Former chemistry major, Cameroon born singer/songwriter, Clerel, daily sang songs from a French book of nursery rhymes with his grandma, but guitar hooked him. A spring break trip to Memphis’s Stax Records deepened his soul connections and added layers to influences from his home country. There was time in an early university choir and a move to Montreal performing at open mics and then a big break: performing his song "Blackstone" in 2020 as part of Play at Home on Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show.
While Clerel wears Stax on his sleeve, it’s layered under the feel of lilting French nursery rhymes, draped under the Cameroonian flag, and ribboned by the pop era of his youth. He says that for song writing, his workhorse is his acoustic guitar. This is no surprise when you hear inviting folkier moments that capture love, loneliness, and the wonder of it all.
Biography by Mary-Lynn Wardle