The singer/songwriter and music producer, Clifford, is a rising star with a bright future ahead of him. In December, he released the Alternative-Rock single “”I’m so bored,”” which drew a picture of many young people who, at some point in their lives, are frustrated with the routine and lonely life. What’s interesting about him is that his other tracks aren’t necessarily classed as rock; he creates pop, country, hip-hop, rap, and whatever else he feels like. We conducted a brief conversation with him, and here’s what we found out:
● You’ve got some interesting singles! When and how did you begin your career as a musician?
I began my career as a musician at the age of 2 with an electric blue and white plastic guitar which was quickly replaced by a youth fender electric guitar. By 8 years old I began playing drums which was followed by an acoustic/electric guitar at 11. I was in my first band at 12 where I sang and played drums. From that point onwards I became a sponge for music and languages. Skipping ahead several years, in 2019 I decided to devote my life to music and here I am.
● You can speak English, French, and Arabic. Where are you originally from?
I was born in Columbia, Maryland, USA to an American Mother and an English Father (London). I speak English, French, Arabic, with twangs of rural Maryland and my music, through genre blending, incorporates nuances of all four. I’ve been told we use the same part of the brain to learn languages as we do for music, so I think that’s why both feel natural to me.
● Would you ever record a single in French or Arabic?
Actually I already have incorporated both French and Arabic in a song, “Same Fears”, which I wrote a couple years ago in my early days of learning the production process and it’s available on my SoundCloud.
● How would you characterize your musical style?
Intensely honest, or at least I try. There’s usually a message in my music conveying a commonality between all people. Like in “I’m So Bored”, everyone understands what it’s like to be bored, but it’s what you do with that boredom that makes you unique.
● Your new alternative-rock single is called “I’m so bored,” Is it easy for you to get bored?
I’ve traveled distances from a young age and I was taught it’s important to be comfortable in your own company. I try to create potential with boredom through activities like working out, learning something new, gaming, but if nothing else comes to mind dancing in front of my mirror always works.
● Could you tell us a little more about your new track, “I’m so bored”?
I struggled making this song because keeping it simple, like boredom, meant less vocals. I always thought to write a good song you have to tell a story through lyrics. But with this song I realized it would be better told using mostly instrumentals instead. At one point I thought “Oh forget it, this is going into the vault.” A couple months later, here we are.
● How did you come up with the music for “I’m so bored”?
“I’m So Bored” is a homage to the drum and bass music I remember from the mid/late 2000’s. I began music as a drummer and that music taught me that you can simplify music down to three components, drum, bass and vocals. Oh and T.Rex definitely played a part in how I created the chorus. He was a master at layering choruses.
● You produce each single in a distinct genre of music; how do you find the most suitable music for the song?
I start off with a desire to make a certain type of song. In this case it was drum and bass. But, like all my songs, I incorporate other musical styles that fit as an accompaniment and then it becomes its own entity. Also as each song’s story evolves I choose the genres most suited to tell that story. In “I’m So Bored” a combination of Post Punk, Indietronica, and Alternative rock felt right so that’s what I used.
● Which of your singles is your personal favorite?
Oh that’s tough. I look at my music from a paternal perspective. Once the creative process is done and they’re released, they’re on their own and I hope for the best. So I get very close to my songs and each one has a special place in my heart. I couldn’t choose one over the other, that’s for the listeners to choose.
● You have to play one genre for the rest of your life. What would it be? And why?
I think I’d have to quit. Seriously, that would be the death of me.
● If you could go on a tour and share a stage with any musician, living or dead, who would it be?
Stromae because he always has a real, honest message, and his music is very rhythmic.
● You’re doing an incredible job as a solo artist, but do you have any plans to expand in the future?
I would love to work with other artists. Right now I’m doing what I have to do to make music during some unprecedented times. As a result I’ve learned way more than I ever anticipated. But the opportunity to work with other creatives is always on my mind.
● What are your plans for the coming years?
Once things open up again, I look forward to being able to travel and perform my music for audiences all over the world.