Interview: Five Minutes with Roland Clark

Born in New Jersey but a true New Yorker at heart, Roland Clark is making waves on the house music scene with his newly released track, ‘Dance Without A Reason’. The songsmith, producer, DJ, and vocalist specialises in powerful and political lyrics, with his deep and powerful voice being featured by top producers, attributed as giving the tracks their soul and meaning. The list of producers Clark has worked with is extensive, including the likes of Todd Terry, Kenny Dope, Mark Knight, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Duke Dumont and many others.

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

Music is the language of life, it physically affects our minds, which in turn affects our cells… It can literally keep us young.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

I usually have to hear the beat and the bass line to get me started on recording anything vocally, but when it comes to my productions I’m usually doing something mundane and like a lightning bolt an idea will strike… If I step away from the studio and forget the idea, that only means it wasn’t good in the first place

Does your material feature any collaborations?

Yes, in most history I have collaborated with Duke Dumont, MousseT, David Penn, Lempo  and Todd Terry

What’s on your current playlist?

Idris Elba – “Girl With A  Bat”, Roland Clark & Jon Julius Knight – “This Is House”,  Alexander Technique & Jay Potter – “The Game”,  Todd Terry – “The Breakdown” just to name a few

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

I look for the ones that are dancing the hardest and try to  make them faint

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

It’s mostly accidental, I’m pretty organic when it comes to creating

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

Procrastination central, but usually get going after I have a big bowl of Captain Crunch.. Once my DAW is open I normally go through a few sounds and depending on my mood… I build around just that one sound

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

Yes, when I heard my first song on the radio in New York, the song was called “Why” and it was a terrible impersonation of Colonel Abrahms. but people seemed to like it

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

A face towel, it can get pretty hot up there and a big thing of orange juice

What gets your creative juices flowing?

A negative bank account lol no really… Normally it’s when I hear something that inspires me to get back in the studio. Lately, it’s been the lastest Idris Elba track, “Girl With A Bat”

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

Logic Pro X, Sonible EQ & Compressor, Izotope Bundle, Waves 11

Any side projects you’re working on?

Working with Mousse T. on an Urban Soul aka Roland Clark “Alright ” 2020 remix, as well as original jam called “Never Let It Reach” also a tune I recorded with Ant LaRock entitled “Alkebulan”

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

Everyday  I learn something new, either with video or mixing or mastering

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

Release coming this month on Sushi Muzik called “Love Me Good”  & “Dance Without A Reason” via Strictly Rhythm Records, also I own my own label called Delete Records where I release quite frequently… The latest is a hot jam called “Feelin Hot”

Famous last words?

Wait, What?

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Written by Sarah Britton