Let's Get To Know Clayton Severson


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What is your favorite key/mode to write in?

I really enjoy Lydian. The song Shadow hangs on the four of the dominant and has that Lydian vibe that I tend to emote well in.


What is your songwriting style?

My favorite songwriting style is when a story is being told throughout the song and the chorus evolves in significance as the song matures. The chorus after verse one can be good but it is my favorite when it stays the same, verse after verse, and yet has a different emotional impact on the listener everytime.


How/when did you get your start playing music?

I started singing when I was very young and musical expression was never discouraged. My earliest memory of being publicly affirmed as a singer was in church by our choir teacher.


What role does music play in your life?

Music serves as a time machine. Where, when and what I’m doing when I listen to music is preserved in the songs I’m hearing for the first time, the memories are often very specific and very powerful.


What makes lyrics good?

Lyrics are good when they are fun to say, nuanced in their meaning as compared to how the words are typically used and contribute to the larger story being told.


How do you know when a song is finished? Is it ever?

A song is definitely finished at some point in time. A song is finished when you record it and release it however it doesn’t mean that the song can’t take on new life by being sampled or re-recorded by someone else or even by the original composer, music is wild like that.


Is there an artist you’ve wanted to see in concert, but never have had the chance?

Roger Miller.


The music industry evolves so quickly. What do you think is the best way for people to find new music?

Leave your front door and go listen to someone play an open microphone or talk to a band after a show that you’ve attended, strike up a conversation with some stranger that seems to enjoy the music being played over the speakers. Music is all around us and when we interact with other music lovers it helps us to find, affirm and appreciate the music that is out there being made.


Where do you find meaning in your life?

My faith gives my life direction. Everyone has faith in something and my faith offers me great peace.


If life was a video game, what kinds of cheat codes would you want to exist?

Easy, I would want a cheat code to fly anywhere at any speed and carry with me my body weight (so I could take someone with me).


What is it about music that makes you feel passionate?

Often, the most powerful part of my emotional relationships with others have been being known and knowing others. Expressing an emotion well on stage allows the audience to experience and sometimes understand what I am feeling, experiencing, and going through. Being understood and understanding others through music is really powerful and it drives me onward!



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