SonReal presents No Warm Up Tour w/Clairmont The Second Friday, March 10, 9pm The Marquee Ballroom 2037 Gottingen Street $25/$30
Nineteen-year-old Clairmont Humphrey II, AKA Clairmont The Second, grew up listening to different types of songs that now inspire his creative sound.
"First music I ever heard in my life was gospel music, and like neo-soul and R&B, that was played a lot. And then like rap here and there," he says.
Humphrey spent his childhood surrounded by musicality, with a father and sister who sing and an older brother who raps and plays instruments. At the age of five his brother Colanthony, AKA Cola, taught him how to produce, which he's been doing ever since.
But confidence and ego have helped the Toronto-based artist shape his goals and career vision. "Rapping started because I thought I was better than everybody else," he says.
Humphrey does not want to be boxed in and called a rapper, though. "I'm an artist, just an artist," he says. "I do more than just put a verse on beats."
Aside from performing and producing—he produced all of the tracks on his acclaimed record Quest for Milk and Honey except for one—he's also involved in every stage of the imaginative process. He mixes and masters, directs and shoots his own music videos and takes his own photos.
"The way the music industry is, it's like, it's not about the talent, it's about the packaging and stuff," he says. "It's unfortunate, but that's the way it is."
And though he's just signed on with Toronto's Black Box, Humphrey says keeping it indie is key.
"I wanna be independent forever," he says. "Just having the freedom to do whatever I want, no one can really tell you anything. And truthfully, the only people that matter are the fans."
This Friday's show will be Clairmont The Second's first-ever performance in Halifax.
"Don't come thinking you're gonna be able to stand still during the set," he says.