Artist of the Week: Clark Herring
Joe Freer – Reporter
Clark Herring is a communication major with a concentration in film, television and digital production, along with involvement in the campus and local music scenes.
At school, he plays bass in a blues band every Friday. The group is going through a bit of a transitional period after losing their vocalist which has resulted in Herring to try to take the project in a different direction.
“I’m thinking me and this other guy [the band’s lead guitarist] could sing and do some harmonies together,” Herring said.
Outside of school projects, Herring has been producing rap beats under the name “oddfish,” since his junior year of high school. He said it was something he picked up from a friend, and he learned how to operate his production software with help from online videos.
“I’ve developed my craft over the last couple of years,” Herring said, “I’m mainly on Logic, I don’t use programs like Pro Tools or Fruity Loops.”
He explained that even though programs like Pro Tools and Fruity Loops are more popular among producers, Logic is easier to use without a drop off in quality.
As far as his production style, Herring said “I like to produce under is kind of like Earl [Sweatshirt]. Deep heavy synths, with bass and kind of dark.”
Herring writes all of his pieces without music theory and relies on his ear. He does not shy away from experimenting with new sounds, however. “But every once in awhile, I’ll do something catchy, light major scale stuff,” Herring said. “I’ll adapt a sound from an album I’ve been listening to.”
Like many producers, Herring makes his beats for other artists to put lyrics over.
“My biggest credit, is that I produced for a guy out in Chicago named Owen Finn,” Herring said.
He knows Finn through his friend, Alex, from Cheshire, who is now also in Chicago.
“So, one day, over winter break, Alex was here in the dorms and I played him a track I was working on,” Herring said. “I worked like thirty minutes on [it] and was like whatever [and showed him]. It was literally just the drum and the bass and Alex was like, ‘I really like this. Send it over to me.’”
The next thing Herring knew, his friend was in Chicago and worked on the beat with Finn and the song made Alex’s album.
“Eventually the album came out and there was some hype for it, and a song can get a few thousand listens when it first comes out,” Herring said.
But the biggest accomplishment Herring said, was that the song was discovered by the same group that makes videos for well-known artists like Lil Uzi Vert and Lil Xan called Lyrical Lemonade. The song was featured on their artist of the day blog and Herring was given credit under his “oddfish” name.
In the future, Herring wants to be a full-time music artist. He continues to try new things and has started freestyling over his own beats and teaching himself how to sing. Even though he loves producing, Herring said he finds himself going back to the roots he grew up on, despite not being able to find a full band.
Herring’s main focus right now is hip hop to help meet the demand of local artists and the genre’s increasing popularity.
“I tried the band thing for a number of years, it never worked out,” he said. “Truthfully I’d rather be in a band [because] that’s the music I grew up with and that’s what I’m used to. But at this point, if it happens, it happens, you know?”
Photo Credit: Joe Freer