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Industry Insights

Issue 7: Homemade Music for the Soul


AN INTERVIEW WITH THE FOUNDER AND CEO OF HOMEMADESOUL MUSIC
Based in Chesapeake, Virginia, Homemadesoul Music is a music licensing and publishing firm created to partner with independent artists. Curtis Clarke, Founder and President of Homemadesoul Music, is an artist himself. We caught him on the phone to get some insight on the music-making process and his newest song, “Everything.”

UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE: First off, we want to thank you for taking the time out of your day to sit down with us. University Magazine and its readers are excited to get to know more about HomemadeSoul Music. You are the president and founder of your own Virginia-based music licensing and publishing firm. What’s the story behind your inspiration and establishment of HomemadeSoul?
CURTIS CLARK: No problem, I’m happy to share my story with you all. HomemadeSoul stands for original music of the soul. No matter what the genre or how it is created, it’s totally from the soul and original ideas. It is inspired by and an extension of myself. I have been performing for the public for the last 15 years, and so I’ve been doing this same thing with music for that amount of time. It’s a whole different industry than any other in the music business, so HomemadeSoul music is about educating artists, like myself, about the vast opportunities available. It’s based on cultivating artists, helping them create their own business endeavors, and seeing them flourish just like I have.

UM: That sounds like an amazing opportunity for your artists. We’ve also heard that you’ve recently released your own single, “Everything,” in March. It has been described online as “a song that embodies the name of the company.” What can you tell us about the song?
CC: The song, “Everything,” is modeled stylistically after my idol, D’Angelo. It follows the philosophy of HomemadeSoul music as an original idea that came from my heart while embodying that word, “HomemadeSoul.” I collaborated with Natasha Jeter, who works at Virginia International University, on this song. The words are from her, but the idea and the concept of “Everything” was collectively produced by us. I wasn’t planning on releasing the song, but I kind of have this tendency to go off on a hunch and do things as I feel it naturally. When the song was finished, I just knew I had to put it out with a video.

UM: What was the process of co-writing and producing “Everything” with Ms. Natasha Jeter like?
CC: It was a quick process. Ms. Jeter and I met at a conference last year before writing anything together, so we already knew we had a good vibe to work off of. I had heard some of her music, and so when the concept for “Everything” came up, I saw an opportunity to use her talents and attacked it. I knew she could encompass that D’Angelo vibe I was looking for.

UM: Do you have any new projects we can look forward to?
CC: As a matter of fact, I’m working on one of my most significant projects right now. The concept is based on 1 Corinthians 13, a chapter from the Bible that is entitled, “The Way of Love.” It is considered to be the ultimate definition of love. I plan for each verse from 1 Corinthians 13 to have an audio track, a song, and a music video to reflect my interpretation on love. So there will be 13 audio chapters, 13 songs, and 13 videos in total.

Like I mentioned before, I’m an artist that works on a hunch, so if something comes up before that I’ll work from there. For example, I had an instinct for a song just a few weeks ago that I have Ms.
Jeter writing lyrics to right now. I also have a rapper waiting for a track from me that I conceptualized not too long ago. I am currently working overseas, but I feel if these tracks come to life, I will probably end up releasing them while I’m here.

UM: Looking through your website, HomemadeSoul Music supports a vast variety of artists around the world. How do you recommend an emerging international artist to start out in the music business? CC: Focus on creating your own business structure and reaching your audience while maintaining what makes you an artist in the first place. The audience matters, and they will not support something that you are not passionate about. You can’t do what another artist does – everyone needs to embrace their own creativity and stick to your values, stick to what makes you.
UM: Do you have any advice for students who are following their dreams in other fields?
CC: Discipline, hard work, and consistency are all that matter to achieve your goals. No one is going to have a straight path to the peak of success, so you cannot get distracted. What you’re doing might not seem like it matters right now, but if you stay persistent and focused on your end goal, you can easily shoot for the stars and get to where you really want to be. You can learn more about HomemadeSoul Music at www.homemadesoulmusic.com. Like HomemadeSoul Music on Facebook at www.facebook.com/IamCurtisClark, or follow HomemadeSoul Music on Twitter @homemadesoul.