I first heard Clairmont when I was browsing Undrtone. I heard his song with Harrison called, “It’s Ok I Promise.” I had gone through something in my personal life and the song really spoke to me. The song made me feel like I wasn’t alone in my problems. I have been a fan of this small time 18-year-old rapper from Toronto’s West Side ever since. I find that his music is very relatable and very accessible. That might be because I am also an 18 from around a major city. He has a certain humility and honesty attached to his music that isn’t seen by other artists his age. While artists like, Lil Yachty and Lil Uzi Vert are rapping about the money they don’t have yet or about all the girls they are sleeping with, when in reality they have had a girlfriend for 2 years. Clairmont raps about his past relationships with girls that he wasn’t really into but was peer pressured into it by his friends and then at the end he really falls for this girl and is upset when he leaves. Or how people didn’t necessarily fuck with him as little as a year ago but since he is popping everyone wants a piece. He also longs for the time when he didn’t know all the things that he knew now.
After the release of his new mixtape album, Quest for Milk and Honey, I had the ability to talk to Clairmont over email about Toronto, who he is, and his motivation to be the best.
Gene: Who are you exactly?
Clairmont The Second: I am Clairmont The Second, spell my name correctly and don’t forget the capital T, and I’m from Weston. I am a music artist/producer.
G: Who are some of your major influences
CTS: My major influences are Colanthony Humphrey a.k.a Cola, Andre 3000, Kendrick Lamar, and Tyler the Creator.
G: Are you going to stay independent or are you looking for a label to sign with?
CTS: I’m not sure at this point. I would want to stay independent as long as I can but if a beautiful deal gets thrown in my face I would definitely do some contemplating.
G: Do you feel like a label is needed to be successful in music anymore?
CTS: I don’t feel like you need a label to be successful in music. You just need that one track, that one cosign, or anything of that nature to just spread around your work and from there you’re good. You have guys like Chance the Rapper who are touring the world, making tv appearances, and etc. It’s crazy.
G: What type of music did you listen to when you were younger?
CTS: When it was younger it was like 80% Gospel, 10% R&B, and 10% Rap.
G: Do you feel like being from Toronto has influenced your sound in a good or bad way?
CTS: Being from Toronto didn’t really influence my sound at all. If anything a good chunk of Toronto music showed me what to stay away from so that I can stand out. I think my older brother is my major influence when it comes to my sound. Him being from Toronto didn’t influence his skill or how different his music is from everybody else’s.
G: What is your opinion on the OVO sound “farm system?”
CTS: I mean, they’re doing their thing so kudos to them. I’m not really focused on them though. I’m just trying to make timeless music on my end and figure out how to rise up.
G:Do you think that Drake is becoming the Dre of Toronto?
CTS: I understand why people may think that but I don’t think so. For starters, he doesn’t produce, haha.
G: What is your dream collaboration?
CTS: There are a lot of people I want to work with. It’s hard to say what my dream collaboration would be. I’d love to work with Pharrell, Tyler the Creator, the TDE camp, Chance the Rapper, Andre 3000! There’s a giant list.
G: What was it like opening with GoldLink?
CTS: Opening for GoldLink is till date one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. He might be the most famous person I’ve met, hahaha. I was introduced to him briefly after my set so that was really cool. He said he heard some of my set but since he was about to get on stage he was in the zone. I’m like, “I completely understand man”, that was really cool. I saw footage from that show and thought I did so wack.
G: What caused you to say, “Maybe I should take this music thing more serious?”
CTS: It started out as, “I’m better than everybody else at this and my brother is rapping too so I’m gonna do this”. Then it became, “I’m not that good however I want to be better than my peers”. Then it was me recognizing how much I love music because I’ve been doing it all my life so why not buckle down and take this a step further. Now I can save lives with music, I can keep myself sane with music. Music is powerful.
G: What is the one song that I should play for someone if I want them to listen to all of their music?
CTS: It’s hard to say what one song describes my entire sound. I have one offs that are bangers but I highly suggest people listen to my full length albums. Quest for Milk and Honey is an album, not a mixtape.