Bio

Clay'Bama

 

When I was a kid growing up in Dayton, Ohio I was able to travel a lot and see the world with my grandparents and realized the world was full of possibilities. Before I became an artist it was these possibilities that made me a dreamer. I moved to Cleveland when I was 12 and was put into a fast paced city that I didn’t really fit into. Back in my hometown I was used to a more laid back and chill atmosphere, but this didn’t stop me from dreaming.
     
     I have loved music my whole life and always just enjoyed listening, never really wanting to become a performer. I listened to everything from Blues to Singer ZZ Hill to the hip hop legends like Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and Jay-Z. It didn’t matter what the song was about, what drew me in was the emotion and its’ ability to make me feel better when I heard it. High school brought major life challenges which made me run to church to find answers, this is where I found music. At first I thought the religious rap was corny. I never considered rapping before, and the idea seemed stupid but I tried it out just for fun. As it turns out religious rap was actually live however I was corny! As I continued, something in me clicked and I felt I was meant to do this! So I refused to quit and kept writing until writing verses felt like a necessity. Over time I got better, in fact, so good that I began leading a group of rappers in my church. Everyone in the group was engaged and competitive, it was like going to church with the Wu Tang Clan, but they helped me progress and take my skills to the next level. Everyday others were getting better, and being the leader I had to remain on top, so I had to dig deeper. This is where I evolved into a songwriter and Emcee. I really loved everyone in the group and knew that we were building something great together. Unfortunately, good things often come to an end. After years of grinding together, myself and a few others realized that our church was a cult and the leader was using us for personal gain. Therefore most of us left, and despite our efforts to stay together the damage was too deep to repair and many of us went our separate ways.

     This separation led me to a dark place. Once again I began to feel like an outcast because the relationships that I built with the people I loved changed. This made things very difficult for me and I didn’t know which way to go with my life or my music. I soon developed a distaste for religion and didn’t want anything to do with religious music. Now that I was seeing the world in a different light, none of the gospel music I listened to seemed to bring the good feelings I had grown accustom to. I found it interesting that artists like Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, DMX and 2Pac brought me more clarity than a lot of the gospel artist I was listening to. This discovery changed my approach of writing and made me focus on making music that related to PEOPLE. I realized that I wanted to make music that could be understood, and that MY music was meant to inspire and motivate ANYONE who listens. I wanted people to feel trusted and enlightened, not judged and discouraged. This is the experience that made me into an artist, one that creates from the soul, for the soul.
    
     My sound is very emotional. I am poetic but aggressive. My feel is contagious. Guaranteed to draw you in. I’m not hard to understand but I am interesting enough to listen to. I’m honest. 
            
     My main influences are: Bill Withers, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Andre 3000, DMX, T.I., Kendrick Lamar, Wyclef Jean and J. Cole. I have opened for Layzie Bone, from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and local Cleveland artist, Jul Big Green.