- New Single -
Review by Amelia Vandergast
There’s always a fresh amalgamation of style in Damon K Clark’s releases; with his latest single, 'Random Lover', he infused RnB, pop, and neo-soul into the ultimate moving on single. The cinematic release proves just how well-established Clark is as a composer and arranger; from the verse, you’re hooked in by the scorned yet searching for something better narrative as the sultry beats do more than set the mood and tone. Rebound hookups may not be the most romantic things in the world but Clark more than makes them more than so in 'Random Lover'. It drips with elevated elegance. 'Random Lover' is now available to stream on all platforms, including SoundCloud.
Interview by Kamil Bobin
Hailing from the United States, Dallas artist Damon K. Clark released his single 'Random Lover' on 22 November. The production is very professionally done and since the day of release has attracted a lot of listeners who are delighted and recommend it to their friends. We have to admit that Damon K. Clark is a very interesting artist and you will definitely read the interview with a beating heart. 'Random Lover' is a track that will be remembered for a long time because of the well-chosen sounds and the pleasant timbre of the voice.
Great to have you on Xttrawave. Please, introduce yourself. (artist/band name-any special meaning to it and where you’re from)
Thank you for having me! I’m Damon K. Clark. I’m based in Dallas, Texas and Los Angeles California.
What got you into music and made you realize that it was your chosen path?
I don’t know what life is like without music. I took voice and piano lessons starting at age 5 and played a bunch of instruments besides piano; clarinet, flute, saxophone, tuba, trombone, French horn, oboe… My parents also had an extensive and diverse record collection that I was constantly listening to; artists like Carol King, Dionne Warwick, Glen Campbell, Janis Ian, Dolly Parton, The Temptations, Pink Floyd, Aretha Franklin, Joan Armatrading. We went to musicals, operas, live concerts. Music has always been there as a coping mechanism when I’m down, the way I celebrate when I’m happy…it’s everything. I didn’t anticipate it being a career when I was a kid, but as I got older into my teens, it was clear to me that I wouldn’t be happy in any other career.
Tell us about your new music (Song/EP/Mixtape/Album)? And what’s the story behind it?
I’m working on an EP…six songs of which Random Lover, my new single, is the latest release. I released a song in 2020 called “Love Me Now” and intended on finishing my EP, but the pandemic had other plans. That was fine, though. Its giving me more time to work and gather my emotional thoughts. Random Lover the second song on the EP about the emotional aftermath of an abusive relationship. More accurately, how I tried shutting down my emotions and kind of said “f*ck it!” to love, commitment and romance. For a while, I’d date just to feel some physical pleasure, but totally rejected any kind of genuine connection because I was deeply hurt and hadn’t dealt with my pain. Just come over, make me feel good, and get the hell out of my house. It was a bad place, but it’s how I coped at the time. I’m sure we’ve all been through a phase like that…until we grow.
What makes your music unique? How would you describe it? (genres/sub-genres)
My writing is heavily influenced by classical composers like Strauss, Korngold, Duparc, Debussy, Satie, and also jazz composers like Thelonious Monk. There’s a lush emotional audio-scape they create that appeals to me in my own music. I always hear them ringing in my ears so that’s the way I compose. Lyrically, I just write exactly what I feel even if it’s unsophisticated. Not everything we feel is complex. Sometimes raw direct honesty is enough.
Who are your biggest music influences? And any particular artist/band you would like to collaborate with in the future?
There are so many artists that influenced me that I couldn’t even begin to say names especially since I’ve met and/or worked with some of them. If I miss someone, I’ll get killed.
Which is the best moment in your musical career that you’re most proud of? (awards, projects or public performances etc)
Oh so many…but I think opening for Paula Cole was a career highlight. She was so kind! Another highlight was getting to perform a few songs on comedian, Jen Kirkman’s, show. I love her! And lastly, when I was selected to be soloist and co-music direct an all-star AIDS benefit concert at the newly constructed Winspear Opera House that included the stellar arts organizations; Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The Dallas Theatre Center, Bruce Wood Dance Company, Turtle Creek Chorale, etc… My recent tour of Mexico was a big success. I’m very proud of that. Every venue was sold out. There are just so many.
