Mark de Clive Lowe
Mark de Clive-Lowe (MdCL) is one of the most innovative producers and live performers you will find anywhere.
Whether you call him artist, producer, composer, pianist, performer, DJ, or selecta, titles are impartial to the marvel of Mark de Clive-Lowe (MdCL). Many try to classify this impressively fertile music journey, yet to identify with only one label belies the heavy scope of the ride. The piano set the course, the keyboard is the vehicle, and with the drum machine as the fuel, the relentless skill of MdCL is underscored by a rare sonic sensibility. He’s an accomplished musician, originally sowing his oats in straight-ahead jazz, before taking the music far beyond. Anchored by the duality of his Japanese and New Zealander parentage and ignited by a love of playing piano at the age of four, it is no wonder this multi-national phenom has seen his explosive natural gifts blaze across the globe from NZ to the US, UK, Europe, Asia and Cuba.
A devastating live performer, the MdCL experience is marked by impromptu studio production created on stage from scratch, using drum machines, keyboards and effects. The end result: live remixes birthed on stage for each and every gig. With bold chops like this, to call him “prolific” is an understatement, having contributed to over 250 releases and being a first-call collaborator for a wide range of artists, including Jill Scott, Jody Watley, Leon Ware (Marvin Gaye/Michael Jackson/Maxwell), Dame Shirley Bassey, Sandra St. Victor (The Family Stand/Chaka Khan), amongst a slew of others.
Currently based in LA after a decade entrenched in London, MdCL is ready to unveil his audacious new album, Renegades on Tru Thoughts Records with guest appearances that include Sheila E (Prince), Omar, Pino Palladino (D’Angelo/The Who), and nia andrews. It’s the latest step in the evolution of MdCL, who has cemented his reputation as the go-to man for anyone wanting his unique take on club music, progressive soul and urban alternative. The new LP features club classics flavored from soul and funk, to tech-Afrobeat and Latin twists, all orchestrated by MdCL: a revolutionary Quincy Jones for a new generation, armed with the ability to meld the science of beat-making with the fluidity of composed music.
MdCL’s potential is beyond convention. He’s one who can take it all on the road like no one else, with a solid fan base that bridges cities as far reaching as LA, NYC, Atlanta, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Tokyo and Sydney.
…the man behind a million great tunes – Gilles Peterson/Radio 1 Worldwide (UK)
A Herbie Hancock for the new millennium – Montreal Jazz Festival (Canada)
Call it what you want, I’m sticking with the words awesome and genius – Wax Magazine (UK)
…the illest dude I have seen live” – Karizma (US)
1. Top three (or more) tips for new and emerging talent to stay afloat and last long term.
1. Master Your Craft: whatever your instrument or tools are, put in the time and hard work to master it.
2. Find Your Voice: the music world is already over-populated with sound-alikes and carbon copies.
3. Build with Community: the lone ranger approach is so much harder. Align yourself with like-minded aspirational peers.
2. What has been one of the toughest music related experiences you’ve faced?
One of them has been, having to make the choice when it comes to certain opportunities. For example… do I go on tour for a year playing for a major multi-platinum selling artist whose music I can’t even listen to without cringing (but get paid amazing money), or do I keep working away at what I love to do, the music I love to play and the projects I feel really passionate about (but have to chase my tail most months to keep the finances afloat)?
3. How did you get through or deal with it?
A super talented friend of mine who also plays for both huge major label artists and smaller projects said to me, “if you’re going into the first rehearsal already thinking about when you’re going to quit, then it’s not the gig for you”. That really hit home for me. I hadn’t even confirmed my willingness to be involved and I was already thinking about when to quit!
4. What did you learn?
I learned that I am a musician and an artist because of my passion and love for it. I don’t do this primarily for the money. Fortunately, I’m able to make a living by keeping true to my passion and believe that if I’m diligent and focused along with that passion, it will continue to look after me – personally, spiritually, artistically and financially.