been dropping loads of hints [about the track]. It's also been ages since I released something. I dropped [2021 single] C'est La Vie, but I'm still very new to the process of releasing songs. I've had so many songs, and I've literally been working all my life. Just getting something out now feels like a moment.
You've been on a dedicated promo trail for this song, Claudia. We saw you hanging out of a car on your Instagram last week.
You know, content is everything these days. I'll be on my content queen sh*t. I might do some mad promo ideas in LA. I'm all for it!
Congratulations also on [Tiesto & Ava Max single] The Motto - you co-wrote that and it's rising up the Top 20. Has the success of that made you want to write more for other artists?
Yes, that was very exciting. I wrote [The Motto] with Pete [Rycroft, also known as Lostboy] and Pablo [Bowman], I love that song. It's super awesome that it's done such cool things.
As far as other artists, I have written songs before that other artists have wanted, but I think that always makes me want them more. I'm very protective of my lyrics. It took me a really long time to craft what's unique to me, and I think part of that is the way I pronounce words. It may be a small thing to some people, but it's big to me. Whenever I write, it's with the intention [to release it] but if it doesn't fit me and I don't want it, then someone else can have it!
Because a little birdy told us Selena Gomez almost recorded [2020 single] 4:15...
That was before I even knew about labels, or anything to do with the music industry. I was still a teenager, just making tonnes of music with [producer] David Stewart and Jessica Agombar [who wrote BTS' Dynamite], writing every single day. We made a million songs. David rang me as asked me to come over one day, then sat me down in his kitchen and said Selena Gomez had sung over 4:15. Hearing [the demo] for the first time was crazy, she sang every single tiny breath to the exact same time as I did it. I was obviously freaking out.
You've only been releasing music properly for the last 2 years. You started in 2020, which must have been really fun! Not.
I remember the first time we got locked down I was like, wait everyone! This is my first-ever single release! Can we all calm down? Like Boris, babes. Please! I'd had the mood board for my first photo shoot since I was like, 10, and I ended up making [the cover for debut single Seven] in my bathroom back home in Guernsey. The single sleeve is a selfie of me that we just zoomed in, I was almost crying.
Be honest with us, Claudia, how many bangers have you got in your back pocket after Extra Agenda?
There's two massive bangers that I'm excited about. One is probably one of my favourite songs I've ever done. Yes, more to come though. More work to be done!
Extra Agenda is out now via EMI.
Images: Jack Bridgland