Clairmont the Second is a rapper representing the west side of Toronto. He’s a multi-faceted artist, with a sound that can’t be compared to any other artist in the game right now. He was also featured on our Northern Stars episode as part of the new wave that’s changing Toronto’s sound. His recent release of “Lil Mont From the Ave” has been making waves on Soundcloud, and also gave the West End of Toronto the praise they deserve. The young artist has been hailed for doing everything on his own; from creating, producing, and directing/filming his own videos, Clairmont does it all. That’s why listening to this album is mandatory, if you haven’t listened already.
This is Clairmont’s second appearance on The Come Up Show Podcast, and there’s been so much growth since the last time we spoke. In our interview, we talked about his different personas from Clairmont The Second, Lil Mont from the Ave, Saucy Boss. He told us about the time he almost lost his life in a car accident, what it was like to license his previous album to a record label, and so much more. If you want to get real insight on what Toronto artists are going through right now, you need to listen to this interview. Below is an excerpt from our talk, play the podcast to hear more.
The three faces to Clairmont [03:10]
Clairmont: These little braids are Lil Mont from the Ave, the high tops are Clairmont the Second, and the durag and the sunglasses is the Saucy Boss. Those are my three personas: Lil Mont from the Ave, Clairmont the Second, and the Saucy Boss. The Saucy Boss is a little bit more low key right now but he’s coming up, he pops in and out. He’s funny, he can be many things but he’s more of the R&B guy. Lil Mont from the Ave is kind of like everything… Clairmont the Second is like earlier in me, the Saucy Boss is like future me. Lil Mont is like that bridge.
Experience signing with a record label [15:43]
Clairmont: I wanted to try it out, I thought it would be cool. Especially with such a good album [“The Quest for Milk and Honey: Black Edition”]. I’m over it now, but it’s a good album that I thought could be bigger, and it barely went bigger. It didn’t do too much. I didn’t like the whole process of [the album] being signed to a label either. I just wasn’t a fan of it. I’m working on everything myself now. I control the dates, I control where this goes… I feel good.
Chedo: Did you have to give up some of the control when you got signed?
Clairmont: Luckily I had control over the art aspect. I had control over to videos, the music and all of that stuff. Which is great because no one gets that opportunity to sign the deal and keep the art the way they want it. When it comes to more technical stuff, I wasn’t cool with it personally…. If you feel a way about signing a deal in the first place, then don’t sign it. Once you sign it, now your sanity is placed in someone else’s hands. I personally didn’t want to sign when I came into the game, that was my original goal. That’s pretty much what Chance the Rapper is doing now, what Daniel Caesar is doing now, and that’s what I want. I want to own everything, and not have anyone put their name on it, and give credit where it’s not due. Me signing that deal was like going against what I’ve been preaching about. I can’t do that anymore, so everything is independent now.
Chedo: What advice would you give to other artists out there?
Clairmont: Go in 100%., because if it’s not 100%, then it’s not something you should do. Even when I was convinced, I was still not 100%. I was probably 85%, which is not enough. Especially in this game, this game is dangerous. This game is way too dangerous for you to not be 100% about something.
Getting hit by a car [38:03]
Clairmont: I was on my way to meet Hezi because he moved to Richmond Hill so he wasn’t going to my school anymore. It was Summer, and I was excited because I haven’t seen this guy from time. I was on Weston Road, so I needed to cross the street to catch the bus on the opposite way I was running. So as I was going straight a car was going in the same direction as me but then made a left and then we collided. I thought I was asleep because when you get hit, you don’t know you got hit. It felt like I blacked out a little bit. All I remember hearing was a horn and then a thud, and then everything went black. I remember rolling, then I wake up on the floor and I’m confused. I wasn’t in pain, but I was like what happened? I look at my leg and the bone is popped up, I didn’t think it was broken so I tried to walk it off but I just fell to the ground. I had a broken tibia, fibula, and sprained ankle, it was pretty bad.
Chedo: That was in 2010, so you were like 13 right?
Clairmont: That never really affected me until more recently. I started thinking it was kind of messed up and scary, just by replaying the whole thing from the 10-second blackout to being carried and waiting for my mom. Someone saw it on the news too and said: “Please don’t tell me that’s your son” to my mom. But it was kind of messed up, I could’ve died.
Kids getting turned away from pursuing art [57:27]
Clairmont: You know how much people want to do art, and then get shut down so fast? A lot of people want to do art, and then people immediately ask “ok, but what’s your real career goal?” I remember when everyone used to draw and make comic books, and then it all just kind of stopped… So just do what you want to do man, trust your gut too.