Today we premiere the official music video of Clap and Thunder’s thought-evoking single The Only Way. The video is very much in reflection of the current mood amidst the Black Lives Movement and bearing great relevance to many conversations being had at the moment about race, it takes its viewer on an emotional journey as it brings to life the sentiment of the track. We were keen to learn more about the track and video so we spoke to Clap and Thunder about their inspiration, meaning and connection to the release.
Your track ‘The Only Way’ seems to be extremely relevant at the moment, can you tell us more about the meaning?
Sheyi: The song is protest song and is talking about taking a stand. It’s so frustrating to keep having to talk about the same injustices over and over again; it’s exasperating. But we must keep talking it about it nonetheless
Matt: I think the track holds a lot of pent up emotions it’s a protest song about the injustice surrounding BLM but will also serve as a time capsule for me as it really does incapsulate the current climate. For me the track is about taking action.
What does “Juneteenth” mean to you?
Sheyi: My best friend who is an African American put it perfectly; ‘It’s a day for black people to celebrate that, to quote the great poet Lucille Clifton, everyday something has tried to kill us and has failed. We are here. We made it. Our ancestors survived, and we survived, so we must rejoice’
What do you want listeners to take away from the track?
Sheyi: I want listeners to keep going! And I want them to feel empowered. There is never a good time, but in this current season people seem to be listening and that’s important
Matt: I think conversation is important and if it makes people aware and to ask questions that’s a good thing. I also hope that the overall feeling of the track is one of hope and is uplifting.
We loved the concept behind the video, why was it important to you to tie in videos of the protests?
Sheyi: For me, it was a thankyou to all of my friends who went on the protests. I couldn’t go to any myself and so I wanted to say how much I appreciated them speaking on behalf of people like me.
Matt: Because they really go hand in hand. We had the track first and decide it was a perfect match for the times we find ourselves in.
What was your reason for releasing this track now?
Sheyi: It just felt like the perfect time. We have been sitting on it for a while and it just felt like the perfect time to put it out!
Matt: I like it when pop music is relevant and by its nature has a symbolic relationship with the here and now. It just makes sense to be heard now.
Tell us more about Clap and Thunder, how did you come together as a duo?
Sheyi: We met at a gig I was singing at in Soho, London. Matt was impressed with the vocals enough to suggest we try something together. That’s when Clap & Thunder was born. We both have different skills but know that when they come together they are great.
Describe your sound in a sentence…
Sheyi: Deep, Soul voice accompanied by great beats and unique synths.
Matt: It’s really amalgamation of two different music worlds. My style is probably more aggressive and angular and Sheyi’s is more soulful and serene.
What is important to Clap and Thunder when making and releasing music?
Sheyi: It’s important to have a story and a message. It’s also really important that you connect with people, and that normally happens if you’ve told your story well.
Matt: Because we are a calibration of styles and influences, I think as long as we both like what we are hearing we will have an original sounding track and that for me is important before we send something out into the world.
How have you been affected creatively by the pandemic?
Sheyi: Ironically it has actually made me much more creative because I’ve had no choice but to think outside the box and make something happen. All you can do in isolation is observe, and watch because so many practical options are taken away. This is also the most consistent I have been when it comes to putting new things out and keeping stuff fresh.
Matt: I think it’s given us time to think and realise how vulnerable things really are. At the start of the pandemic I personally didn’t feel creative at all but after slowly adjusting to this new reality I think it’s given us lots of creative room to express ourselves after all the act of creating is a cathartic one keeping us sane through these strange times.
What can we expect from Clap and Thunder for the rest of 2020?
Sheyi: Lots more things. We have more songs, more videos to create and more stories to tell. Can’t wait!
Matt: We have lot more tunes in the pipe line. We might be working remotely via zoom but we have now found this new way of working very productive and feel we are on a roll. We are planning more content, videos and music.