The meeting between Mike Clay and Jay Scøtt, two pop figures of the hour, made sparks. So much so that three years after their first writing session together, the acolytes released a collaborative album, Clay Scøtt, the result of a fusion where their universes feed and complement each other.
“It started off in a very 2020 way: classic DM slide [Instagram private messages],” laughs Mike Clay, frontman of Clay and Friends and collaborator with several local artists. “I said to him, ‘Hi PL, I’m a big fan. I do sessions where I meet an artist for a day, we do a song, then we release it, no strings attached. Is it tempting?” »
The offer was more than tempting for PL (Pier-Luc), aka Jay Scøtt, who at the time was slowly starting to make his mark, but had yet to enjoy the popular success of today. “I thought it was amazing because I had been following Mike for quite a while,” Jay explains. I still had a day job, my career was almost at zero. But Mike was one of the first to believe in me. »
“It went well, we did a song that is on the record today, which is called Westmount, continues Mike Clay. That’s how it started. »
Thus began the “union” between the two musicians, adds Jay Scøtt. A few minutes are enough in our Zoom meeting with them, a few days before the release of the album, to understand that the term “union” is not too strong. Each speaks highly of the other, with obvious sincerity.
“I was reading a Maya Angelou book recently and a quote said, basically, that people might forget what you did, but they won’t forget the feeling you left them with. This is often what strikes me in the books I read, the music I listen to, but also the people I meet. And I really felt it when I met Jay,” says Mike Clay. In his small Zoom conversation box, his sidekick seems touched.
After that first song, Westmount, Mike and Jay never stopped writing. “When we had 12 minutes to invest in a song, we invested it together. We were making tunes without really thinking where we were going with that, says Jay. Over time, we accumulated them and thought it might be cool to make a project out of them. »
Once the idea was born, the duo spent three days in a chalet composing. A short time later, the Clay Scøtt album was released. Their pop draws from their respective styles to become a single entity. It grooves, it’s hip-hop and folk at the same time, the voices respond well. We smell Scøtt and Clay, but we especially feel on this album the sound of Clay Scøtt.
“[PL’s] life changed completely from the moment we met,” says Mike Clay of his friend who, between 2020 and today, has grown enormously in popularity, including receiving three Felix . “And on my side, without having had such a rapid rise, my career has had a gentle growth, let’s say. Every time we heard from each other or saw each other over the past few years, we had important life moments to tell each other. We lived it a little together, through the songs we wrote. »
Mike Clay is the one who composed all the productions of the album. He built the foundation of this project, even if the majority was done in collaboration. “This is the first project where I have this carte blanche,” he says. Musically, the click is between us. When I had moments of uncertainty, PL was there. He told me not to stop. It’s important to have this friendship, this sincere validation. When I listen to this project, I feel that it is imbued with that. »
Mike and Jay are visibly delighted with this album, which was made over three years, which was released without notice or a promotional campaign, which exudes authenticity.
To bring the music to life a little more, Clay Scøtt will only be presented twice in concert, in Montreal and in Quebec. Because we can see the inventiveness of the two musicians and the creative stimulation that this collaboration has given them, we suspect that the show will have something special. They confirm it: the concert will take the form of a “music podcast”. That’s to say ? “We’re going to play the album and it’s going to be interspersed with segments where we’re going to record a podcast, literally, with a nice handful of guests coming in to tell us if they liked the song or not or tell us about their new pair. kickers or their cat, whatever,” says Mike Clay.
“It’s going to be two completely different nights, with different guests,” continues Jay Scøtt. In any case, it took us three years to get there and I think we have to anchor our feet firmly in the present because it comes out and it will pass quickly. Then it’s going to be a memory. »
Mike concludes, “Thirty or 40 years from now, I’ll be listening to this project again and hearing a snapshot of my life and Jay’s life today. This is the project that I go out with that I am the most serene. I am excited like a child. That’s why I make music. »