TIDAL Rising Artist of the Week: Steven A. Clark
Where Neon Goes to Die is the aptly-titled new album from Miami-based singer-songwriter Steven A. Clark. The project is a rich blend of funk, R&B and pop music that traverses the many moods of city life. Born from the community found on a downtown dance floor, Neon captures the solitude of a walk home after closing time, the comfort of a partner and the cyclical mania of an urban upbringing.
His previous album, The Lonely Roller, laid bare feelings of longing and the sense that a better life may turn out to be just beyond one’s reach. That album’s synth-heavy tracks brim with vitality and sense of a purpose: discovering if the path to true happiness exists. With Neon, Clark reconciles the frustration when that journey reveals that the grass is not necessarily greener.
Clark’s journey from Little Rock to Fayetteville, North Carolina and finally, Miami (where he caught the ear of artists like Pitbull) can be summed up in one word: persistence.
The Rising Artist of the Week has, over the better part of a decade, approached every new album as an opportunity to revel more of himself. Clark’s attention to capturing a detailed narrative, while singing “in the pocket” has been his calling card. His commitment to involving his own growth into the core of his music gives his work a capacity to be understood on a personal level.
With production handled by German electronic producer Boyz Noize, the albums begins with a sparse, re-worked version of a song Clarke’s uncle performed at family gatherings called “Maria, Under the Moon.” It is a wistful song of companionship that sets the album’s tone of aversion to being too idealistic. “My Uncle and I had the same spirit,” Clarke says. “We spoke the same language.”
The provocative lyrics of “Did I Hurt U,” featuring a quick guest verse from Miami’s burgeoning rapper, Denzel Curry, provides a murky layer to the album’s shifting perspectives. “What Can I Do” is balladic tribute to his mother and a nod to a new phase of his maturation. Ultimately, this new chapter in Clark’s career pays homage to both his current emotional state and the journey he took top get there/
Throughout the week, we will get a better understanding of the music that influenced his new album in a TIDAL-exclusive playlist and Clark speaks to TIDAL about some of his family history, his relationship with Boyz Noize and the ever-changing sound of R&B in an interview.
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