BRASH! Magazine is coming on March 16, 2016. Before we release our first issue, we want to give you a little preview of our cover artist Clayt. Be sure to check out his in depth interview w/ BRASH! in our debut issue (Mar/Apr).
Clayt, born Clayton Duncan, is a Virginia native hailing from Newport News. His overall goal is to encourage others to embrace their own passions, and establish an art culture in Virginia that he felt was missing in his youth. Clayt is not only rapper, but an inspirational figure and pioneer for his city.
• When did you start writing songs?
I actually started writing rhymes around the same time I started playing basketball, when I was around 8 years old. I had those classic black and white composition notebooks that I’d fill up randomly with ideas that I had. It was always more of a hobby for me though until I got into high school. When I was 14 I started to actually record my raps, over a digital camera at the time, and then put beats behind them. That was the first time I ever heard myself over beats, even though it wouldn’t always match up [laughs] but the more I recorded though, the more I started to love it.
• How did you build your current following?
As far as my following, it really started just from being popular in high school and around my city. I began going to college at VCU, so just from being apart of that community and performing in Richmond my following continued to grow in VA. From there, with the help of the internet I’ve been able to reach people in different states and even different countries. The irony is that it seems the farther away from people you are the more love they tend to show.I’m continuing to promote myself digitally and now that I’m new to Atlanta, I’m definitely planning on networking with people on the scene down here. The reason I relocated to the A was because I knew there’d be more opportunities to meet people in the industry, so I’ll make sure I take full advantage.
• How do you overcome obstacles and setbacks that may have occurred when pursuing your dreams in music?
For me I’ve definitely experienced those in different forms, from being runner up at contests, to meeting executives who seemed like they could help, but ended up not being any help at all, reaching out to other artists and producers and getting no response, to just different technical setbacks with engineers and producers. As time has gone on I’ve learned there’s going to be a lot of disappointments or times where things don’t go exactly as planned, but what keeps me going is the faith and confidence I have in myself. Anytime I start to doubt myself or become impatient I just listen to my music I make and everything gets restored, I remember what made me want to pursue a career in the first place. Not only that, but the faith that your friends and other people have in you can outweigh whatever negative thoughts you might be having. When I get down I tend to just think of my Grandmother, who passed away in 2015, and one of the last things that she said to me, that she believed in me and for me to never give up. Doubt is really just a sickness that can overcome you, so as long as you keep positive reinforcement around it’ll pass quickly and you can re-focus.
Click here to listen to Clayt’s latest EP “New Paint”! Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.