Barclay Crenshaw: Why I Changed Everything I Was Doing, Including My Name
I’m full focused, dialed in and ready to go. I switched to my real name, Barclay Crenshaw, and went back to my roots in bass music and I couldn’t be happier or more excited than right now.
When I look back at all the jobs I was doing as Claude VonStroke before this huge switch, it’s hard to believe I was able to finish anything at all. At one point, I had a music release schedule, a full touring schedule, two overnight four-day festivals, a record label with a release every other week, an outdoor day event series and a full clothing line that changed every quarter.
Of course, I wasn't the only one working on it, but as you can imagine, my music production was going down and down and down. The one thing I was actually good at was ending up last on my list.
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That all being said, Dirtybird was so fulfilling and I’m extremely grateful for everyone who ever attended an event, played a track or wore a T-shirt. Dirtybird is still awesome—it was just my time to go. I put everything I had into it and I didn’t have any more energy to give. The direction of that style of music wasn’t in line with what I wanted to be doing anymore and I always said I would let someone else take over before I ruined it myself.
Moving forward, this new Barclay Crenshaw album will probably surprise you. A lot of people are expecting a bunch of hard bass but that is just a part of the picture. There is bass music but there is also funk and dub and actual songs with singing. There is stuff like me trying to mix genres, like making a deep house minimal dubstep track. There is a track that sounds like Fela Kuti meets Sublime. It's all kinds of new music.
The album is called Open Channel because my dad had a CB radio in the car when we were little kids that he would use to talk to truckers and avoid speed traps. My brother and sister and I would try to contact aliens on the open channels whenever my parents were not in the car. We had just seen the Steven Spielberg movie, E.T., and we thought kids could contact aliens on radios.
I also felt like the phrase "Open Channel" had a sense of community, like talking to your friends on a special system. When we did the photoshoot for the album we had a little afterparty. Instead of doing some somber artist pose of me frowning at the camera, we shot a bunch of people having fun together. I have always been really big on community so that’s kind of where I’m starting off with this album. I write a weekly newsletter now that is almost like a life blog, tracking this crazy journey from being a full-time house artist to a full time multi-genre bass artist.
There is also a tour starting in March at the same time as the full album. A couple singles will be out before then right at the top of the year so keep your eyes open. I’m digging and digging for tracks and making edits, VIPs and tons of material just for the shows.
So if you feel like leaving your house to hear a bunch of music you will never find on your Spotify algorithm, then come see me—Barclay Crenshaw's "Open Channel" tour.
Pre-save my first single, “Big In The Game (feat. Snowy & Manga Saint Hilare)" here.