Clever just put the whole world on notice — he’s arrived.
The Alabama native just dropped a banger debut project with Crazy. The 13-track album features appearances from superstars such as Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Post Malone, Juice WRLD and Lil Baby. It is an impressive showing from beginning to end. A hard-hitting album that showcases Clever’s uniquely distinctive voice.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Clever about him and his album. He’s a humble and clearly passionate person with a lot of stories to tell and we were grateful to hear some of them.
He didn’t start off doing music, believe it or not, but he was doing something quite close to it — poetry. “In school, you always had to write poems and stuff and I had this one teacher that really encouraged me and let me feel as if it was something that I was very good at.” You can definitely hear a lot of his poetry in his music. After all, the two are very similar.
“It’s just poetry with a melody added to it,” Clever says. “Just from a deep place, I always looked at music as a kind of escape, as a means of escape. Once you get it on that piece of paper, it’s no longer on your chest and I feel like writing poetry and writing music lyrically is all the same to me.”
That spark for poetry eventually transitioned into battle rapping. It was through a battle rap competition that he did at the age of 14 where he got his stage name. He was going by his last name at the time and as he was going toe-to-toe with a battle rapper, he ended up using a line that said, “You can call me clever cuz I won’t C an L Ever.” The name clever had a nice ring to it, so he stuck with it from that point forward.
When we asked him how he would describe his music to someone who hasn’t heard it before, he gave us one of the most visually vivid answers. “I always say if Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin and Jay-Z had a baby, then a band in that baby in a dumpster and it took that baby a long time to get where they were going, that would be me.” If that doesn’t perfectly explain his music, then we don’t know what to tell you.
Before Clever started making his own music, he was writing for legends such as Snoop Dogg and David Foster. So he’s got a pretty impressive portfolio even before his first single, “When Only You Will Do” featuring Droc. With each new track he puts out, more and more artists began noticing him, even catching the attention of Post Malone.
Videos of Post Malone jamming out to Clever’s music surfaced on the internet two or three months before they even spoke. Then suddenly, he got a phone call. “We had a mutual friend in Tyla Yaweh and I think Post Malone was digging through Tyla Yaweh’s phone, saw my number on there and gave me a call. And I’m thinking it’s gonna be Tyla when I pick up the phone and it’s Post Malone on FaceTime letting me know, “Hey, I fuck with your music.” And I was like ‘Yeah, I fuck with your music too.’”
The two continued to stay in contact, even meeting up in person. They hung out backstage at one of Malone’s concerts and even made records. Now, he’s the first artist signed under Post Malone’s record label, Posty Co.
He also revealed that he wasn’t always a singer. What!? We couldn’t believe it either.
“Yeah, no it was straight hip-hop,” Clever says. “But over time, there’s a lot of songs that’s got hooks that people are singing on and then it comes out into a rap, kinda like Ja Rule style but I started at one point trying to add some of that to my stuff.” But the artists that came in to sing those hooks weren’t able to satisfy his vision for his tracks — either they were doing something wrong or weren’t doing enough.
“It came to the point where I had some engineers, some producers that were sitting around kinda saying, ‘You know I think you should just do it. It sounds good when you do it.’ So I eventually just laid one down and it kinda took over my music and started developing into singing every word at some point.”
He dropped his first single off the album, “Rolls Royce Umbrella” featuring Chris Brown, back in February. It is a rags-to-riches type song that sees both Clever and Brown highlighting the track with their electric vocals. The collaboration came to fruition after he noticed Brown was sharing his songs on Instagram. From there, they were in contact and ended up creating something special.
When asked about his favorite track, he quickly answered with “Call Me Nobody” featuring Lil Wayne and Isaiah Lyric. “The song itself has a cool hook. I think I like my performance on it better than a lot of the other songs, not that I dislike any other ones but it’s definitely one of my favorite records that I’ve produced. And it’s got my 6-year-old son on it at the very end.”
We also got to dive in a little bit about his special relationship with Grade A labelmate, Juice WRLD. “I was blessed to be on his sophomore album while he was still with us and touring around a good bit with him and just kinda sharing AirBnB’s, going around, performing that record [“Ring Ring“] and stuff like that, we became close through that.”
He shared how Juice WRLD felt when he heard that he signed with Posty Co. “He knew that I was gonna do a collaborative deal and it would be Grade A with Juice on one side and Posty Co. with Post Malone on the other. He was really excited about it and I wish that he was here to kinda see it unfold.”
With one of the most fresh, distinct and unique voices in music today, Clever is on his way to becoming one of the rising stars of 2021 and his music will continue to make big waves throughout the year.
As a special treat for his fans, the album itself is a mystery with a secret message waiting to be decoded. “There’s a lot of hidden messages, lot of hidden meanings. This album is actually one of many. The tracklist itself its got a lot of conspiracy theories around it.” Can you find them all? Look and listen closely.
Stream his debut album Crazy here.
Check out Beyond The Stage for more music news
- Luke James Amazes With New Album, A Live Sensation - September 28, 2021
- Casper Sun Releases Debut Album, Sunshine Radio - August 31, 2021
- Alexander Nate Drops New Single “Save This Dance For Me” - August 25, 2021