Artist of the week: Benjamin Clementine
As self-taught artists go, Benjamin Clementine is most definitely one of the most jarring. After being supposedly inspired by both a televised performance of Antony & The Johnsons and a startling radio encounter with the music of Erik Satie, the singer-poet, composer and musician from London moved to France where he lived as a vagabond for four years, playing in the streets of Paris. In 2013, things began to happen very quickly: he found an agent, began to play in high-profile music festivals such as Montreux Jazz and Eurosonic, released two EPs, made his television debut on an episode of BBC’s show Later With Jools Holland and started to received public praise from major artists such as Paul Mccartney, Charles Aznavour, David Byrne and Björk.
Earlier this year, he released At Least For Now, his much anticipated full-length debut (Top 10 in half a dozen of European countries and number 1 in France). This impressive collection displays not only his mesmerizing spinto tenor reach but also a quite dramatic and innovative musical territory fuelled by his tumultuous biography. One of the great musical revelations of 2015.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.