It’s been roughly a year since Cautious Clay quit his day job to pursue music full-time. With his full attention on music, Cautious has been steadily releasing hits over the past year. After the January release of Blood Type, an EP of Soundcloud gems like “Cold War” and “Stolen Moments”, Cautious Clay returns with RESONANCE. On a sunny day in late April, I caught up with Cautious in Brooklyn over Caribbean food to discuss his latest offering.
What’s going on today?
Today we’re finalizing my next project, RESONANCE, so we’re going in on that. I can show you some of the mock-ups.
I know for the last project there was a certain theme for all the album covers, the single covers too.
Exactly, there’s definitely themes. I’m still working on it but this is a very early stage. We’re going through very early stages of ideas. But we’re getting it done today. My homie from school. We went to college together and we took an electronic music class so it goes way back.
Is that how you keep it with your team?
Lane, my creative director, he does all my artwork. My manager. I have some good friends; this dude Rob Augustine, he manages this dude Mac Ayres. He’s a good homie. But yeah, it’s me, my creative director Lean Quatifah (Lane), who does all my artwork, and Daniel Powers who did all the photography for the project.
And what are you trying to convey with the new project, RESONANCE?
It’s a little less in your feelings, but a little more direct in my approach to writing it. “Resonance” as a musical term or technical term is strong lush sounds in a way that creates a filter frequency—the technical mixing term. And obviously as a noun, it’s the ability to evoke or suggest images, memories, or emotions. It’s got multiple terms. So for me I wanted to express more outwardly, feelings that were not just related to relationships and finding identity. It’s my personal take on my identity as a black person, my feelings towards people’s fakeness, and how people identity with and relate to people they admire.
I have one song on the project called “Call Me” that’s directly talking about that. I feel like especially now with what Kanye’s talking about, it’s crazy it’s [become] so relevant and it wasn’t meant to be that way. But it’s like dude that is a real thing. How a certain individual can become an idolized person, it’s like no one is safe. No one should be safe from criticism in that way. We are all human, we all make mistakes, but we can’t say wild shit and expect people to be okay with it. It’s hard man cause I love Kanye, but like what are you saying?
Fame and who you idolize is important to consider.
Each song shares perspective on fame, identity, and understanding people’s perspective on how they relate to you. How people react or relate to people that they know won’t do anything for them. How they act around certain people says a lot. The song “Smoke” on the project highlights that. The single is “French Riviera” and the two songs “Call Me” and “Smoke” touch on that.