1. What’s your name?
2. What’s your music name?
3. Where did that name come from?
My mom used to read a book to me as a child called “Clever Tom & the Leprechaun”. When I
formed a band with my friends, we decided to name it Clever Tom & the Leprechauns until we
broke up, then I just started going by Clever Tom.
4. How long have you been making music?
I started writing my first raps in 7th grade, but I didn’t start making just for the sake of making art until my junior year in high school. The relevance of the information is questionable though, considering I only curated this tape, without making an contributions to the actual art outside of the track listing.
5. What was your first project?
“Digital Flowerings Vol. 1” is my first official release, as an artist or curator.
7. Where did you record this music?
I didn’t record any of it, but the compilation contains tracks recorded everywhere from
Huntsville, Alabama, to Little Rock, Arkansas, to Boston, Massachusetts.
8. How long did it take from start to finish?
I started collecting tracks for it towards the end of my freshman year in college, so sometime in May, and I released the tape on my birthday, October 11th, so it took about five months in total.
9. Did anyone else help you with it?
Yes! I actually had nothing to do with the actual music contained within the mixtape.
10. Who? What did they do?
The music was handled by Amaze 88, DarkoTheSuper, CHRIS GR3EN, Animal Teef, Noah23, Spz Chaote, Western Tink, ABGOHARD, Ly Moula, Pepperboy, Nicholas J, Dizzy D, Deli Mane, & Sortahuman, as well as each of their respective producers.
11. Anything impede the making of the record?
At times, it was difficult getting some of the artists to send their tracks in, and some artists who said they would contribute ultimately flaked, but I can’t complain. This was their music and I’m just here to try and get it out to the biggest audience I possibly can.
12. You can only perform two songs from this record, which two? Why?
My two favorites have got to be “About You, Nah” by CHRIS GR3EN and “Ain’t It” by
Sortahuman. Both are just super well-written and fleshed out songs, that I’d love to hear in a live setting.
The internet means a lot to me. As a suburban white kid from a tiny little town in Massachusetts, it was always impossible for me to find someone who even remotely shared the same interest in hip-hop as I did. While there were certainly plenty of people I could discuss the genre’s latest happenings with, no one ever wanted to be the ones actually making something happen. None of my friends wanted to be those weird white kids that spent all their time recording raps in their basements, and I honestly couldn’t blame them. I wanted to make something out of my passion for hip-hop, but I needed another avenue.
Something happened my junior year in high school though, when I finally discovered something of a hip-hop community online. One day, when I was delightfully spamming my Facebook friends with a music video I had recently made, I managed to stumble across someone who went by the name of Pepperboy Davie. Pepperboy was an Arkansas MC who was trying to make his way in the hip-hop industry via the internet, and I immediately asked how I could help out. After a little chat and a few exchanged links, I had finally made a friend that felt as passionately about hip-hop as I did.
Fast forward a couple years and my relationship with Pepperboy had flowered into a series of connections with hip-hop artists, bloggers, and fans all across the internet. I started a blog, called Internet Hippy, and it seemed like I was beginning to find my place in this digital scene. As I grew frustrated with my inability to make music myself though, another idea sprang to mind: I was going to turn Internet Hippy into an internet record label! And thus began the story of “Digital Flowerings Vol. 1”.
Naturally, the first project from the label needed to have as many contributions from the artists I posted on the blog as physically possible. I began to hit up longtime, internet friends like Pepperboy and Ly Moula, and they embraced the plan whole heartedly. Just as quickly, artists I had loved and supported, but didn’t necessarily have a personal relationship with, began to embrace the idea as well. Figures I had only previously looked up to, such as Amaze 88 and Supa Sortahuman, began to hop on board and the tape was really starting to bloom. As I neared the 15 track goal for the tape, I decided on October 11th, my birthday, as the tapes official release date. When that date finally came, it was everything I could’ve hoped for. Fans were listening, blogs were posting, and I was pulsing with joy. I had finally given something back, in however arbitrary a way, to the community that provided me the avenue to express my never ending love for hip-hop.
And with that, I want to thank everyone who helped make “Digital Flowerings Vol. 1” a reality. From Amaze 88, to DarkoTheSuper, all the way down the line to Deli Mane, and Sortahuman, everyone who contributed to the compilation has my utmost gratitude. None of this could have ever happened without this tight-knit community that the internet has fostered. And now that that’s out of the way, there’s loads more promotion work to attend to! Check out “Digital Flowerings Vol. 1” on soundcloud.com/internethippy and look for Volume 2 coming sooner than you think!
- Clever Tom