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Getting to Know: Benjamin Clementine

No Comments 1 January 2014

Getting to Know: Benjamin Clementine

“I am alone in a box of stone.” The opening lyric of Benjamin Clementine’s debut single, “Cornerstone,” is a surprisingly apt introduction to the 24-year-old singer hailing from North London.

Alone, he most certainly is. That is to say, I am confident no contemporary artist has come close to matching this young man in terms of talent in a very long time. Every once in a while, you hear a voice so powerful, so passionate, so painful, that it renders anything else in the room obsolete. This is precisely what happened to me upon stumbling on “Cornerstone” for the first time.

Clementine could be said to be alone in the more traditional sense, too. Raised in Edmonton and of Ghanaian descent, he relocated to Paris four years ago after a separation. It was here he perfected his art, performing aboard The Metro, a true lone ranger soon to be signed to top indie label Behind.

In June, Clementine released his debut EP, Cornerstone, but it wasn’t until October when he appeared on Jools Holland that “la révélation anglais des Francos” gained recognition on an international scale. Despite featuring alongside Paul McCartney and Arctic Monkeys, the balladeer once described as a “male Nina Simone” enraptured his audience to the point his performance went viral. A debut album has since been confirmed to follow up the physical reissue of Cornerstone EP due this month, suggesting Benjamin Clementine isn’t going to be alone for very much longer at all.

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