Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome. See my complete profile
You can call him intense. You can call him aggressive. You can call him passionate. However you want to describe the fire with which Otis Clapp rhymes, just remember to call him dope, because he’s one of the Queens, NY’s finest, and his latest single, “Demons Into Diamonds,” is yet another example of his skills.
“Demons Into Diamonds” is off of Otis Clapp’s Helen Keller EP, which was released earlier this year, and I caught up with him to find out more about the demons he’s turned into diamonds, the huge honor the music video took home, and his high hopes for the New York Mets.
Tell everyone a bit about the song. What are some of the demons you’ve turned into diamonds?
When I wrote “Demons” I hadn't really written, or released, anything for a while, so when I was writing it I was thinking something of a triumphant return.
Turning demons into diamonds speaks to who I was – too much shit I wasn't proud of – transforming into who I am, to who I will become.
Overcoming a real rough, abusive childhood. Father who sold our toys for drugs, and bounced when I was six. Stepfather who used to beat us almost daily. I used to get beat because I wanted to make hip-hop, if my pants were too baggy, etc. etc.
Mentally, I spent the majority of my life trapped in a uniquely pessimistic state of mind. It's something I still struggle with, but every day I continue to overcome.
After my brother got out of prison I made a super conscious decision to try to be happy, but all the sour experiences, poor life decisions, and struggles I inherited, all contribute to this timeless music I strive to make.
These songs are the diamonds I've transformed from my demons.
The video for “Demons Into Diamonds” was an official selection of the 8th Annual NYC Independent Film Festival earlier this year. What made you decide to submit the clip to the festival, and how will such an honor affect the way you approach future music videos?
The director, Ryan Windess, is incredible. It was really his idea. He had a vision for the video. He hit me up like, “Yo, we have to shoot this video, and submit it to the festival. I have a vision. I just need you to show up and do what you do.”
I was excited. I figured the worst that could happen was they say they don't like it, but they accepted it, and then actually asked me to perform at the festival. I was ecstatic, but I couldn't have done it without Ryan, and the cast. They deserve all the credit.
Moving forward, I just need to need to make sure I keep putting out quality visuals – videos, artwork, whatever. Credentials are always cool, but everything needs to be better than the last. Always.
You’ve been releasing a bevy of work over the past year. What’s been inspiring your artistic output?
I took a lot of time off to executive produce, mix, and master other people's work over the years. Since I put out #ATB (2014) I've recorded, mixed, and mastered probably 15 to 20 projects for other people. At the same time, I was non-stop creating new music for myself.
When this year started, I told myself I wanted to start focusing on my music more, so I came up with a plan, and just executed.
I was starting to feel like that guy with potential that never does shit. I figured, let me just release the project, who knows, maybe someone will like it. As of right now the next EP, 40s on the Church Steps, is already done, and I have about 12 additional songs.
I never stopped creating, I just never had a plan. Took me a while to realize that's just as important as the music.
Finally, are our Mets EVER gonna get it together?
Yes, and while this season has been frustrating, the past three seasons as a Mets fan overall have been fine with me.
I feel like Terry Collins has done a great job. He's been given some frustrating circumstances the past few years, and the team never quits on him.
Sandy Alderson gave us a competitive team this year, and last year, and the year before. They brought back Yoenis Cespedes. This isn't the same Mets that flew Willie Randolph out to Anaheim to fire him.
Injuries are unfortunate, but we're right in there. If we don't make a run, we'll be competitive next year. Not many times in my Mets life have I been able to say that next year we could be a playoff team with confidence.