Clemm Rishad
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Clemm Rishad

Tacoma, Washington, United States | INDIE

Tacoma, Washington, United States | INDIE
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With "Morning Lights," Grammy nominated songwriter Clemm Rishad (Nick Minaj, Rihanna) continues to establish himself as a rising artist in Hip Hop. - Hip Hop DX


Best known for co-writing Nicki Minaj’s hit single “Fly” and for his work with Jason Derulo as part of the writing and production team Writers Block, hip-hop artist Clemm Rishad is already a Grammy-nominated and platinum-certified songwriter.

“Being a songwriter has really taught me how to think outside of the box and I’ve been able to incorporate that into my own material, mixing it in with what I already do,” Rishad says in his bio. “Being signed as a writer to Beluga Heights and J.R. Rotem, has helped me format my music differently at times and always has me thinking about how to make great songs with strong hooks.”

Stepping out of the shadows of the group, Rishad went to release two projects — Image of Me and Close Your Eyes and See — and is now gearing up to release his new project, The Beginning. For the project, Rishad is asking his fanbase to help him on his adventure by launching an interactive campaign called “Journey to the Beginning” that will allow fans to participate in the designing of his career.

Today, Rishad releases the album’s title track and lead single. Listen to the stream below, and keep your ears/eyes open for The Beginning.
- Soul Culture


"There's no cool way to say 'Hey, everybody, I wrote that!' " laughs Tacoma's Clemm Rishad in a now- private recording studio called Platinum Reign that overlooks a piece of Commencement Bay. The 23-year-old is recounting a recent trip to the mall, where a song called "Fly" came on over the public-address system, and the store's staff and customers started singing along while he was in the dressing room. It was a funny moment, considering that he and 22-year-old William Jordan wrote the song; Nicki Minaj and Rihanna took it to the top of the charts.

With "Fly" soaking up a considerable amount of national pop-radio airtime, it's a situation the two are getting used to. Rishad says it makes him feel a bit like Santa. "People never see you, but you're giving gifts all the time," he says. "That's the world of the songwriter, though. That's why they call us ghostwriters: We're there, but we're not there."

Under the moniker The Writers Block, Rishad and Jordan have seen their stock jump over the past year, first by placing "Fly," followed by tracks on albums by pop artists Iyaz, Jason Derülo, and Travis McCoy. Their resume got another bump when Minaj's Pink Friday (on which "Fly" appears) received a Best Rap Album Grammy nomination. And it's looking more and more as if "Fly" is only the start for the duo, which has been hired to work on material that could find its way onto upcoming albums by Minaj, Christina Aguilera, Drake, T.I., and Dr. Dre.

"Placing" songs on high-profile projects is how a songwriter makes a name. For Rishad and Jordan, this entails either sending a song they've written to their label, Los Angeles–based Beluga Heights, to shop around to artists, or being asked to record specifically for a project by the artists themselves. Both approaches have yielded fruitful returns, and The Writers Block's situation could get a lot better very soon. Rishad says that at the moment they have 15 placements pending.

"We knew that this was only the beginning," Jordan says of "Fly." "If this does happen, and things do go the way they're saying it will go, it will just be a door. If you get drafted to the NBA, you're not done; you haven't accomplished anything you need to accomplish. That's your entry, but you still have a lot more work to do."

As two aspiring musicians in Tacoma's developing music scene, Rishad and Jordan were drawn together by necessity. With the help of his older brother, promoter/manager Richard Penton, Rishad had grabbed the ear of the Beluga Heights front office, and the label had expressed interest in his songwriting talents. A rapper by trade, Rishad saw this as an opportunity to get his foot in the music industry's door, but he needed a producer to bring his work to life in the studio. Rishad contacted fellow Tacoma resident Jordan, a versatile producer and smooth-voiced vocalist, with whom he had worked on his first solo record. The two meshed on professional and personal levels immediately, and The Writers Block was formed.

The duo's first placement, a song called "Pretty Girls," was picked up by Iyaz and Travis McCoy, which led to more and more freelance work. But when the label heard "Fly" and landed a big placement with Minaj, they decided to sign The Writers Block to an official deal.

Soon after, Beluga Heights brokered a deal with Universal's publishing branch, Rondor, on behalf of The Writers Block, which put them on the conglomerate's payroll to write music to be used by Universal artists—names like Lady Gaga, Eminem, the Black Eyed Peas, Mariah Carey, and U2—or be placed in films and on TV.

Beluga Heights CEO Zach Katz says the duo is making moves in all the right directions and has the promise to do great things. "With the industry being super-competitive and saturated with up-and-comers, the key for an artist trying to break in is to have as many skill sets as possible, all of which lend to the artist's ultimate identity," he says. "An artist who is also a good writer is - Seattle Weekly


You may not have heard the name Clemm Rishad before but you've most certainly heard his work as one half of the grammy-nominated (Nikki Minaj's "Fly") songwriting team Writers Block. Now the Tacoma, WA native is ready to step out from behind the music and put his poetics into his own raps. Clemm introudces himslef by kicking rhymes about perseverence and success on the title track from his forthcoming project which packs an early Kanye vibe production-wise. - The Source Magazine


Here to fill that niche for us is Booth newcomer Clemm Rishad, a Washingtonian emcee whose latest single finds him gazing out the Windows of his automobile during a summer shower. Producer/singer Adrian McKinnon does double duty on this mellow cut, delivering a headphone-worthy, keyboard-driven instrumental as well as equally smooth hook, backing and verse vocals. On the lyrical tip, Rishad takes an equally laid-back approach, breezily fantasizing about the luxuries he’ll enjoy once he gets his big break – from “expensive cars and money stacks” to pricey champagne and oysters. Craving more new tunes to vibe out to when skies are gray (or, y’know, whenever)? You’ll find what you seek on the enigmatically-titled Close Your Eyes and See, released on July 31, and available now online.
- DJBooth.net


Discography

Image of Me EP 2008

Close Your Eyes and See EP 2010

The Beginning EP 2012

Photos

Bio

Known best for co-writing Nicki Minaj’s hit single “Fly”, as well as for work with Jason Derulo and Iyaz, Rishad’s work with established stars has been an asset when crafting his own music.

“Being a songwriter has really taught me how to think outside the of box, and I’ve been able to incorporate that into my own material, mixing it in with what I already do,” says Rishad. “ Being signed as a writer to Beluga Heights and J.R Rotem has helped me format my music differently at times, and always has me thinking about how to make great songs with strong hooks.”

Long before Rishad became a writer or an artist, he was the son of a pastor growing up in Tacoma. With his father’s devotion to religion, and a brother who was big in the streets, Rishad grew up learning about two very different worlds and need and outlet for his thoughts.

“I had been writing poetry as a way to express myself, which I wasn’t great at otherwise. Eventually that spilled over into music for me, as a way to vent and get things out,” explains Rishad. “My brother was already working on music, and really helped to bring me along as an artist.”

Soon enough these collaborations lead to Rishad’s first release Image of Me, which was followed by Close Your Eyes and See.

Now as Rishad steps out as an artist on a larger level, he is poised to add to his growing success in music.

“I want my music to move the people and would like to be seen as a leader and a musician and not someone that is going to fall into any type of specific category,” says Rishad.

Now as Rishad gears up for the release of his new project The Beginning, he is asking his growing fan base to join him on the adventure by launching an interactive campaign Journey To The Beginning that will allow fans to participate in designing the direction of Rishad’s career.