dbClifford, keyboardist for Velvet returns with his own material. The Beatles meet Stevie wonder to create a fun yet powerful sound.
Pop music is flush with pedestrian songwriters, so it’s bracing to hear a piano player who does more than simply rearrange the opening chords of Let It Be. While 27-year-old dbClifford is still a little green to stand shoulder to shoulder with aces like Randy Newman or Rufus Wainwright, the melodies and arrangements on Recyclable, Clifford’s debut album, reveal a musical intelligence that eludes contemporaries like John Mayer or Daniel Powter.
Born in Bordeaux, France, Clifford started taking piano lessons at age five, fell under the spell of the Beatles, Miles Davis and Stevie Wonder, and at 18 enrolled at Bordeaux’s esteemed CIAM music school. While he has more schooling than is strictly required of your average pop star, his album Recyclable is neither bombastic nor self-indulgent. After graduating from the prestigious CIAM School of Music in France, Clifford played in a British band where he developed a love for performing live. After a short stint in LA he decided to move to Victoria, BC where he recorded, produced, and played all of the instruments on his new album, Recyclable. Deciding to stay in Canada to continue building his musical career, Clifford currently resides and works in Toronto.
Clifford acknowledges Steely Dan as a formative influence. “I always enjoyed that intellectual, cliquey kind of vibe,” Clifford says. “The concept for [Recyclable] was to have songs that were funky, catchy and cute, and to have lyrics on top of that that were pointing the finger at stuff.”