'Alfred Clemonts sings out' with a voice of fortitude and compassion.
Channeling good vibes: His radiant spirit lights up an entire room.
Singer and songwriter, Alfred Clemonts grew up crooning in church.
“I’ve been performing in church since I was five. From then on, I’ve performed in plays, school productions, stage productions, singing in community events, at festivals, and various places throughout North Carolina.
I’ve been singing throughout my whole life," he said
Originally from Garysburg, NC, Clemonts relocated to Winston Salem after attending Winston Salem State University.
Having acquired a fine taste for country life and big city living, it’s safe to say that Clemonts is putting both areas on the map with his compelling vocals, the way forerunners like Joedeci and Anthony Hamilton did at the start of their careers.
His backstory developed mutually, between the two places, which is why he's compelled to pay homage. Each living sustenance helped to cultivate is love for music one way or another.
Just to set the record straight, Clemonts wasn't an immediate success. Although talented, he didn't get noticed for his endowments until much later down the line. He caught his star-spangled break during a high school performance.
“I had a chance to sing at the North Carolina High School, Athletic Basketball Association Championship Basketball Game, and that kind of launched me out there to get that exposure. From that moment, I always got calls and my mom got calls from various people that wanted me to come and sing, and be a part of programs. From high school, it carried on through college. I was in the University choir at University State and I sang at events on campus, and also in church. I had the opportunity to link- up with some fellow songwriters and producers. I worked on a song entitled, It’s Finished, and that debuted on the ‘Yolonda Adams Morning Show.’
Then, I connected with my brother and friend, ‘Oliver Crooms,’ with On the Beat Entertainment, and that’s when we decide to work on a project. One of the singles from the project is, I’m Here, and that just debuted June of this year, “he said.
“I’m pretty excited about that… so that’s from point A, to point B, of where I am right now. I don’t want to put a final point on it because I want to leave the space open for God to take me to other places as well.”
Make no mistake about it, the roads leading to melodious success are endless for Clemonts. He’s sure to keep the momentum going. His history and dedication proves that fact.
Speaking of… Clemonts soulful melodies heralds authentic Rhythm and Blues, whereas mainstream music is a little different. He’s evoking mighty emotions with his latest single, “I’m Here” with buoyant tones.
His vibe is about tendency, love and reassurance, all the while his music is spiked with just enough upbeat tempos that gives listeners the sensual feels.
Clearly, Clemonts is a classic example of natural talent, who not only discovered his voice, but found an eloquent use for his beautiful tenor, which we haven’t seen in a while because the entertainment industry tends to focus more on sex-appeal and beats versus riffs and odes.
Clemonts said that Oliver Crooms is the creative brain behind the single, I’m Here. He's a younger producer who’s got that knack for a more soulful opus reminiscent to Norman Jenkins, but with a spice of modernization; so when you add Clements to the mé·lange, you've pretty much initiated a hit single.
Clemonts pictured with Oliver Crooms
Clemonts listened to the melodies, and it was go-time… “I wanted to create a song that brought forth that intimate feeling that you have towards God, and that’s where that came from.
“When we went into the studio, we thought about how this was not just a Gospel Song. It speaks through an intimate relationship with God and being in communion with him. It also crosses genres, and speaks to any relationship whether it’s a husband, wife, or a friendship that says, ‘Hey, I’m here... right here, and now, it’s our time.' It can speak to any relationship."
Though the song was fashioned with the concept of spiritual kinship, Clemonts said that he didn’t want to dictate where it goes.
“If it reaches the R&B crowd, that’s great. If it reaches the Christian crowd, that’s great. If it reaches the Hip Hop crowd, that’s great. Initially when I wrote the song, it came from a Christian place but, I want other people from different sectors to be able to relate to it and connect with it. I don’t want to dictate the song in one set place. I want the song to speak to everyone.
Clemonts understands the different elements of musicianship so hes open-minded when it comes down to his own personal preferences of music.
“I listen to a lot of things. I listen to some R&B, and I do like Hip Hop. I like the Hip Hop that speaks, that has a voice about certain issues and certain things because there’s a lot of music out right now that has no validity at all. The beat is good, but the words are not. I like to listen to music that speaks about issues and experiences. There is good music out there. There is good Hip Hop, and there is some good R&B out there. Not all of R&B, and not all of Hip Hop is bad music.”
While agreeing that he likes Kendrick Lamar, Clemonts also shared that he likes the new Jay Z. It's not that he has anything against “Reasonable Doubt” Jay Z, but the new Jay is something that he can most certainly groove to. Of course, any red-blooded Carolinian is gonna like J Cole too, just because he’s from North Carolina; however, Clemonts probably respects the music because J Cole is on that next level, fist pump in the air, stay-woke, type of vibe.
As for musical influences, Clemonts said, “One of my musical influences is Smoky Norfolk. I just love his voice. He has that inspirational sound. I also like, “Praise and Worship Leader, Todd Dulaney. I like Lacree as well."
The vocalist isn’t signed to a label, so he’s still an Indie artist pushing his way to the Billboards.
“It takes a lot of time, and sacrifices with your time, and it takes a lot of sacrifices financially. You have to find ways to brand yourself, to put yourself out there, and push yourself even when you don’t feel like it because being an independent artist, no one else is going to do it for you. You have to push yourself out there and make those connections with people. It is a lot of work. We are not where we want to be, but as God opens the doors, we will continue to believe, and have faith that we’re just going to walk through those doors that God opened."
Social media plays a large role in the success for indie artist, and according to Clemonts, its everything. He said that a musician or vocalist should post their videos as well as quotes, to keep functioning amid the fan base.
“I have a business expo coming up on August 26. On September 30th, I have a Gospel Hip Hop show. In September, we have the Musik Fest coming up, and I believe that’s going to be in Charlotte. There are some things coming up and we will be posting things on social media to let people know about it. This Friday, we have a Social Justice event, and it’s going to be nice. I’m excited about that.”
“For a long time, I held back and I did not want to release the gift that God has given me. I used to be a little bit ashamed and I didn’t know how to release it. So, that's what this non-profit is about. It's about motivating and inspiring other artist, or potential artist, to come out of their shells and release the gift that God has put in them. We are encouraging other people to let go of what God has put in them. If it’s art, dance, singing or speaking, whatever it is, don’t hold on to it. Release it and share it, because when you do, it not only liberates you, but it liberates others as well. It’s all about building the artist, pushing the artist, and exposing the artist.”
Clemonts said he wants to give back to his home church in Garysburg. He also stated that he wanted to find another way to reach the youth through collaborations.
“Being in a classroom and being a teacher, I see how so many of our young youths are lost, and that’s a part of what I want to do with ASO as well. A lot of them are inspired by what they see on TV. They are inspired by the Hip Hop. Like I said before, not all of it is negative, and some of it is positive. Most of the time, they are enthused by the negativity, and so I wanted to produce something else that would pull them in a positive direction.”
If you caught that golden nugget, then you paid attention. Yes, Clemonts is a school teacher and he pursues his music career, in addition to being a mentor whether he admits it or not.
The artist isn’t looking to save the world, but he’d like to make a difference while he’s still here, and able to serve.
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
-John F. Kennedy
Striking on a different subject altogether, Clemonts is not only that inspirational guy from around the way, he taps into some of those southern delicacies from time to time.
For instance, he prefers turnip greens over collards because of the tangy taste. If he could perform with James brown, he would sing, 'This is a Man’s World,' which he chants gleefully.
Though he has a great sense of humor, that still doesn’t stop his drive for that big Hollywood ending.
If he could describe success in four words, it would be 'freedom, understanding, strength and consistency.'
“If you’re successful, you’re living in freedom. Success is a mentality, and when you are successful, depending on the individual, you’re understanding to others. It takes strength to be successful, to reach those goals and accomplishments. I say consistency because to reach that goal, you need to be consistent.
If he had to leave something behind it would be this,
"I want my legacy to be that I not only lived my life and just existed, I want to live a life that others could immolate. I lived in a way that was a pattern for others and I lived even after I’m gone, what I leave in my life, the elements, and things that happened in my life, it would teach and inspire others. That’s what I am, and that’s what I want to do-- I want to uplift others. There are lot of hurting people. There are a lot of people who are down and out. They don’t know who to turn to, or where to go. I feel like, ‘If I don’t live in my purpose, then someone else won’t live in their purpose. I want to leave a life of me living out my purpose and living out my God given gift and talents so when I leave people will look back and say, ‘Not only did he live, but he inspired and uplifted, he motivated others to live in their purpose as well."
Alfred Clemonts/'Big Boy Hurt'
Click links below to check out latest single, I'm Here.
CD BABY here