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15.6.15

The Discovery Channel EP02 | Benjamin Clementine

Benjamin Clementine - Adios | Ses Rêveries

So... turns out Nina Simone reincarnated herself into a young Ghanaian Englishman with impeccable bone structure.

Jokes aside, Benjamin Sainte-Clementine is a force to be reckoned with. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Erik Satie and TS Elliot, he has a rather sad origin story having spent many years living on the streets of London, and later Paris as a street busker. But don't be fooled into thinking that's all there is to him, or his exponential success post-Jools Holland.

The self-taught singer-poet-pianist is a vocal powerhouse with a sound that's all his own. I've voiced my opinions about live shows these days on here before; overrated, not worth the rip-off money. But I've promised myself I'm going to see Clementine perform live at least once. He's touring Europe this summer, so fingers crossed my bank account is on the same page when he's back in England.

His interview with the Guardian's Tim Lewis is so worth the read. There are few people out there I've resonated with as much as Clementine. I really can't sing his praises enough either.

I picked Adios off his Glorious You EP for this episode because it's one of my favourites of his. The rock opera sound does feel more like Nina Simone than most of his other songs but, in a similar vein to Niña herself, I've found the rum in Clementine's music mojito is the story he's telling. His lyrics are powerful, personal but not overly-considered. With Adios, he shares his unique coming-of-age story, and it's honest and beautiful.

He's unfiltered, mercurial, brilliant - did I mention I can't sing his praises enough?





Photo source: SoundCloud.com
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