Exclusive Interview: Clemente

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One of the most exciting talents to emerge onto the European electronic music circuit over the past few years, Clemente is a Spanish artist whose been making serious waves in the melodic house scene, with releases on notable record labels such as Super Flu’s Monaberry, Madorasindahouse and Fayer. Following the release of his stunning debut long player ‘Akelarre’ on Pieces of Life on Friday, we caught up with Clemente to discuss the album, collaborations, early influences and his favourite tunes right now. Check it out.

Hey Clemente! First things first, how has this year been for you? Any special highlights you can speak of?

Hi guys, Thanks for having me! All good here, with the album just out of the oven. 

This year has been very intense for me, first of all because of the decision to make an album. It is a very complicated artistic process, you have to fit all the pieces as if it were a puzzle, let out all your inspiration and create without limits.

On the other hand I just became a father and you can imagine how much time that takes up,. It has been my biggest source of inspiration and at the same time the biggest challenge of my life. Even so, I am very proud to have been able to combine the two things.

Big ups on the recent release of your new album, “Akelarre” on Pieces of Life. Can you tell us about the release and what our readers can expect from it?

“Akelarre” has been a project where from the beginning I wanted to let out all my musical influences. The album is composed of very varied pieces, from downtempo through some soundscape and tracks with authentic club character. It is marked by experimentation with analog synthesizers, a lot of percussion and focused energy totally in the groove. This is my vision of music and I have tried to capture it with total honesty.

How did you connect with Pieces of Life? Is this your first release on the label?

I will never forget when Yamil & Borja (my actual manager) called me to be part of the team. It’s amazing when you share your passion with artists you admire. This day my career changed and became much more professional. From this moment on having a real team behind me has made a difference and has helped me to professionalize my day to day work-flow, also to not do things in a hurry which is very important when you are a “newcomer” in this industry. 

This is my second release on the label, the first one I was invited by Yamil to do a remix of his track “Chechen”.

Was the album in the works for a long time? And was there anything that influenced/inspired its creation?

Just a year ago now I made the decision to take a break and compose an entire album. I was saturated with making tracks for the purpose of signing them to labels and I needed to have fun creating, have time to experiment and take my sound a step further. It’s amazing what I’ve learned during the process and how much I’ve enjoyed sharing it with the artists and friends who have been a part of it. My biggest source of inspiration has been the road I have traveled up to here. I have walked through all the periods of my life and I have taken the best out of them; a real journey through the genres and influences that have marked me.

What does Akelarre actually mean?

Akelarre means “Reunion of Witches”

There are a number of really nice collaborations on the album. How did you go about choosing the artists? Have you worked with many of them before?

From the beginning I had clear that if I did something like this had to be accompanied by the artists with whom I have had more chemistry during these past years and I think the result has been magnificent, you can find collaborations with Yamil, Thimble, Adrian Roman, Djolee, G.Zamora and Apo Lucia. It has been very comforting to see them working with so much enthusiasm in the project. I will always be grateful.

The first thing I did when I started the project was to imagine a visual concept, which has been perfectly reflected in the cover that the artist Laura Cruz aka Lacdemol (illustrator of Pieces of Life) has made. Everything had to be like a ritual, an appeal to the ancestral but at the same time mixed with the avant-garde.

Going back to your early days, where did you grow up and what was the music scene like in your formative years?

I grew up on the east coast of Spain, Valencia. It’s a perfect city for an artist, you have the mountains and the sea nearby and everything is relatively close compared to other big cities. 

Although my last years I have been focused on electronic music I come from the world of classical music, jazz and blues, I studied piano since I was 3 years old and in my adolescence I learned to play several instruments like percussion, guitar and bass. I’ve been influenced by bands like Pink Floyd, New Order and Depeche Mode, and from there comes my passion for analog synthesizers. 

In terms of talent, are there any lesser known Spanish electronic music artists that we should be keeping our eyes on? If so, who?

We are facing a unique moment, there is a lot of talent in our country and artists are getting more international exposure in all genres. I am very proud to be part of this new generation. I would like to highlight of course my team, Yamil and Thimble, they are artists I admired even before I met them and it has been very nice to find a way to work together, it’s like one brain managing 3. 

What are 5 records that haven’t left your record box recently? 

1 – Clemente & Thimble – My Own

2 – Royksopp – Impossible (&Me Remix)

3-  Clemente & Yamil – Shesawa

4 – Avangart Tabldot – AHBC

5 – Impérieux – Ferishtah

What do you like to do when you’re not making music?

I am a nature lover. I love to enjoy a long walk by the sea and I enjoy being with my family and friends.

Lastly, what does the rest 2022 look like for you? 

It’s been a very intense year but I’m that kind of person who likes to be in constant movement. Right now I’m shaping a band project with Edu Imbernon called Imbermind.

We have released two tracks on Fayer label and we are composing new stuff that will be released very soon. Also during the rest of the year I have some shows confirmed in cities that I will visit for the first time like Doha (Qatar) or Cairo (Egypt) so I’m very happy to be able to bring my music and my new project to these places.

Clemente – Akelarre is out now via Pieces of Life: https://orcd.co/akelarre

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