Image source, Shai Franco
Image caption Alex Clare’s UK number-four hit with Too Close was a 2012 UK chart success

Alex Clare, an emerging singer-songwriter and songwriter was faced with an ultimatum from his record label ten years ago: either you commit fully to the music or your faith.

He decided to follow his faith.

Because some gigs were on Sabbath and around Passover in the Jewish calendar, the Londoner had to pull out of an opportunity for a life-altering spring tour supporting Adele.

Clare remembers that Island Records was “very accommodating” at the time. However, it was too late when he couldn’t record another radio concert for BBC Radio during Sukkot in October. After a lengthy conversation with his label bosses and a disappointing album, the talented performer was eventually dropped.

The 36-year old, who was raised in a Jewish secular family, before converting to Orthodox Judaism at the age of 20 says, “They said that it seemed like you were more interested in your religion than your career.”

I was really focused on my job, but it wasn’t easy to accept personal lifestyle choices. “I’m not the only one who has this problem – it is a common theme in Jewish communities, as well as for anyone making commitments abroad.

He says, “When they signed me in they were aware that this was going on but didn’t understand the seriousness of the Sabbath rules.” [resting from Friday sunset until Saturday sunset]Are. Each piece of promotion that was sent in seemed to have fallen on Friday night or Saturday morning. I turned down opportunities after opportunities.”

Clare laughed when Adele refused to accept his offer of a tour date with him, stating that he could not make it at least five times.

A spokesperson for Island said this week that they “reach out to apologize directly to Alex”.

“What he said 10 years ago is wrong”

Down the years there have been many famous musicians who have turned to God, from Cat Stevens and Bob Dylan, to Kanye West and Sinéad O’Connor. Clare gave up music after being dropped from his record label.

It was only a matter of time before the singer, who had just lost his label, suddenly discovered he had a hit. Too Close from his debut album was quickly gaining popularity and climbed to the top of UK singles charts. This is largely thanks to a Microsoft commercial.

The song won the best single category at the 2013 Brit Awards, which was won, guess what, by Adele and Skyfall.

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Clare shares that Hebrew has a saying called Gam Zu L’Tovah which means “This too is good”. We say it when things get really bad. You can have faith enough to say that even though this seems like an absurd statement, God is still good.

It worked in my favor. Although I was eventually dropped by the label, months later I had an international top-10 hit. [double]”Platinum, obviously. I got a second record deal that was much larger!”

Island, a subsidiary to the Universal Music Group, was responsible for the record deal. Clare said that Island “were very sorry” for what Clare had experienced when he resigned.

Clare, nine years after his debut single Why Don’t Ya was released, is now speaking with us about his 5-year-long hiatus form the “soulless music industry” he felt dissatisfied and frustrated by despite some relative success.

This track was released by digital distributor ONErpm. It is an ode of his wife. He “ran away” in 2015 to Israel with their firstborn. They now have three children.

He encouraged her to “acknowledge” her emotions after her grandfather’s death. This was at the exact same time as one of their children became ill in hospital.

“[It was]He says, “It’s okay to feel like emotions are allowed, and you can be sensitive.”

People don’t always learn how to feel or validate their feelings. Emotions are complex and life is difficult.

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He is a musician who plays the bass, some drums and delivers his soulful vocal. These days, he travels between Jerusalem and London for music-related obligations. Recent work was done online with co-authors Jamie Hartman, songwriter, producer (Rag’n’Bone Man), Celeste and Lewis Capaldi.

A six- or seven-song EP will be his next release. This is where he believes he’s “fulfilling my mission in life” the most.

Although Judaism does have a “great influence” on his worldview, he points out that the songs are not Jewish traditional songs. They are slower-burning, sad songs, based on personal experiences.

He says, “As a writer, you have to channel your emotion, your empathy, or your pathos without any filter.” The song is the filter.

Clare’s return to “scary”, as he calls it, coincided with Adele’s nearly-old tour mate.

He is keeping his fingers crossed for them both to return to a more flexible, understanding music industry than they had when they started their journey.

“I’m hopeful it has changed substantially,” he said. He says, “I am certain it has changed significantly in the past 10 years.” [he notes how recording performances remotely and at different times is now easier]But it can be very unpredictable. It is the flavor of the month. Just as one person can go out of favor the next, they could be right back.

“I wish people were more sensitive. All people want to feel oneness and the sameness of others. This is what they relate to, and that’s why people are connected. It is important to see the similarities between us and not the differences that make us different.

“Hopefully, we’re making the world a better place.”

Alex Clare’s Why Don’t Ya is now available.


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