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Gary Clark Jr: "I realized that I have to take this guitar thing seriously"

Gary Clark Jr. on the Self Discovery Behind His New Multi-Genre Symphony, JPEG Raw

In a new interview with Kyle Meredith, Gary Clark Jr. opens up about his latest album, JPEG Raw, marking his return to music after a five-year hiatus. The singer-guitarist shares the emotional journey he's been on over the past few years, from experiencing burnout after his previous album, This Land, to finding renewed energy following the 2019 Grammys. Clark discusses how the pandemic brought both challenges and moments of joy, particularly with the birth of his second child.

Reflecting on his musical influences and aspirations, Clark reveals his dreams of conducting a symphony and traces back to the moment when his love for music was sparked at the age of 12 while listening to artists like Steve Vai and Eric Johnson. He also discusses the importance of honing his skills, particularly after being called out by fellow musicians Robert Glasper and Esperanza Spaulding.

Clark shares insights into the making of JPEG Raw, including his collaborations with artists like Valerie June and Naala, and how the album represents a shift towards creating a party record filled with energy and vibrancy.

Watch the interview above and then check out the video below.

Kyle is the WFPK Music Director. Email Kyle at kmeredith@lpm.org

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