Los Angeles (California), USA – /PRWEB/ – If Hip Hop gets a bad
rap it’s because the genre remains largely within the narrow confines of its
Along comes Cleva, a musician, composer,
producer, and arranger who draws on his unconventional musical training to
cultivate Hip Hop with licks borrowed from jazz, classical and Flamenco – all
while remaining firmly planted on Hip Hop’s soil.Cleva’s new album, The Game of Life, is 16 tracks of Hip Hop performed
with uncompromising originality – the usual driving funk accompanied by subtle
lyrics and original arrangements that draw on surprising musical styles.
“I truly hate it when I hear people say Hip Hop is not music. That’s what I
want to change. I want people to have a musical experience either through the
instrumentation or harmonies that they haven’t had with Hip Hop before,”
says the 26-year-old singer who composed, arranged, and produced the album as
And it’s not just the music that explores new territories; it’s the lyrics as
well – gritty yet positive, unflinching yet hopeful. “I was raised in
neighborhoods that invested everything in gang violence. While that’s true of
most rappers, they rap their experience; I rap what I’ve learned from my
Cleva began developing his gift in music at the early age of five years old,
training in classical piano for three years before moving on to guitar. At 12,
Cleva began developing as a lyricist, heavily influenced by Dr. Dre, Dj Quik,
Tupac, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound, Ant Banks, Notorious Big, and Outkast
just to name a few.
At 16, Cleva began to hang out in different studios and became a student in
the art of production. He fell in love with composing tracks but realized that
one of the weaknesses in the game was the lack of musical originality. So he
refused to sample any compositions and decided to write everything himself.
At 18 he returned to his musical roots with intense training for three years in
jazz theory on both piano and guitar.
There’s a rare maturity found on The Game of Life. It’s the maturity of
an accomplished artist, yes, but also the maturity of a genre on its way to
Author: World Music Central News Department
World music news from the editors at World Music Central