Clarence Jahman | The Hague, Netherlands
“Never too late to learn new things“
Interview | Clarence Jahman | Musican / Producer
Hi Clarence, please finish the sentence, I am . . .
passionate about making music with the piano and saxophone, besides working with passion in my daily job
What inspired you to create music?
Being able to create vibes, by letting creativity work. Music can be touching in such a way that it can make the listener’s mind flow to other worlds/realities/memories/moods. I believe music can influence well-being and health.
How would you describe your style?
Relaxing stylish instrumental music with a sensual touch of Smooth Jazz, to create feelings of contentment in classy vibes
Favorite tools (analog / digital) to create your work? And why?
Analog: my synthesizers/keyboards Roland Fantom and Yamaha Motif XS. My grand piano, and my saxophone as an addition.
Digital: Logic Pro, virtual instruments, plug-ins
I like to combine my analog and digital ways of working, to broaden the music sound-wise, and it feels like having unlimited possibilities
Could you tell us about your creative process when making music?
I mostly come up with a chorus and start building around it. It’s like the chorus is the house and the verses are the fundament that empower and support the house. This works for both my instrumental music and music I make for vocalists. It all starts with a (chorus) melody.
With more moodful (lounge) music I use no specific structure to create a song.
A little technical for most people: For releasing music I prefer to let the mixing and mastering process being done by others, more specialized and professional in those crafts. (the finishing touch, polishing the sound)
Do you collaborate with other artists? And could you tell us more about that?
Yes every now and then I do collabs, like playing keys/sax in live bands. I also collaborate in producing music, in the past been working together with Nicky (Djaga) Boot for an orchestral production, performed by the ‘Blazerskapel van de de Nederlandse Marine’ (Horns orchestra of the Dutch Navy) and which was broadcasted on National Dutch Television, but also with Kala productions (Urban music and 80s inspired electro funk). Also been keyboard-player for several urban Dutch artists for the Dutch national radiostation FunX during live broadcasts.
What are some of your best music experiences?
Being keyboard-player for the touring live band of Brainpower ( a well-known Dutch HipHop artist in The Netherlands)
Being keyboard player in reggae-band ‘ Poor Man Friend’ in the past. Doing lots of gigs in clubs and festivals in The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Performing live at a big gala together with Nicky (Djaga) Boot and friends together with the Horns orchestra of the Dutch Navy, the orchestral arrangement as mentioned above.
Electronic music with Idriss Rouchiche (Kala Sound Productions)
Composing music for a documentary-movie called ‘ Jaji’ (shown in various cinemas in The Netherlands, Surinam and Indonesia), about Javanese diaspora
What is your cultural background?
Javanese/Surinam (born in The Netherlands)
In terms of identity how would you describe yourself?
A world-citizen, with strong interests in his Javanese/Indonesian roots and culture
What aspects of your culture are most important to you?
Hard to describe, but it has to do with a feeling of ‘ home-coming’ whenever you see for example, an Indonesian/Javanese wayang doll, or hearing gamelan music. It’s interesting to see how Javanese diaspora is on the one hand trying to keep the Javanese culture alive, but on the other hand tries to find its way or adapt in various societies (where people with Surinam-Javanese roots live).
Has your cultural background influenced your life/ and or work – hobbies? And if it did could you give some examples?
I think that through ‘colonial history’ (concerning Javanese people brought from Indonesia to Surinam and from there to The Netherlands) there is or at least was some common upbringing that made us not want to ‘stand above others’ . For example: Surinam-Javanese people are often seen as ‘non-direct, silent, non-notable’
Who or what inspires you?
Music-related: Prince, Bob Marley and too many (Smooth) Jazz artists. 80’s and 90’s R&B.
Generally inspired by (historical) icons striving for peace and unity
Currently working on?
Playing in live bands/ accompany singers on piano
Collaborating with a gospel choir
Playing live instrumental background piano (mostly well-known covers) at receptions (weddings), ceremonies etc.
Producing my own (mostly instrumental) music
What are you listening (music) to at the moment?
Some tracks by one of my Smooth Jazz inspirations: Brian Culbertson
If you can imagine you are living in 2072, 50 years from now, how would you look back on and describe the year 2022?
A year where the post-Covid‘ the new normal’ became the standard for many decades, and more digital (online) technology and possibilities being developed from there on.
Message to the world.
Never too late too learn new things. Count your blessings and be thankful.
All photos by: Daisy van Knotsenburg / www.daisyvondutch.nl
Thank you for your time & energy
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