Clay – a producer and songwriter that has now also turned to singing – has just released his solid debut EP 1st Chapter, a seven track set with traces of nyabinghi, contemporary roots and R&B.
Clay is a classically trained pianist with drums as his second instrument and guitar his third. He has previously established himself as a powerful source in the music industry with productions for successful urban artists like dancehall superstar Sean Paul, rapper Chipmunk and R&B singer Starboy Nathan.
Born in Jamaica some 30 years ago he now lives in the UK. His debut set doesn’t sound like UK reggae in general. No dubstep, no aggressive bass lines and no bashment. 1st Chapter leans more towards sounds coming from Germany, France and Italy. It’s well-produced and slicka contemporary one drop, with especially well-crafted vocal arrangements and infectious choruses.
It’s easy to fall in love with parts of this set, particularly the melancholy and darkness that is expressed in the more conscious cuts. Haunting album opener Shadow After Dark sticks like glue, and so does evocative and up-tempo tracks like Exodus and Fire.
Clay has stepped out of the shadows and is now an artist in his own right showcasing his passionate and vibrating vocal style. He has so far only put out the first chapter in his story and I’m certainly keen to hear more.