It's almost summer, open your windows: feel that breeze.
Music festival season is upon us and we met up with Toronto reppin' Clairmont The Second in anticipation of his biggest festival performance to date: WayHome Music & Arts 2017. We visited a video game store with the young rapper and tapped into his world, and what's to come.
Scroll through our Q&A below:
Clairmont! I heard you were just coined Rap R&B Artist of the year at The Indies. What was that process like?
Clairmont: Yeah, what was really cool about that was how my fan base came through for me – it’s a voting system, right… So, the fact that my fans voted and I came out on top of some pretty big artists… That was definitely awesome and I’m happy about that.
There’s def a caveat of your success that’s often pivoted on you being a young dude, but you’ve gained notoriety for the wisdom in your lyrics. What’s that like for you making the moves that you are now?
Clairmont: The really big stuff is happening. I’m not always writing the deepest lyrics. Sometimes I just wanna talk a lot of smack over some 808’s… But the fact that people can look past that and see how versatile I can be is a blessing.
Will WayHome be one of the biggest festivals you’ve played to date?
Clairmont: Yeah, it’s crazy because it’s one of the first major festivals I’ll be apart of. There’s gonna be a lot of people there. You know, I’m not nervous. Nah nah nah. I probably will be five minutes before I get up on stage but once I’m up there, I’m good.
Yeah man, WayHome drew in around 35K people last year!
Clairmont: It’s light weight. It’s chill. I’ve always wanted to hear my music on speakers that big. When I went to Osheaga and Riot Fest, I used to think, “Yo… what if my music and my bass was bumping through these speakers one day?”. Now, I’ve worked hard and it’s happening.
We're stoked. Your brother Cola also manages you. What’s it like working closely with someone in your family, who’s also an inspiration in your life?
Clairmont: I’ve always been a work-with-the-family guy. It’s regular and normal and if you look at it that way, my entire life has been working with my family. I also work very closely with my team on shooting features and videos. I wouldn't want anyone else to manage me.
Yeah, speaking of which… I feel like the visual elements of your artistry really big part of who Clairmont the Second is.
Clairmont: I love movies, I love TV shows, I love the way they’re shot, and that’s one thing I always paid attention too a lot and got interested in. I started editing videos myself, directing, learning what certain shutter speeds do, how a different shutter role or angle can affect the way a video feels and how colours come into play. It’s not just the music, it’s everything.
It shows dude! '44 Me' just dropped and landed you on Apple Music’s Best of the Week playlist. What are you working on now?
Clairmont: I’m excited cause I’m working on this new video and a new track that’s gonna come out before WayHome. I have the best feeling I’ve ever had and I’ve been keeping it really low, spending a lot of time with it. Hopefully it goes stupid at WayHome. I haven’t told my fans yet, but the song is pretty much finished. It’s perfect for the summer, for whenever you wanna have fun.
Often you’ve been compared to this neo-soul jazz sound infused with hip hop. If you look at the hip hop world now, as genres continue to blend – what’s it like as an artist to push your sound through
Clairmont: I’ve always made what I wanted to make. I would say, I stayed true to what I grew up on. Gospel. Soul. Rap, here and there. Sometimes I wanna keep a beat symple and add a trap beat, but I think I have an odd voice when I rap. So, I try to figure out how to stand out.
Dope. What would be a dream collab for you?
Clairmont: Kendrick Lamar – he’s my favorite artist of all time. Pharrell. Chad Hugo. The Neptunes. Cousin Stizz. KYLE.
Well, we're super we're stoked to see you out at WayHome. It was sweet chatting with you. We'll catch you out there!
Photography: Kurt Cuffy (@kurtcuffy)