Born and raised in North Dakota, Clinton Wilkie, didn’t begin playing guitar until 4 years ago, in which he was self-taught. He then began learning to sing in 2017 and not too long after writing songs as well. He currently resides in Minnesota where he continues to perfect his craft, and is in the process of finishing his debut album.
- When and how did you get started singing and making music? And are you self-taught or did you have any formal training?
Clinton Wilkie: I am a self-taught musician. After the passing of my grandfather, I decided I wanted to play. I started learning guitar mid-2015, singing in 2017, and songwriting also in late 2017.
- Who were your first and strongest musical influences that you can remember?
Clinton Wilkie: My first influences would have had to have been Luke Combs, Thomas Rhett, Dylan Scott, and Morgan Wallen.
- For most artists, originality is first preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. What was this like for you? How would you describe your own development as an artist and music maker, and the transition towards your own style?
Clinton Wilkie: In the beginning I went through many phases, many sounds and many voices. It was definitely crucial to finding my own sound and my voice and finding comfort and confidence in myself and my voice. I think the process itself helped to build character and an even deeper passion then I had known was there.
- What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners?
Clinton Wilkie: I feel that my music is versatile. I grew up on country music and the style and sounds it had to offer, but have also kept up to date on the modern country sound my generation has evolved towards. I love to write with depth and true emotions and thoughts I feel or have felt. We all have felt the same blessings and same pains in our own way and I write in a way that can be seen from multiple perspectives.
- What do you think mainly separates you from the massive crowd of artists emerging right now on platforms all over the web?
Clinton Wilkie: What separates me from the rest of the pack is maintaining my culture all while bringing a marketable sound. I come from the north but have a sound appreciated by both the north and south
- What is your process when composing, recording and producing your music? Do you collaborate with others or outsource any of these tasks?
Clinton Wilkie: My process is simple. I don’t like outside influences impacting my writing so when I go into writing mode, I go radio silent and don’t listen to music. I free myself of distractions and go through memories and thoughts until I know what I want to write about, and what I want to say. It usually starts with finding a melody and then finding a progression that suits it.
- If you could work with any international artist or producer of your choice, who would you like to work with on a song?
Clinton Wilkie: If I could work with anyone, it would be a toss-up between Luke Combs and Morgan Wallen.
- What key ingredients do you always try and infuse into your performances?
Clinton Wilkie: I love to keep my performances full of energy and good vibes. We love to enjoy ourselves on stage and want everyone involved to share the same experience.
- What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your career or life so far, and how did you overcome the event?
Clinton Wilkie: The most difficult thing I’ve had to overcome in my career, would be overcoming the fears and self-doubts within myself. I overcame this with practice, patience, and understanding of myself and the music I wanted to make. The support and love I’ve received has also been a big factor in confidence and moving forward.
- What would you consider a successful, proud or significant point in your career so far?
Clinton Wilkie: My happiest and proudest moments and accomplishments for me would have to be stepping foot into the studio in Nashville for the very first time, or the first time I had a crowd sing my song back to me while performing. Nothing beats those feelings.
- If you had the opportunity to change one thing about how the music business works right now, what would that be?
Clinton Wilkie: If I could change one thing, it would be that the amount of money one has should not be the deciding factor in success and one achieving their dreams.
- How do you handle criticism and/or haters in general? Is it something you pay attention to, or simply ignore?
Clinton Wilkie: Rather than ignoring hate or relying to it, I take it in, and I use it as fuel and inspiration and do what I can to prove the criticism and hate wrong.
- Which aspects of being an independent artist excites you most and which aspects discourages you most?
Clinton Wilkie: Being independent allows me to make the music I want on the schedule I choose and gives me all around more freedom. The negatives of being independent is you have less reach and it makes it a bit harder to be heard.
- What is your relationship with visual media? Do you think videos are important for your music, and will you be producing one for your single?
Clinton Wilkie: I feel like visuals are good to have. It allows the fans to see more of the artists view on things and feel more connected than just listening to the song. I definitely plan on releasing a music video in the future.
- In general, do you consider Internet and all the social media websites as fundamental in building a career in music today, and what is your personal relationship with the new technology at hand?
Clinton Wilkie: Internet is a very crucial way of networking and marketing brands. I feel like I know enough to progress, but can always use more knowledge.
- If someone has never heard your music, which keywords would you personally use to describe your overall sound and style?
Clinton Wilkie: A touch of Texas country and modern country all in one. Radio ready sound.
- Could you tell us something about your latest release?
Clinton Wilkie: My latest release is a feel good song about “the chase” and finding something or someone you just gotta have.
- Do you only create and work in a studio environment, or do you also find time to perform live? And is so, which of these two do you ultimately prefer and why?
Clinton Wilkie: I do both studio and live performances. They both have their perks, but I’m a people person and feed off of energy so I love performing to live crowds and interacting.
- If any, which current artists do you listen to and respect for their artistic endeavors?
Clinton Wilkie: Lately I’ve had Morgan Wallen, Lewis Capaldi, and Kane Brown on repeat.
- What do you find most rewarding about what you do? And do you have a specific vision or goal that you would like to achieve in the near future?
Clinton Wilkie: The thing I find most rewarding about what I do, is getting the opportunity to, even if for 3 minutes, change someone’s mood or mind for the better. Getting to entertain people and allow them to forget all the negativity going on around them. My goal is to continue doing what I love, and hopefully continue growing and making music people can love.