Key Details
Closed
on Feb 1, 2011
Artist:
Alex Clare
Song:
Relax My Beloved
Release forms required:

Key Details

Closed
on Feb 1, 2011
Artist:
Alex Clare
Song:
Relax My Beloved
Release forms required:

The Brief

Alex Clare is a London based singer songwriter but you can forget about any comparisons to James Morrison or Paulo Nutini, Alex is firmly 2010. Since the beginning of this year Alex has been recording with Diplo & Switch (also known as Major Lazer who have worked with MIA/Santo Gold etc.) all over the world from New Orleans to Jamaica and LA to London. Now you have the chance to make his next music video for his new track, Relax My Beloved.

Not only will the winner receive £3,000 and have their video serviced to media globally, but they’ll also be invited to pitch for another video for another Island Records artist. Island’s roster boasts artists including Florence and the Machine, Mumford & Sons, PJ Harvey, Robyn, DJ Shadow and Damian Marley so that could represent a money can’t buy opportunity for budding promo directors.



Alex Clare

Clare is a just the sort of musician you’re glad is still being made in the country’s basements, backrooms and bedrooms. Born and bred in South East London and raised on his dad’s bebop records, as a child Alex toyed with the trumpet before taking up the drums to help him get rid of all his nervous energy.
 
“There was nothing much to do other than skate, smoke weed and play in bands,” he says. His sister loved Alanis Morisette and his brother loved Oasis, but Alex thought they were both awful. He was into jungle and UK Garage and had begun listening to voodoo blues of Dr John and the street corner harmonies of Snooks Eaglin. Alex wanted more from music. “Jazz and blues and soul were a comfort to me,” he says.


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Artist Bio

Clare is a just the sort of musician you’re glad is still being made in the country’s basements, backrooms and bedrooms. Born and bred in South East London and raised on his dad’s bebop records, as a child Alex toyed with the trumpet before taking up the drums to help him get rid of all his nervous energy.
 
“There was nothing much to do other than skate, smoke weed and play in bands,” he says. His sister loved Alanis Morisette and his brother loved Oasis, but Alex thought they were both awful. He was into jungle and UK Garage and had begun listening to voodoo blues of Dr John and the street corner harmonies of Snooks Eaglin. Alex wanted more from music. “Jazz and blues and soul were a comfort to me,” he says.
 
So he played in bands at school and those bands began to get little gigs in the “blur of music” that was happening in London around the early Noughties. Alex loved it but needed some security, so he trained to be a chef while still playing and teaching himself piano and guitar.
 
“I started to play open mic nights as I hated my job,” he laughs. “Or rather, I preferred to play guitar. I would play every gig I was offered, but I never had the patience to learn someone else’s music. Maybe I’ve got ADD, but I get bored trying to learn other people’s songs. I tend to just take the chords, make a mess of them then write a new song!”
 
A small songwriting deal started a bout of travel, with Alex living on a boat moored in Harlow in Essex, which he then sailed down the Thames to Stamford Hill. Soon after he moved to Brighton.
 
“I procrastinated there,” he admits. “But I managed to write some more songs despite all the friendly people…”
 
These new songs were more personal and pointed than any he’d written before, “I love one guy on a guitar telling stories,” he says. “I started putting whatever had happened to me – the women and the mistakes – into the songs. It’s supposed to be cathartic – but it’s not really. It just reminds you of it all.”
 
These new demos found their way to Island Records and two weeks later a deal was on the table. Alex then received the opportunity to work with 2 of his most esteemed producers – Diplo and Switch, of Major Lazer fame. He was whisked off to New Orleans and Jamaica and LA to write more and record his songs properly. What he came back with is an album that’s in touch with his beloved soul and jazz as well as opening itself up to funk and jungle and punk rock and dubstep.
 
So Relax My Beloved (“that one’s about realising that someone needs words of comfort. Only you can’t be passive with them because, you always end up exploding…”) grows from a minimalistic shudder into a great, growling monster of a tune. Whispering (“that’s got a Lewis Carroll vibe…”) is a reverb-heavy acoustic lament with a huge melancholic drive behind it.
 
Won’t Let You Down (“It feels negative – but it isn’t. It’s about meeting a girl and having this amazing bond. You want to chill out and not make bad things happen. But then they do happen…”) is a gorgeous, piano-led gem that could have slipped off the first Tom Waits album.
 
You may have heard the explosive west-coast punk-rock thrasher Up All Night (“It’s about going on a bender!”) which pitches late-70s Police-style songwriting skills up against very 21st century grimy drums and thick waves of bass, while Too Close (“It’s about a friend I had of the opposite sex. It’s no longer a friendship…”) has a speaker-wrecking, wump-wump, dubstep bassline and hair-raising rave-anthem chords. It feels like a monstrous hit in the making…
 
“Oh definitely,” says Alex. “I love the feel of the bass…”
 
Alex has not played live for a year while he’s been perfecting this album – he admits to a fairly obsessive nature – but now he’s building a band, with a drummer, a bass-player, a guitarist and a keyboard player, “traditional looking”, he says. If not traditional sounding.
 
“I love playing live too,” he adds. “Touring and playing every night would be the dream for me.”
 
Alex says that, ultimately, music is about space and time.
 
“All you need in a song is the bass, the kick and the snare. The rest is just commentary….”|
 
“There are so many sounds you can put on a song,” he says. But you just end up filling up space and music needs space. Listen to John Coltrane! It’s all about quality, not quantity.”
 
Alex laughs, thinking back when he was training to be a chef. An old master baker turned to him one day and said, “You can bake a beautiful cake, but the more you put on it the uglier it’ll get….”
 
“It’s odd the things you remember, isn’t it?”

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Clement Deneux
France
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Description
Alex Clare said :
" This song is about realising that someone needs words of comfort. Only you can’t be passive with them because, you always end up exploding…”

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