Soul, blues and bass
Ones To Watch - Alex Clare

Hands up who loves a singing drummer! We do, yet our latest discovery has moved past the ignominy of propping up a band from the back of the stage and is a neo-soul boy whose album on Island has just been produced by dancehall producers Major Lazer. Bye bye drumsticks then.

Alex Clare, a chef from North West London, can write a tune. But coupled with producers Diplo and Switch he’s now a deadly proposition in bass that peddles just as much soul.

“We started making the record in New Orleans,” smiles the twenty-five-year-old. “I’d never met them [Diplo and Switch] before and just went straight into the studio during Mardi Gras, the best time to be in New Orleans - seeing the city and the true colours and picking up a bit of the vibes. And I think a bit of New Orleans rubbed off - you can soak that city up. It’s hard to be there and not be creative.”

His latest anthem ‘Relax My Beloved’ is a growling monster, a hybrid bass thumper we’d expect from Diplo’s hands, effortlessly ahead of the club curve yet tethered to the here-and-now with Clare’s smooth and deep lyrical flips - this is clearly a man that loves his soul idols. “My biggest song writing heroes are Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Snooks Eaglin, Skip James and Mississippi John Hurt,” he tells Clash.

You can hear these fine references at first listen, but we doubt his idols will have heard this new soul man’s progress from afar - snaking through club culture, with a dash of dancehall and an ocean of bass, his journey is as fresh as it is unique.

Words by Matthew Bennett
Photos by Samuel John Butt

Where: North West London
What: Soul, blues and bass
Unique fact: Alex can tell you a story about every single street in London.
Get 3 songs: ‘Relax My Beloved’, 'Up All Night',


Follow Clash: