Today we’d like to introduce you to Clinton Patterson.
Clinton, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I came from Atlanta to study music at Calarts. Once I finished there, I set out to try and make a way for myself in Los Angeles. I figured that I would get a graduate degree first so I’d have something to show for myself if I couldn’t hack it out here.
As it turns out, I could hack it and I’ve been here ever since. But it hasn’t been easy! I’ve had a sorted career so far. I’ve written for or played with, The RZA, RockStar Video games, Sesame Street, Bilal, Adrian Younge, Ghostface, etc. I’ve given talks at Ivy League schools, taught at juvenile detention, and produced/mixed a number of records… whatever comes up!
These days I’m directing a music program at an Aspire charter school, playing piano at my neighborhood bar, and recording music with my party band and for my solo project at The Hobby Shop Studio in Highland Park.
Mondays and Thursdays 630-7pm at The York in Highland Park.
New music video: https://youtu.be/35QmdUhU3fA
Some of the more unique recordings that I’ve produced:
Sheela Bringi – Buffalo Demon Slayer
Has it been a smooth road?
Developing a voice as an artist is a challenge. There are many things to balance… where you come from, where you want to be, what you want to say, who you are in society.
Not to mention how to make that a sustainable living.
I finished Calarts, during The Great Recession, with an MFA in jazz trumpet. Needless to say, I struggled financially and personally. In the end it was a six months stent at Banana Republic that got me over the hump.
After that, I found more suitable work. Though, student loan debt from Calarts still casts a shadow.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I’m a performing artist, songwriter, and music producer. People hire me to perform, mix records, write lyrics, play instruments, and as a creative consultant.
Some time ago, I decided to develop my own sound rather than trying to be a general-purpose session player. People come to me when either want my sound or want me to help them build their own sound.
I’ve produced a fairly wide range of music. From avant-garde jazz to mantra music for meditation – to soulful dance tracks.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I can’t see how I would have developed into the artist that I am anywhere but Los Angeles. My friends are classical Indian musicians, Atlanta hip-hoppers, twangy jazzers from Texas, and avant-garde composers.
My music is the combination of sounds and ideas that I have spoken to me. Those sounds and ideas are already beautiful. My job as an artist is to make sense of it all, and then put it together to make something new. As far as downsides to LA, the only thing downside is the cost of living…
- Instagram: #clintonsings on instagram
Dario Griffin, Sean Rainey