One of the most exciting talents to come out of North London recently, Milo Clare’s strain of lush, dreamy psych-pop is immediately immersive. Effortlessly mixing R&B grooves over sensual, melodic beats, Clare is a sure winner amongst fans of Tame Impala, Still Woozy and Steve Lacy.
Growing up in a single-parent, Irish-Caribbean family, Clare was surrounded by music from a young age with his mother exposing him to artists like The Cure, Erykah Badu, The Roots and The Clash. The 27-year-old also became very close to his surrogate father figure, a family friend who lived nearby, and just happened to be renowned producer Howie B. It made for quite the storied childhood as Clare bounced around in Howie’s recording studios while he worked with the likes of Massive Attack, Bjork and U2. Making music, it seems, was always an inevitability for Clare.
Today marks the release of his second single, Texas, from his upcoming debut EP. “This track is a tip of the hat to that South Central spirit – a tongue-in-cheek ode to a series of perfectly messy Texan romances. It’s a playful soundtrack for your drive from state to state of mind,” he says.
Below, HUNGER caught up with the talent about his influences, and where he’s going next…
Could you define your sound in five words?
Psychedelic soundtracks for cosmic lovers.
What can we expect from your debut EP?
It’s a few postcards I wanted to send from the past to the future — a couple of special moments in my life I thought were worth preserving and sharing the only way I know how.
There’s definitely an element of dreamy psychedelic pop to your work — for me, it’s quite reminiscent of the likes of Tame Impala, Still Woozy and Steve Lacy. What artists do you really think influenced or helped evolve your sound and aesthetic?
I like those artists a lot! I would add George Clinton, Bootsy Collins and Erykah Badu into the mix, as well as André 3000 and D’Angelo.
You come from two very different cultures, Jamaica and Ireland. How have they influenced your music?
Our cultures are joy-driven and routed in honest expression — small islands with massive vibes. We are loud and fun people — when was the last time you met a shy Irish or Jamaican person?! This energy flows through the music
What’s your earliest musical memory? Anything that really stands out?
Skateboarding carefree around a music studio with my sister Chilli, trip-hop blaring through the speakers
You spent a lot of time with producer Howie B growing up – is that when you realised that a love of music can translate into a full-blown career?
The globetrotting Scottish Yoda! Howie fathered me and has been a guiding force in my life, musically and beyond. As a kid, I honestly thought everybody’s job was to write songs (I still think it should be), and I always pictured myself doing the same.
How did you get into music?
Someone must have left a door open
How has your music been received by friends and family — any unexpected reactions?
I’m lucky to have a super supportive and creative crew who I love sharing music with. A couple of mates have revealed that my tracks have ended up on their “bedtime” playlists, which is amusing and bizarre in equal measure!
What artist had the biggest effect on you as a teen? Adolescence can be a pivotal moment when it comes to defining our music tastes…
My teens were rock and indie heavy —Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Libertines, The Strokes, anyone wearing skinny jeans with a bad haircut I was probably listening to. I was also a big hip hop head — I guess eclectic is the best word.
If you could only list three artists for the rest of your life who would they be?
I think it would take me the rest of my life to decide — impossible!
Top three musical genres?
Funk, Rock, Hip-Hop
What do you do when you’re stuck in a songwriting rut? Favourite way to decompress?
Running clears my head when needed and new experiences with my friends help fill it back up.
What’s a song/artist that you can’t get enough of right now?
I’ve listened to Piece of me by Lady Wray on repeat for the last week!
Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with?
Hard to pick one — was listening to Gorillaz earlier today and I think that would be a banging collab.
Favourite song to get the party started?
Currently, it’s RAS – Ashqelon – might have to be the right party but I’m into it!
What’s been the most surreal moment of your career so far?
Ended up in a room with Pharrell scrutinising some demos I was working on is definitely up there
How will you know if you’ve made it in music?
If you’re releasing music that becomes the soundtrack to people’s lives you’ve made it in my opinion
How do you want to be seen as an artist?
Preferable well lit through a clear lens
What’s next for you musically?
I hope to experience things worth writing about and write well enough to unlock new experiences. I’m excited for the year ahead and I’m feeling lucky
Finally, what does music mean to you, how does it enrich your life on a day-to-day basis?
I can’t separate music and my life — they are one and the same.
Listen to ‘Texas’, here.