Raising Voices – Career Spotlight Claye Morrison, Artist, Songwriter, Producer & Publisher


Career Spotlight


Claye Morrison, Artist, Songwriter, Producer & Publisher
Read more about Claye here.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica and now residing in the UK, Claye is an esteemed artist, producer and songwriter who now runs two publishing companies. He has produced for Roc Nation and written Grammy nominated tracks for Sean Paul, Keri Hilson and Beanie Man amongst other top names. Claye is alumnus and a Creative Associate Professional of Midi Music Company.

1. How did you first get into music publishing/songwriting/composing?
I have been composing music from the age of 15, but at the time I didn’t understand the official definition of what I was doing. I started making beats on a Roland XP-50 keyboard, before choir practice, on a floppy disk and most of those beats were me trying to come up with modern musical twists to the songs I learnt in my piano lessons (I studied classical music). Songwriting came several years later when I signed my first publishing deal with Roc Nation and that was where I got exposed to the world of publishing. Whilst signed to Roc Nation, I learnt the importance of publishing and understood the significance of ownership.

2. What do you love most about your job?
I love the ‘creation process’ without a doubt. I am a creator first and have always loved the business. I love that I can create the type of music that represents me and seeing the benefits and marriage of both things.

3. What does a working day look like for you? Is there a typical day?
My days are structured around my creation process. Day times are mostly reserved for day-to-day business communications but if an idea presents itself, I will go straight to the studio, which fortunately is in the back of my garden. I am a spiritual person, so I approach my creation process in a similar way. My preference is working at nights, especially early mornings when the world is quiet.

4. Is there someone or one company experience that has particularly inspired you? A career champion or inspiring team?
I would have to say Master P and the story of Jay-Z not being able to get certain deals, so he created his own label etc. I enjoy reading industry interviews and I am a firm believer in finding mentors online since the information is the same whether it is in person or not. Also, I learnt earlier on in my life that you do not have to make the mistakes that others have made, especially if they’ve shared these pitfalls with you directly or indirectly.

5. What (if any) particular challenges have you faced so far in your career? How did you get past these?
Unfortunately, there are so many challenges in this industry but if I had to list the ones I had and have gotten around, the first would be the ‘who you know’ age old brick wall. To get around this, I realised that my solicitor is well connected within the industry and an introduction/recommendation from him is taken seriously especially with his reputation. The other is, if you are not willing to play ball then you are ‘black-balled’ for lack of better term. I am still getting past this by using my work ethic and grind. Eventually people will want to know and collaborate etc.

6. What top 3 tips would you give to someone just starting out in music publishing or taking their career to the next level?
I’ll keep this one simple as it is literally 3 mantras. Focus on the WHAT, forget about the WHEN and never forget the WHY you do what you do! And as a bonus, create the music you love because people can feel it in the songs. As a creative with two publishing companies, I am happy with the body of work I represent.

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