Artist name: Clentreace
Based in: Orlando, Florida
Genre: Hip Hop/Soul
Influences: Lauryn Hill, The Dream, Biggie, Tupac, Beyoncé, Jimi Hendrix, Missy Elliott
Must-hear song: Eyes Like Sky by Frank Ocean
Who is Clentreace in five words?
A rebellious soul with heart
What got you into writing songs?
I was about 8 years old at the time. I remember vividly listening to Aaliyah’s ‘More Than A Woman’ in a van, with other kids in a group home I was in, and they proceeded to sing the wrong lyrics. That was the day I knew I wanted to write and started writing when we got back to the group home. I asked someone for a notebook they weren’t using and started to revise ‘More Than A Woman’.
Where do you gather songwriting inspiration?
From everyday activities, quite honestly. I listen to people’s stories and feel so deeply that it sparks something in my brain that activates this songwriter within me. I’ve been through quite a lot myself from being in foster care to being abused and bullied. Life is the inspiration for my music. Life.
What is your usual songwriting process?
I generally like to smoke two joints before I get started and then I roll more after I’ve started writing or recording. I like to write whenever but I definitely like writing with herb. It’s very relaxing and releases all of the trapped thoughts deep within ourselves. I know at times I can get very nervous to even write my truest feelings because people may react negatively but herb calms me and allows me to embrace my truest self.
What setting would you envision people listening to your music to?
I would definitely want them to be in a setting where they are in their element. Like, they are feeling themselves. Whether emotionally, or in the sense of “fuck this shit, I got myself and that’s all I need”.
What would be your ideal fan reaction to your music?
I would want them to take the message of being okay to be yourself and that’s it okay to trust yourself. Too many people make you feel like you MUST be cookie cutter but that’s NOT the truth. Be yourself. Know your lane. Go after it relentlessly. Anything is possible but nothing is possible if you don’t get up and make it happen.
Too many people make you feel like you MUST be cookie cutter but that’s NOT the truth. Be yourself. Know your lane. Go after it relentlessly.
What song are you most proud of and why?
Love/Hate. I really feel like I came alive for someone I love. They inspired me to be open and honest with them, so that’s what I did. It was important to tell a true story of love. A story of a love so deep, you begin to hate that fact that you love them the way you do. Solely, for the fact that you never want to lose them because you can’t think of loving that hard ever again.
What would be a major milestone for you in your music career?
A Grammy and working with Beyoncé. She has this dope aesthetic about her that’s timeless. I feel as though I could learn a career’s worth of knowledge in one session. I always heard if you want to be the best, work with the best. She’s the best to EVER do this.
If you could have a jam session with any musician, dead or alive, who would that be?
Tupac. He just had so much passion and skill along with his knowledge of society’s needs. He was so ahead of his time that I would love to sit back, smoke a spliff, and just learn.
What artist would you like to do collaborate with next?
I’m not entirely sure as if yet. I’m working on a lot of material and when I hear certain vocalists I’m like “oh, that would sound great on this song” but I also like to attack songs myself and see where I can go with it. It’s an OCD artist type of thing. It doesn’t hinder me from working with other artists, it only pushes me to be better so artists I choose to work with have a dope soundscape to paint their vocals on.
What artist do you currently hear on repeat?
Tinashe. She has this song ‘Spacetime’ that’s on another level! It just blows me away what she’s capable of vocally and lyrically. She’s dope. I also listen to a lot of 90s R&B. That’s pretty much my everyday playlist.
Tell me about Elevated Existence!
It’s a company that specializes in custom hand painted rolling trays. The tray they made me is the only tray I use. They made sure they knew my interests, my favorite colors, and the design I wanted and crafted a beautiful tray. When the opportunity came about to collaborate on several items I was all over it. It was something I knew I had to do the moment I saw it. We have a few collabs on trays and apparel coming for everyone soon!
What’s next for Clentreace?
So much! Satellite radio, more music, more shows, my project ‘Untamed’ and so much more in store for everyone. I’ve gotten so much love in the past few months that has just been piling! I’m excited to give everyone something fresh and give more music, regularly.