MEET THE MUSIC MAN
Hearing music made by Mark de Clive-Lowe is like being transported to another realm. We could describe it but his words resonate with us more: "I perform live hybrid electronic music where everything is created from scratch, on the fly, live on stage – I love combining the organic spontaneity of that process with the sonic weight and musical textures of electronics and club music." In a world where music is made quickly on a laptop and composition is a thing of the past, we were pleased to learn that the New Zealand native is an accomplished pianist, composer, writer and educator among many other titles.
Continue on to see why Mark de Clive-Lowe is a Daring Creative.
When did you decide to pursue your current career path?
Music has always been the leading force and inspiration in my life. I think I was 13 when I decided that once I finished high school in New Zealand, I’d head to the US to music college (that ended up happening a little later when I was 20). Finishing high school in my motherland Japan really honed my focus and the loose plans to go to law school were permanently dropped in favor of pursuing the life of a musician. I’ve been blessed to be able to follow my dreams and find new creative challenges to involve myself with at every turn.
How did you go from idea to execution?
I’ve spent my life committed to a craft – my proverbial 10,000 hours probably clocked in some time ago. That’s a huge aspect of true success to me – preparation and mastery. Coming of age as a musician in New Zealand, whenever there wasn’t the venues, events or infrastructure to support what I wanted to do, I would create it myself. In 1999 I recorded my album ‘Six Degrees’ which was inspired by the previous year spent exploring music around the planet in the US, Cuba, the UK, France, Japan and elsewhere. Once the album was done I delivered it by hand to many of my favorite record labels in the US and Europe. It ended up being picked up by Universal out of the UK and became my first international release. That was a sign to me that the UK was where I needed to be and London became my home for close to a decade. Along the way, I’ve never stopped collaborating, learning, creating and reaching for new ideas. When an idea presents itself, the next step is working out how to manifest it. Sometimes it’s been as simple as believing in the idea completely and taking steps forward in faith that it’s the right thing to do. More often than not, that has served me well.
After the decade in the UK, it felt like it was time for a new chapter and I packed up and moved once again, this time to Los Angeles. LA reconnected me with aspects of my own creativity that I hadn’t explored as much in London and continues to provide me with creative projects and collaborations. Through having my resident club night party CHURCH in both LA and New York, I’ve developed a healthy network of creative peers, mentors and collaborators which supports and inspires me in both of those cities as well as elsewhere.
In your words, what does it mean to be a “creative”?
A creative is awake. A creative is not slave to the mindless walk that society can dictate. A creative manifests their own ideas in tangible expression. A creative has a passion for personal expression. A creative is compelled to create and express. A creative knows that there is no end-game – the journey continues and goes on beyond any destination.
Has rejection ever affected your creative process? If so, please describe.
A “No” can be the best motivation to work harder – create more, practice more, master more of the craft and dig deeper to find that next creative expression. Rejection is seen as unfair sometimes, but it’s a fact of life. To be able to view it as a positive thing and be empowered by it is what makes all the difference to those that do and those that don’t. If something I do is rejected by someone I truly respect, then my only choice is to take a step back, assess what I’m doing with some objectivity and improve whatever it is that needs improving.
In thinking about the things that you have created, is there something that you hated but the public may have loved - and perhaps purchased?
I certainly have music that I’ve made that I like more and music I’ve made that I like less. Appreciation is a subjective thing so I’m always happy to hear about someone’s connection to something I’ve created – even if it’s not my favorite. It’s great that art can speak to different people in different ways. Sometimes that also helps me to appreciate my own work in the case of something I’m not as into.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to pursue the same career as you?
I’m pretty old school when it comes to advice: Practice. Master your craft. Honor the masters who came before you. Creating well and with confidence comes from diligence and humility. That leads to credibility and longevity. Financial success and fame are different matters and I believe that success comes to those who show their commitment to themselves and their passion.
What has been the pit and peak of your week so far? (a low and a high moment)
The literal peak is right now – I’m writing this interview at 35,000 feet flying to New York for a studio session and a show. Over the week I’ve done a video link performance for an awards show in New Zealand, helped a successful film director start making beats, prepared for a remix workshop I’ll be presenting this weekend in St Louis and taught online students in three different countries. I don't think there’s been a ‘pit’ this week – I would have liked to have spent more time practicing and composing but then there’s only so much that can fit in a day.
Who is someone famous that you think is killing it at the moment? In other words, is there someone whose career you admire.
Fame being a relative concept… Kendrick Lamar, Robert Glasper, Pharrell, Steve Buscemi and the guy who started Uber!
Finish this sentence:
I want people to remember me as: someone who contributed something of value to the cultural continuum.
If I only had 24 more hours to live, I would: spend it with my family.
If I had to choose a theme song to represent me it would be:
For more on Mark de Clive-Lowe visit his website here.
To listen to his latest album CHURCH Remixed, see it here: http://mashibeats.bandcamp.com
Photos courtesy of Mark de Clive-Lowe.