Music Spotlight of the Month: Clay Dub
Interview with Recording Artist, Writer, & Producer “Clay Dub”
I: Hello Clay. To start this off, tells us a little about who you are as an artist.
C: Well first and foremost I just want to thank you for reaching out to me; I am truly humbled to be put in the spotlight next to such prestigious Nubian woman such as yourselves. Now as an artist, I see myself as an entertainer period. Sure I write music, vocal produce, engineer, mix, rap, etc… However being an entertainer requires a certain personality where you are the highest energy in the room and you command the attention of the people who lay eyes on you! As an entertainer I may woo you with a riff or lift your soul with a rap but overall my entire persona should entertain you; the way I interact with you, the way I keep people involved and in the mix of what is happening whether it’s a live show or an album release. As an artist I am here to entertain!
I: And thank you for the compliment, Clay. We’re honored to have you as the music spotlight this month. So how long have you been into music? Where did you get your start?
C: Man whew (laughs), I would say that I’ve been writing music since I was 11 but I’ve been performing and entertaining not just in music but in shows, and plays, etc… since I was in preschool. My very first live performance was at 54th street elementary school. I was 5 years old and was given the duty of graduation MC. And I had one line…. “Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show, Thank You!” At that moment I knew I loved the stage and the attention it commanded. If you know me you know I don’t mind a little attention especially if it’s for something I am “entertaining” you with! See how it comes full circle! (laughs)
I: Wow, you’re sort of a Vet in this (laughs). What projects are you currently working on?
C: Ok, so I have a few things in store. Not sure if you’re still bumping this but I released “#TheCoverTape” mid June and have been doing shows with some of those songs as well as some exclusives that aren’t set to drop anytime soon! While I’m riding that wave I’m rapping up a very very dope collaboration album with a young artist out of West Philly – TJay The Poet (don’t forget the A-Y) (laughs)…. It’s crazy because we met in my LA studio but coincidentally we are both former residents of the 65 and 6600 blocks of Overbrook park. We decided to create this album a few days after meeting and pretty much recorded the entire project within a 2 month time span. (Side bar: this was thought of prior to DrakeFuture and KDotJCole deciding to do theirs – big ups to those guys for that though). This project is so special because of the organic energy it is derived from. I am really not the type of person to believe that a coincidence is just that. I have a more spiritual take on that and believe that everyone comes into your life for a reason, and for this young hot artist to show up at my studio not knowing each other from a can of paint, being from the same neighborhood, and creating great music together, saying that I want to take advantage of the situation is an understatement. We are trying to kill the game with this project and I think it will have something on it for everybody! Especially the ladies!!!
I: Who or what influences your music – what’s your motivation?
C: I love this question every time I am asked it because music is moving in a good direction (generally speaking) and there are many influential artist it now. I would say if I’m speaking historically my major influences would have to be Usher, Lauryn Hill, Tupac, 50 Cent (yes 50 Cent (laughs) if you look at his work you will see he is legendary), mostly all West Coast hiphop, Music Soulchild, 90s RNB, 70s and 80s soul, and last but not least the late great Nate DOGG. Now obviously that covers a lot of people but I like to listen to a lot of different music. Back in the day it was exciting to play someone’s new album because they sounded nothing like the next artist. Now days these rappers and singers are sounding to similar and its diluting the game. It’s fine to pay tribute to the classics and study them but this game is about originality and that’s how you stay true to it and to yourself. Creating that originality again is what motivates me to make more music. What motivates me to be successful is putting my family in a better place, financially, spiritually, and just giving them the opportunity to have no worries about anything! With that comes spreading my sound across the ears of the world and I think that’s a cool perk (laughs).
I: By the way, that’s a great group of people you named there too. Such a wide range, a little R and B, soul, and hip hop. So, Clay – you’re originally from Cali, moved to Philly, and now you’re back in Cali. You sort of had a coast-to-coast experience. Does that impact your style or music in anyway?
C: Absolutely! Moving to Philly literally changed my life and I wouldn’t do it any differently. The circumstances could have been less strenuous but overall I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t move to Philly; met people I’ve built long lasting relationships with and learned so many things about life. My music is my life and I don’t write about things I’ve never experienced or lie about having things I’ve never even seen before. That type of s*** angers me because it perpetuates a lifestyle that simply isn’t real which damages our culture as black people listening to the ignorance of our so called peers! My music is meant to uplift, or turn you up, or make you think and appreciate life because of the struggle I may paint a picture of or make reference too… All of that stuff is REAL and I would never sell out and publish music I can’t even agree with.
I: Authenticity, that’s what you have. It’s great to hear artist who speak from actual experiences. You’re staying true to you, you know? All right, we have a few fun questions for you. First one, if you could work with any artist who would it be and why?
C: (laughs) It would be two dead and alive… dead would be Nate DOGG because I just think he sort of started the dynamic of rap/singing a song because he wasn’t MJ but he also wasn’t Jay Z. His melodies put him in a lane of his own and I respect that. Alive would have to be Lauryn Hill and I mean I don’t think I really need to explain why if you just listen to her. But if I had to I would say I could compliment her style, writing and/or singing…
I: Now you know Lauryn Hill is (Eli & Lu’s) favorite. The Miseducation never gets old. Second one; what would you want your legacy to be as an artist?
C: Wow… That’s a hell of a question… Hmm…
C: I would want my legacy to be that the music that came from me or my camp was sexy at times and uplifting at times but during any of those times it was always true and relatable among my listeners AND doubters. It’s like you look at Kobe… Despite his off court persona, on the court he is a beast as he has built a remarkable resume! People hate him, they slander his name, etc… But the two things you cannot deny is that 1. If you’re playing against him, you need to come with your absolute best game possible to even just stay in the game because he is just that damn good and 2. If the game is on the line and you’re the coach you know who you feel 100 percent comfortable with giving the ball to and getting results from. It’s about respect for a persons craft whether they are Kobe Bryant or Clay Dub, you feel me? (laughs)
I: Sweet answer. You’re going to leave a great legacy. (Of course a Kobe reference! (laughs) We’ll give you that one, nice analogy). Last one, do you have any other talents? We know you do!
C: I probably could not list them all (laughs) but I would say yes one of which is “debate”… I love to debate even if I know your argument is right I will search for ways to make it wrong… (laughs)
I: Of course, Mock Trial Champion (Yes, that’s an Overbrook High reference (laughs))Cool. We appreciate your time. Where can people find your music at online, and how can they contact you?
C: I appreciate your turn as well. Thanks for having me. You can get all the newest Clay Dub music from soundcloud.com/claydubmusic
Or YouTube me: Clay Dub
I have a single on iTunes/GooglePlay/Spotify called “I Don’t Wanna” with Luckey Bono
And I will be soon dropping the collaboration project on iTunes as well. Thanks a lot. I love yall Eli Lu and I love all the supporters of Clay Dub Music, without y’all I wouldn’t be s*** (laughs) peace and love.
I: And we love you more! Thanks again!
(Watch the Clay Dub Experience – https://youtu.be/pXVPazbozNU)