Boy, are you all in for a treat. We just found your next favorite artist, and you’re not going to want to sleep on him.
We were given the chance to interview Def Jam Records artist Earl Saint Clair, a Cincinnati-born artist who has a strong R&B/blues sound, and a voice that will absolutely blow you away. He’s written and produced for Rick Ross and Mary J. Blige, worked with Avicii, has been featured on ESPN, FOX Sports, and performed on Stephen Colbert’s show.
He started producing his own music, but never really had a thought about becoming an artist. In fact, he told me that initially, he wanted to be a doctor because his mom was sick and he wanted to help her. Then, he said, “God brought me to music.”
How did you make the transition from producing music to writing and singing?
I used to always put my own hooks on beats I produced. One day, I was a little drunk off a fifth of Jameson and told my boy to let me sing on the track.
You have an incredibly unique voice and sound for today’s music industry. How do you think this helps you gain fans?
It helps a lot because music is who I am—my sound is who I am. I wanna be myself and be original, and that brings attention to me because it’s something you’re not used hearing. I hope my originality brings the crowd to me.
Certainly, the past year has been a huge jump with your music being played on Spike TV, ESPN, The Late Show, your first single being released, and going on tour this fall. What was your, “Holy shit, I’m doing something big here”, moment?
Once I started taking meetings with labels. I’d get a call from a label and someone would tell me, “You got something”. I wasn’t even a believer myself when I first moved to Cali to go all in on music!
Plenty of people would consider your genre to be R&B. How was it working with Avicii in a genre that’s kind of far from what you’re used to?
It’s actually not far from what I usually do once you hear all of my music. I do country, blues, R&B, pop, bluegrass, electronic, or whatever the music tells me to do. I don’t like associating with just one genre. You gotta be open to trying something else.
Who was your biggest musical inspiration?
Growing up there was a lot of music that got thrown at me. My mom listened to Earth Wind and Fire and Erykah Badu. My uncles listened to Sam Cook, Al Green, B.B. King. My dad, Hall and Oates. If I had to pick one… it’s difficult. Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” was awesome for me. When I got older, I started to gain an appreciation for the other stuff from when I was younger. I listened to Al Green when I was cooking, Erykah Badu when I was cleaning.
Be sure to check out Earl Saint Clair’s debut single, “Man on Fire”, and his other songs with Machine Gun Kelly, Avicii, and Bibi Bourelly.