“It’s really like a dream come true to have your song play on the radio every day. I really thank God for that,” Clement Ng, better known by his stage name J. Clement, said of his second single “Body Move,” which peaked at #1 on the Singaporean radio station HOTFM 91.3 back in March for five consecutive weeks. It also gained international attention, peaking at #24 on the iTunes R&B charts.
A 2011 graduate of Singapore American School, Clement has always had a fascination for music, learning how to play the saxophone in middle school and picking up guitar and later singing for more ‘self-serving’ purposes.
“Honestly, I started off learning how to play the guitar because I thought it would help get me them ladies. But as I invested more time into learning how to play it, and also into singing, my passion for music grew bigger,” Clement said.
His passion eventually pushed him into making YouTube covers, which include popular favorites such as “Mistletoe” by Justin Bieber and Death Cab For Cutie’s “I Will Follow You Into the Dark.” “YouTube is such a great platform for starting musicians. It’s YouTube that helped me get my music out there and get spotted by local record labels,” Clement said.
Rockstag Media & Entertainment, a Singaporean record label, gained interest in the singer and signed him to their label in 2012. Before signing, the label held frequent meetings with Clement about his future with the company. After signing the two year contract, they went from friendly to demanding. “They didn’t like my original songs that were more R&B and insisted that I write songs that are more like One Direction and Justin Bieber, in which I wrote my first single, Crazy For You. After about a month, they decided that they did not want to invest in me anymore, but didn’t want to drop me as an artist, which meant that I couldn’t put out any new songs on my own until my contract was over (June 2014),” explained the singer.
After negotiations with the company and even a potential lawsuit, “they finally dropped me as an artist but on one condition: that they still owned ‘Crazy For You,’” Clement explained. “A huge advice to anyone thinking of getting signed: don’t agree to being signed for two years on your first contract. Two years is a really long time.” Amidst the disarray, however, came new opportunities.
Through the label, the singer gained contact with Marc Lian of the Singaporean duo Trick, who helped write and produce both singles, “Crazy For You” and “Body Move.” Clement has also opened for and performed alongside Singapore’s most renowned hip hop rapper, Shigga Shay, as well as local talents The Sam Willows, Sheikh Haikel, and Joie Tan, in addition to features on Singaporean radio station 98.7FM.
In 2012, Clement shared the stage with YouTubers Victor Kim, Andrew Garcia, and JR Aquino at FYI on Stage in Singapore. He cites “smaller crowds” as his preferred audience because it “gives a more intimate setting, and I like that kind of connection with the audience.” Clement is currently continuing his studies abroad and is working on an upcoming music project with Lian and singer Howard Chan.
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