The MusicOntario team first met Myer Clarity when he performed at our artist showcase in Ottawa May 28th, and not only blew the crowd away with his rhymes, but had everyone in stitches with his unique brand of humour. Clarity has just released a new video for his track She Won’t (ft. Scott Douglas) (MusicOntario video of the week for July 14th), which he made with Illvibe, and stars Suicide Girl Lucy Lovesick, alongside Myer. A Montreal native, recently transplanted to TO, he is soon to be releasing his latest album B.Y.O.B.
1. When did you decide to move to Toronto from Montreal? Has the move made an impact on your sound?
It’s been about a year and some change since I made the move and it’s been pretty crazy. I definitely updated my sound a bit since moving here, being exposed to all sorts of new artists and genres. Starting over in a new city really teaches you about what kind of person you are, and I’d like to think that comes out in the music.
2. When did you decide to make music your profession? Did you have career paths in mind before taking the plunge?
It’s hard to pin point exactly when I decided to dive head first into music. I always wanted to be a performer ever since I was a kid, acting in various school plays and a working a brief stint in the vaudeville circuit (street cred whaddup whaddup), but I think I made the official choice to focus on music exclusively around 2009. It was right after wasting 4 years of my life in a CEGEP program with zero relevance to what I wanted to do with my life. I’ve also considered being a chef since it’s the only other profession that allows me to cuss as much as I do.
3. You site your parents’ divorce as a contributing factor to your musical career, and many of your tracks have a deeply personal element. Does music play a role in how you deal with events from your personal life?
Do I? That’s lame, I have to change my bio. Everyone’s parents are divorced, who gives a shit, it’s 2015. I think all music should be personal on some level though, if not then what’s the point. A lot of what I’ve been through leaks into what I talk about on a record. Then again, I can’t just bitch all the time so I’ve gotta switch it up and talk about the fun things I do in life, like drugs.
5. What are your plans for releasing the new album B.Y.O.B.?
It’s looking like an early August/September online release. This has been an album that took two years to make, and another two years to release so I’m pretty pumped for it to actually drop. We’re also going to be pushing physical copies and custom made USB’s with the album + video on it. It’s gonna be pretty gnarly.
6. You self-produced the new album, how do you feel that affected the recording process in comparison to other projects you have done?
I’ve been producing all my own beats since I was thirteen so it wasn’t that different. However we did replay everything with live instruments this time around, which was a big shift for me. It was cool to come in with programmed drums on a song and leave with crisp live drums. I loved being able to oversee every song from beginning to end and having them sound nothing like when I first produced them.
7. Who do you have on your team?
The team consists of Mike Pignataro (AKA DJ Digital Junkie) who’s been my DJ / right hand man for the past couple months. Our 5 piece live band consists of myself, Mike, Gabe Koury (Bass), Jonny Page (Guitar) and Andrew Kalu (Drums). Also on the team is Craig Thorne, who I regard as my mentor, and with whom I’ve toured extensively. Shouts to Tiffany Alexis for all the help she’s given as my image consultant as well as Alex Bernier for giving me a big leg up when I moved to Toronto. I’ve also work a lot with Illvibe (who actually directed and shot She Won’t), he took me on my first Ontario tour and has taught me so much about the business of music.
8. Do you plan on touring the new album?
We will be touring the new album, tapping into college markets mostly. I’ve got a couple connects in the states I need to reach out to and set something up with; it’d be cool to do something stateside for the record. For now we’re doing a 9 stop Ontario tour in August called Survival of the Illest, which I’m really looking forward to.
9. The new video for your single She Won’t has recently been released, with a tongue-in-cheek commentary on romantic relationships. What has the reaction been so far?
People love it! I’ve gotten such a positive reaction to the video so far. The video was premiered on the front page of Confront Magazine and got coverage from various other online publications such as ThisIs50 and JackThriller. It’s been a good run so far, but we’re far from done pushing it.
10. You like to site punk music as one of the main influences in your sound. What are some musical elements that you would clearly define as being punk, and how did you get into that kind of music?
I grew up as the hip hop kid in a circle of punk kids. It was my first day at a new high school and there were two clear cut cliques I could hang with, the rap kids and the punk kids. I tried chilling with the rap kids for a day and gave up after all they talked about was lil wayne and what kind of phones they could buy, so I walked over to the punk kids and watched as my future buddy Chris eat an entire box of chicken bones someone had thrown out. I knew it was a good fit right then.
Just growing up around that culture makes an impact on the music. I went to countless local punk shows and puked up countless 40s in parking lots. I think the punk elements I incorporate most into my music are the stories and the general attitude that comes with it. I also love throwing in some good ol’ distorted guitar on my tunes.
11. Your sense of humour plays a big role in your music and your stage presence. Who are some of your favourite comedians?
Steve Martin, Doug Stanhope, Louis CK, also I was raised on Woody Allen movies which explains why I’m super weird.
12. You’ve been stranded on a deserted island, and for some reason the only thing on it is a record (or MP3, let’s get real) player. What albums are you going to listen to for the rest of our island life?
The “So you’re stranded on an island” self help audio book, read by Morgan Freeman.
14. You recently participated in CMI’s Artist Entrepreneur Bootcamp which was presented by MusicOntario. How was that experience, and has it made an impact on your career in the months after?
It was one of the best experiences I’ve had doing music. It really laid out all the groundwork for me and broke down everything into easy to digest bits of information. I’ve been way more organized and motivated since taking the program and I strongly recommend it to anyone who is serious about making music.
15. What advice would you have for artists starting out in the music biz?
There’s nothing schools can teach you that you can’t learn on your own. Also pre-drink.
For more information on Myer Clarity, including links to music, videos, and concert listings, please go to clarityofficial.com