Evan B Culture had a chance recently to sit down with rising Pittsburgh R&B artist Amir Clemons for an Exclusive interview. Amir had a chance to discuss the real stories behind his music, his new project “Anywhere But Here” and who we should check for next out of his city.
EBC: So what made you decide to run with your government name Amir as the name you perform under rather than using a stage moniker?
AC: I use my name as my stage name because I choose not to hide behind some made up character. I want my fans to know that it is me and it will always be me.
EBC: I know you’ve been singing since really young like 5 years old. Most people sing as a hobby, but what made you want to pick up the mic and pursue singing professionally?
AC: I make music professionally because I’m a businessman…but I really enjoy making the music for myself. It helps me feel better inside and I’m hoping it helps others.
EBC: So man, you’ve been through a lot in your time on earth. From foster homes to broken family and broken hearts. How has all the tragedy played a role in your artistry?
AC: That what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger and from where I’m sitting I am the strongest man that I know. I have learned that life is not about how well you are doing when you’re up, yet how well you ride out of your darkest times.
EBC: Now a lot of your music is based on personal experience. You have a song called “We Belong to Someone” that sounds very rooted in reality. Can you give us the backstory on this record and how it came together?
AC: Damn…the story is about a recent affair. An affair that I tried to avoid but during the height of emotions succumbed to temptation. No matter how I tried to avoid the feelings I had the energy between us seemed to trump out the consequences. I eventually came to my senses and ended the affair, to no avail, it blew up in my face because, “We Belong to Someone”.
EBC: Now that you’ve released “Anywhere But Here” what’s next on the horizon for you as an artist?
AC: It took a lot for me to release this album, “Anywhere But Here” and music is something that I will always do. I produce it from my soul and at this point I am simply creating new music and attending nursing school full-time. My fans can expect another album including a visual album coming later this year.
EBC: Over the past 5 years or so Pittsburgh has made quite some noise with the emergence of Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller becoming music superstars. Has that attention coming to Pitt made it easier for upcoming artists or harder?
AC: I respect Wiz and Mac for making it out of our city and I also am a huge Wiz fan. I even look forward to working with the two, but their success has nothing to do with mine at this point. Unless they’re going to be signing me or working with me directly.
EBC: Keeping in the local music scene of Pittsburgh who are some of your frequent collaborators or artists we should be on the lookout for besides yourself?
AC: Pittsburgh is FULL of undiscovered talent and I have a team full of STRAIGHT HITTERS including: Corona Biggs, Miss Money, a poppin new artist named “Hookahman” and last but not least I am producing an artist named Pharaoh. It’s like we really have our own label and have all been together for years. WE ARE IT.
EBC: Knowing that you went through all the hardships you did coming up through the foster care system, what is some advice you would give to kid in that same situation who may be feeling like there’s no hope left for him or her?
AC: First, Thanks for asking me this question and to answer, I would say to any young person that is experiencing trouble in their lives that YOU ARE SPECIAL. When I was growing up I was always told that I am special. I believe that I am I tend to reach higher than others. I think to help troubled souls through hard time you need to help them understand that they too have a purpose.
EBC: So back to the music and a lighter note, now that 2017 is here what was your favorite project to listen too of 2016?
AC: I really do not like the music that has been surfacing lately. I hate to sound like an ass. but this shit sucks. Most of these wack ass rappers and singers are in the way. Nothing released today seems to rise above the level of a fad and although in music that has always been an issue, in the past 10 years the music industry has changed so much that being a fad is almost necessary for the recipe of success. I think the last ground breaking album was Channel Orange by Frank Ocean.
EBC: Much love for the interview fam. Anything else you want to let the people know that’s checking this out?
AC: If you are reading this Thank you for your support and through God and Good energy…ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.