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INTERVIEW: Crystal Clayton

Hi Crystal, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hey! I’m doing great. I’m excited to share my new project with you.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Is It Me?”?

“Is it Me?” is a feel good song. It’s about that excited feeling you get in your stomach when you know good things are happening and you can feel the change in energy.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I think I was really happy about some new music I was writing and I was able to share that energy and excitement with my producer and my team. It was a moment of thinking “I know where I’m going with this and I know how to get where I want to be.” That moment was really special and I didn’t want it to end.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

I released a little teaser video for the song on Instagram and Youtube, but I am still working on some ideas for a full music video. Stay tuned!

The single comes off your new EP 3:AM  – what’s the story behind the title?

3:AM is the name of one of the songs on the project. The music producer of the project, Bam Keith, started referring to the song by that name, and it stuck. It made sense because often, when I can’t sleep late at night, I will just start writing and coming up with ideas. I have a lot of song ideas while I’m asleep, and there have been times I’ve woken up from being fast asleep with the chorus of a song in my head! I grab my phone and have to record it real quick before I forget it.

How was the recording and writing process?

I wrote some of the songs on 3:AM at home and brought them into the studio to work on with Bam Keith. One of the songs we wrote together in studio and worked the music around. It was kinda difficult because Bam was travelling out of state quite a bit for the Grammy Museum. At one point I would send him clips of song ideas I had come up with and he would send back ideas for the track.  The process was a lot of fun and I feel like I was able to expand on my creativity and create a sound.

What was it like to work with Bam Keith and how did that relationship develop?

Bam Keith and I are both from Kansas City, we met through mutual musician friends. I was a fan of his work and he had reached out to me showing interest in working together. When I was ready to start another project I hit him up and he really understood the vision I was going for. Being able to be creative in the studio and bounce ideas off of one another was so much fun for me.

How much did he get to influence the album?

He is crazy talented at creating beats. He started out playing drums and then piano, so the project has some really cool beats and keys in the production. It was cool for me because I wanted to make a sound that was different from your typical pop/R&B. I think it turned out pretty unique.

What role does LA play in your music?

I just moved to LA from Kansas City at the beginning of this year.  It’s been an adventure so far and I’ve already written a couple songs that are influenced by the struggle of LA artist life.  Breaking into the music scene out here has a different energy and it’s really inspiring.

What aspect of your life did you get to explore on this record?

I think with this project i really didn’t let anything hold me back. I challenged myself as a songwriter because I created some content that I typically wouldn’t feel too comfortable writing about. But that’s been something I’ve realized throughout this journey moving halfway across the country; you can’t grow when you’re comfortable. My music has always been personal, but I think with this project there is another level of intimacy that I reveal with the listener.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

I really just get my inspiration from where I’m at in my life or past events where I experienced strong, raw emotions.  I’m a pretty emotional/empathetic person so It’s somewhat easy for me to mentally go back to situations and draw from those feelings. This project has a range of highs, when I’m so excited about life and blissfully in that moment; to incredible lows, when I just feel like things are falling apart and I’m trying to hold everything together.

Any plans to hit the road?

I would love to tour hopefully later this year! Right now my main focus is releasing and promoting this project, as well as gigging around my new city.

What else is happening next in Crystal Clayton’s world?

I’m working on creating some music video content and I’m always writing and working on new music. I’ve been cooking up some songs that are heavily inspired by my new life in LA so I am excited to get those out hopefully over the summer. Also, not related to music, I am super passionate about the environment and being eco-friendly as well as wildlife conservation. I’m hoping to partner with organizations in the future to help preserve this beautiful planet we live on as well as all the critters we share it with!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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