C//C for ITR: London Vibes / by Maxwell Young


Wrapping up our conversation with Cautious Clay, we get a glimpse of what life was like across the pond and how his study abroad experience turned out to be just as much music-driven as it was academically-driven.  If anything, let his story be a testament to the power of people and connections, as emails via SoundCloud culminated in a student from D.C. being featured on several projects from emerging English artists. 

MY: You spent a lot of time in London.  What was that like?

JK: Yea, it was incredible.  I didn’t want to leave.  It was crazy because I was there for study abroad and I went with the intention of doing some music.  From the beginning I was like, ‘I’m gonna do some music, this is fucking London, I’m gonna do this shit.  I did it in D.C., why not do it in London,’ you know? So, I found a group of people at my university who were chill and then I started going on SoundCloud, finding cool producers, and emailing them.  A couple hit.  MNEK and Flako had me come over for a session and from there it was just a really inspirational city.  Not only the music scene, but also the people and the environment.

MY: What are the cultural differences in the urban environment?

JK: I think the people are a lot more open to the artistic side of things.  They’re more accepting of the artistic side of music than the US.  They have a higher threshold for hearing things that are just good.  They don’t have to be a certain amount of time or BPM, they just make shit that doesn’t have to be a certain way, and I think that’s really cool.  I also think there’s less of an emphasis on making money.  I mean, you have to make money, but over there it’s less so because they have more room for people to live.

AY: Would you say London is a better place for creative influence or collaboration?

JK: Yeah and no.  The U.S. is a great place, too.  New York is f*cking sick. There’s some crazy motherf*ckers in New York, for real.  So, I wouldn’t go as far to say that London is more creative, but I think its just more people are open to create initially.  There’s not as much politics.  The politics is a little different in London and it meshed well with how I wanted to do things.  In London they’re not gonna be like, ‘Oh you have 75 followers.  I have 500,000. I can’t talk to you,’ versus in New York you might have some sh*t like that.  In D.C. you definitely have some sh*t like that.  There’s more of camaraderie for the music.

AY: It seems real genuine in understanding.  We’re all here for the same purpose.

JK: Exactly.  There’s much more of a true love for the music, and not just the scene, you know.

MY: What’s next for Cautious Clay?

JK: I don’t know, man.  I’m working on a lot of new stuff.  I think I’m going to be a lot more casual with my page.  Cautious Clay is something that’s really important to me, but I think it’s more of an experimentation of what I want to create artistically.  I want to push the limits of my sound and what I think is great and what people will accept and what people can really get into, you know.  I want to expand people’s minds.  That’s really the purpose of Cautious Clay.  I think my more artistic side and more soulful side comes out in my instrumentation—my performance.  I want to have a project that integrates my performance.  For me that’s not a DJ, regardless if a DJ can perform.  For me it comes down to me singing, me having a band, me creating something that really speaks to people in a different way.