I’m tired of this Tennis music; there’s too much racket…”
— Clyde Robinson
Portland-based author, producer, vocalist, musician – and artist – Clyde Robinson – is as unique as they come. From his perspective, from his unorthodox project arrangements to his use of upside down punctuation as he expresses himself in writing. His latest project, Insomniac Nights, is an eclectic blend of positive motivation, everyday ignorance, and the overall human experience. The album, which he interestingly refers to as a “Late Night Program,” is a 12-song collection of music developed with a higher purpose. As he describes it, “the album is meant to generate outrageous amounts of neurotic activity.”
From the onset of the project, the lyrical self-titled Intro, he lets his hunger be known by proclaiming, “I want it badder than that nigga in the 9th grade chasing sex who never had it [sic].” The remaining 11 songs are a musical journey — a sonic marriage of experimental pop music, and traditional hip-hop bravado. Standouts here include the head nodding Live It Up, the fresh flow of Spit Yo Game, and the hypnotic production of WE, featuring Netty. With a vocal cadence that almost puts us in the mind of Danny Brown (slightly), Insomniac Nights is a solid listen, and an excellent introduction to the Real Informal Productions artist.
We recently had the opportunity to chat with Clyde, who told us about his music inspirations, the project itself, and his goals in the industry. Check the interview below.
How did you get involved in hip-hop?
My father’s side of the family were a big musical background. My pops and his brothers were all big into hip hop production, so that kept it in my brain. Around high school, I started making beats and by senior year I was really good at them — yet rappers in my area said the beats were too complicated to rap over. I guess I couldn’t blame them, I was used to the transience of classic rock, so I wanted my beats to be just as transient you know¿ Eventually, that drove me to get on top of them myself; however, I honestly couldn’t consider it all hip-hop, though.
Who were some of your influences?
Hendrix, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Kanye, Slash, and Beethoven.
Tell me about your music – what are you currently working on?
So I wrote an erotic novel called NightSwim, and it comes with a soundtrack so that you can read the erotic scenes with music in your head to color the imagery your mind is projecting, as well as raising the dramatic and climatic atmosphere. I also have a short five-track mixtape/EP titled Stories. Trying to get it done ASAP, so it can be out before summer.
How would you describe your sound?
Experimental Pop. I work hard trying to combine so many musical pastimes and arrange them in a way that catches a mainstream audience. I guess you could say complex-pop as well; ultimately, I try to create experiences, not necessarily songs you know¿ just want people to push play, and “see” not just a beginning middle and end, but an exposition, conflict, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution. But you know, sometimes leaving out the resolution, and other times making the climax at the end — just mixing it all up.
“It is a fearful mind that will hold you back from your maximum human potential.”
What are your goals in the industry?
To be the only Clyde Robinson and to inspire the people above, below, and around me to be the only “(their identity here).”
What do you want people to take away from you as an artist?
Everything you needed to succeed in anything was gifted to you at birth — it’s called your mind. Wether you use it or lose it, the effects of the former and the latter can produce ASTRONOMICAL amounts of results; learn to control it, and those results can be HEAVENLY. Also, I guess people could take away “it’s normal to be different, no need to keep thinking it’s so weird…” You know¿
Do you want to remain independent or sign to a major label?
All depends on the fine print; both routes have ups and downs; as outside the box as I plan to be, though, I’m pretty sure independent would make the most sense.