2015’s Mercury Music Prize winner Benjamin Clementine has provided a rare bright spot in the list of one of music’s most controversial prizes. The Prize has been accused of trying too hard to select artists who deliberately resist the mainstream acceptance which comes in the same envelope as that £20,000 cheque. An undoubtedly talented instrumentalist and songwriter (and a bonafide poet to boot), the London born Clementine is someone who has spent too long in the wings and seems to be genuinely appreciative of the prize.
Clementine is the ideal Mercury Winner, a musician with the talent to please larger audiences and one with the combination of soulful artistry and hard graft required to satisfy the most exacting of musos. While the hipster scene might drop Clementine for the next undiscovered, struggling poet songwriter, now is a great time to discover Benjamin Clementine for yourself.
His debut album “At Least For Now” comes after two EPs that have given Clementine the opportunity to round off the roughest edges of his act and produce a full record of substantial, well considered music. While the early stages of any new talent are always exciting to follow, that growth spurt into maturity is a wonderful thing to listen to. It is still thrilling to see this artist take his next steps in the path to even greater acceptance.
Clementine was born in London and spent some of his late teens in Camden before moving to Paris at the age of 19. A talented pianist, he slept rough or stayed in cheap hostels, busking on the streets or playing in dive bars to get by while writing his own music. The hard work paid off within a few years as the Parisian music scene began to take notice of the prodigious talent in their midst. In 2012, things began to accelerate quickly with an agent, manager, EP and finally major label album deal all following in quick succession.
With a voice that has been compared to Nina Simone and Anthony Hegarty, lyrics as deep and dark as Nick Cave or Tom Waits and an intense, theatrical performance style, Benjamin Clementine is a thrilling musician and an incredible live act. He also wears an overcoat particularly well and has collaborated with Burberry on a number of occasions, supplying the soundtrack to the controversial, Steve McQueen-directed Mr Burberry ad.
His style makes the most of every inch of his considerable height with full length coats and long pinstripe formal trousers creating an even longer silhouette. Simplicity is the key to his look, often not straying far from simple black and white which might be why he’s proven popular with the Remus Uomo team. If like us, you’re a fan of his look we’d suggest this tapered fit overcoat - a timeless style staple with welt pockets to keep the lines of the coat simple and sleek - worn over a white shirt, black trousers, black dress shoe and no socks.
Shop his look and then add him to your Spotify playlist immediately.
London by Benjamin Clementine
Nemesis by Benjamin Clementine
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