13 May 2011
- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
“You can have all the talent in the world and still miss out on an opportunity because you don’t know how the industry works.” So says Kurt “KC” Clayton, Grammy-nominated producer, songwriter and artist. by Jason D. Burt
Special to the Tri-State Defender
“You can have all the talent in the world and still miss out on an opportunity because you don’t know how the industry works.”
So says Kurt “KC” Clayton, Grammy-nominated producer, songwriter and artist.
|Kurt ‘KC’ Clayton: ‘I love my family and I love my city’ (Courtesy photo)|
Active in and connected to the Memphis music scene, Clayton is a music professor at the University of Memphis, where he attended. His talents have powered him into opportunities to work with legends such as Stevie Wonder, George Clinton, Chaka Khan, and with Academy Award-winning rap artists Three-6-Mafia.
No matter where he goes or whom he is working with, Clayton has two constants.
“I love my family and I love my city,” he said during a recent interview.
The long version of a description of Clayton would read something like this: “Producer/Songwriter Programmer/Music Director/Arranger/Musician; from Rap/Jazz/Pop/ Rock/Gospel/R&B to Country musical genres.”
Using his music production expertise, Clayton promotes Memphis music locally, nationally and internationally, with an eye on preserving the city’s musical heritage and capturing the significant diverse musical legacy through creative expression and education.
Clayton – a board member and previous president of the Memphis Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc. – is also the chairman of the Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission Executive Board. Among the commission’s outreach is a two-year-old showcase of local artists via a music mixer that happens in conjunction with the Hard Rock Café every 1st and 3rd Monday at the venue located at 315 Beale Street. He is the event’s producer and host.
The Music Commission has also partnered with Comcast to provide “Memphis Music Revealed” Demand Channel. Take note: videos can be submitted to the Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission by calling 901-576-6857.
Clayton’s music production company “KC Productions” has myriad projects featuring various genres in the production hopper. One of those involves Lil Eddie, who Clayton describes as a very talented seven-year-old singer that he expects to make waves in Memphis and beyond.
Recently, Clayton has been touring as musical director to ConFunkShun, Howard Hewett, Shalamar and The Masters of Funk Tour, which includes ConFunkShun, the Bar-Kays, and the Slave band. Next up are stops in Houston Tucson, Ariz.
(Jason D. Burt is a special correspondent with “‘N’Style TV Show” (Tuesdays at 6 p.m.) and “City Beats TV Show)” (Wednesdays at midnight) – both on Comcast Cable Channel 17.)