By Adam Deane
VANCOUVER – Anyone remember Internet Explorer? You know, the browser everyone used to use before Apple and Google took over the world. The only browser there was, essentially. Alright, now flashback six years to 2011. You’re up late one night surfing cable; Netflix didn’t exist yet, follow me here – you land on a banging tune — forget the commercial — that prompts you and about 41 million other people to google “explorer commercial song.” And the rest is essentially history.
Well, for Alex Clare at least, and the DJ booths of every alternative radio station around North America. At the time, 26-year-old Clare had set fire to the barrier between his traditional British singer/songwriter roots and the ever-so-lovely electronic scene we all remember well from 2011 – almost “dubstep” if you will – with the release of his debut album, produced by Mike Spencer and Major Lazer, The Lateness of the Hour, and his world-wide hit “Too Close.”
Dig any deeper into Clare’s past and you’ll soon realize this man has dedicated his life to much more than just music. He is also a devoted family man, a baal teshuva to Orthodox Judaism and a Brit Award nominated songwriter. In fact, he and his family now live in the holy city of Jerusalem, which provided a sturdy foundation in the construction of his most recent album, Tail Of Lions. “Certainly the environment you live in sets the tone for everyday life and the way you focus. It’s the center of the world. I’ve lived in Jerusalem for two years now after going on a really regular basis. It’s an incredible place and my words wouldn’t begin to do the eternal city justice.”
Tail of Lions brings that same raspy, upbeat, transitional vibe to the game that we remember from Clare’s early work. When asked what has kept him going throughout his career, he credits his fans. “Every time I walk on a stage and there’s a room full of people singing my music back at me, it seems worth it. Every moment someone tells me that my songs helped them move forward in life from the negativity that was holding them back – that for me is incredibly special.”
Listen to any of the tracks on Tail of Lions and you’ll begin to realize Clare’s life is framed around realness, love, and sincerity. Three things he had trouble finding in a record label, leading him to release his newest album without the help of his prior label; a bold move for any artist. Alex and I finished up with a bit of advice for any upcoming artists. “Make a difference. It doesn’t matter what your medium, where you’re a singer/songwriter or a worker in a hardware store. Don’t let other people or your vocation define you, just be the best brother, sister, father, mother, husband, wife that you can be.”
Alex Clare performs at the Imperial (Vancouver) on November 9.alex clare, The Imperial