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More Info:Benjamin Clementine, the acclaimed London-born, Paris-based singer, songwriter and pianist will release his stunning debut album, At Least For Now, on July 31st in the US. Clementine has packed a lot into his 26 years: heartbreak, homelessness, and reinvention all came before reaching cult status in Paris and eventually receiving the Best New Act honors at 2015 s Les Victoires de la Musique, the French equivalent of the GRAMMY Awards. Raised in a strict religious household in the tough Edmonton section of London, Benjamin started to teach himself the keyboard at age 11, stumbling upon classical rather than contemporary pop; a sparse piano solo by Erik Satie in particular transformed the way he played. At 16 years old, in a rare moment of permitted TV watching, he caught New York avant-gardists Antony and the Johnsons performing the disarmingly naked Hope There s Someone on the BBC. I was confused, scared...it was another world, says Clementine. When it finished, I went back upstairs to my piano and started playing chords.
Inspired by figures like Leonard Cohen and with no emotional or employment ties to keep him in London Benjamin left for Paris at age 20; sleeping rough, working in kitchens and busking out of economic necessity. First in the corridors of the Place de Clichy station and then on the metro, he built his voice and refined his craft as he made enough money to move first to a hostel and then into a room of his own. Having eventually returned to his hometown of London, word spread from across the continent to the point where Benjamin Clementine s U.K. live debut took place on national TV when he played two songs on Later...With Jools Holland. At 6 ft 3 dressed in his now-trademark overcoat and bare-feet Clementine cut an extraordinary, puzzling presence, causing a small storm on Twitter, and Paul McCartney amongst the first to congratulate Clementine on an amazing performance.
U.S. audiences have only recently been introduced to Benjamin s intimate live performances which have tugged at heartstrings and sent shivers down spines of European concertgoers for more than two years now. Rolling Stone named Clementine one of their New Artists You Need to Know , evocatively describing his unique sound as Nina Simone s brother steps into an elegant French café, sits down at the piano and tears open a vein. NPR Music noted that Clementine has been stirring hearts abroad with his awe-inspiring voice," as they introduced the video for his powerful track Nemesis.