Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on Mar 2nd 2010 5:30PM by Simona Rabinovitch
"My shows are pretty intense," Clarence Greenwood, a.k.a. Citizen Cope, tells Spinner before a sold-out show in his adopted hometown of New York. "When you play music it can take you deep. There's a presence, a sense of awareness and consciousness that takes over."
Even just speaking with the raspy-voiced singer, songwriter and producer feels almost mystical -- he's so real, it's surreal. But before things get too trippy, he cracks a joke: "I don't do too much dancin' or anything, no trapeze," he quips, confessing to periods of intense introversion and shyness.
"I used to get really bad stage fright and never expected to be a performing artist. I always saw myself as more of a producer or a songwriter. But the more I performed the better I got at it, and the more comfortable I got."
Born in Memphis, TN and raised in Washington, DC, the 41-year old Brooklyn resident is beginning a rigorous tour to support his new album, 'The Rainwater LP.' The debut release on his own label, RainWater Recordings, it's his fourth studio record. It also takes Citizen Cope's unique urban alchemy of downtempo hip-hop, acoustic rock, jazz, blues and funk to the deep-end.
Self-produced in Brooklyn and Malibu, the ten-song effort is best listened to as a story from start to finish, rather than a collection of singles. And as its name suggests, it does have a sexy, sepia-toned LP feel.
"I try to make an album something you can listen to from start to finish," said the mellow, dreadlocked musician. "Something with a little bit of pacing, a journey."
But the journey isn't about one specific life experience or moment in time. Rather, he draws from the past, collective consciousness and universal emotion.
"As a writer you don't necessarily have write about something happening right now -- it might be five years, or ten years, or twenty years later. Certain people are able to tap into that universal kind of thing, into emotions that everyone has experienced in different ways: pain, joy, love, life. The person can see themselves in the song and identify with the emotion and take it in as their own. That's why it can be difficult to explain what a song is about -- songs tap into our subconscious more than we think."