How do you balance your music with other obligations – family, friends or work?
All my obligations are music, all my work is in the music/arts industry, and all my friends are in the music/arts industry. I’m single, so I don’t have a significant other or children to pull on my time. Maybe at some point that may change and I’ll have to reallocate my time, but for now, my whole life is music…and food, but that’s a topic for another blog.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
Four things: Keep learing throughout your career. Everything you learn can be incorporated into your art and will make you more whole as an artist. It doesn’t have to be formal education and it doesn’t have to be about music. Just learn something every day. Second, form a network/team of people around you who you can rely on and who are moving in the same direction. Third, eliminate any and all distractions. If it isn’t serving you, leave it alone, walk away, get rid of it…what/whoever it is. Lastly, take care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. You are the vessel from which your art pours. You must protect your peace.
If you had one message to give to your fans, what would it be?
I love my fans! Thank you!
Who inspired you to make music?
My life inspires me to make music...that and movies, plays, things people say, and peoples' situationships. That all inspires me.
What’s next for you? Any upcoming projects?
I’m working on a music video for Random Lover. I’m also working on getting the rest of the songs on my EP recorded. The remaining songs are “Holy”, “I’ll Blame Myself”, “I Can’t Breathe”, and “Stupid Games”. So get ready for those eventual releases.
Review by Amelia Vandergast
Contemporary ballad-style Soul Pop doesn’t come much more captivatingly efficacious than Damon K. Clark’s latest single “Love Me Now”. Through the directness of the lyrics, Love Me Now feels like a confession straight from the soul. The opening verse pulls you into an evocatively piercing soundscape which utilizes soft percussion, nuancedly spellbinding lyrics, and crescendos which will make your own soul recognize the pure unadulterated emotion in the single.
There may be plenty of old school sonorous appeal in Love Me Now, but the Dallas-based artist’s contribution to the airwaves still carries ample amounts of contemporary appeal.
“Love Me Now” uncovers a singer-songwriter unafraid to display the cracks in his facade, crafting a striking portrait of what happens when true love fails to materialize. The beautiful and hypnotic record focuses on Damon K Clark’s hushed voice and simple, soulful lyrics. The music itself is a pastel tapestry woven from the threads of early ’2000s pop and stitched into a unique pattern. It blends vulnerability with heartbreak as Damon describes an all-to-familiar situation which makes him feel alone, but ready to move on.
“Love Me Now” evokes the spiraling crisis of the mind when faced with relationship struggles. Throughout the song, Damon tries to pinpoint the source of his anxieties, investigating his relationship with substance, with his romantic partner, and with himself. He does this with heart-wrenching clarity on the ballad, wondering if everything was genuine. His voice never rises above a murmur as he draws you in, but when he belts out his voice rings with deep emotion.
Ultimately, Damon reaches a cathartic breaking point at the end, with a rattling breakdown filled with bobbing drums and dramatic synth stabs. In the midst of all that, he sings as if he’s the only one listening. He shatters the box that confined him from realizing true happiness, that small, unassuming space—where emotions swell but never burst. Lifting the most effective ideas from different schools of production, he’s able to construct his own mutant strain of pop.
“Love Me Now” is surely immersive, from its sound design to its melody. Damon himself handles the lyrics, music, and arrangement while it’s produced by Brandon Saiz, mixed by Joey Lomas and mastered by Dave McNair. Singing his way through the thoughts of fumbled romance, Damon seems invigorated by abandoning the pursuit, perhaps it’s this liberation that allows him to write a brilliant song. He’s walked a fine line between approaching these self-destructive figures with empathy and pity, which is why this record feels like a long-held exhalation.