Alex Clare – “I Owe A Big Debt Of Gratitude To Shazam”
When we caught up with Alex Clare, the hitmaker behind dub-soul fusion “Too Close,” he was driving to a recoding session to put down some vocals.
Clare, who infamously hit success by having his song profusely Shazam’d when it was used in a Microsoft Internet Explorer ad, was in the exact situation wherein millions of people might hold their smartphone’s up to the radio to scan an unknown track.
“It’s amazing. I owe a big debt of gratitude to Shazam,” said Clare. “Them and Microsoft. Both of them have done me a very good turn.” An immensely popular phone application, Shazam’s purpose is to help a curious listener look up a song that they love, but have trouble placing or have never heard.
Clare thinks the modern technological phenomena of musical discovery is great, especially after he was “well out of the record label when ‘Too Close became a big hit.”
“Nowadays, you have to do as much as you can to promote your music and the more various types of media you have,” continued Clare. “Before you just had radio but now you can expose yourself on totally different grounds. It’s great.”
The British singer-songwriter’s most poignant musical moment was a definite byproduct of his success via technology. Once his song gained online traction, “Too Close” garnered radio spins and subsequently international recognition.
“I think that biggest one happened, literally, a couple of months ago,” said Clare, describing a huge moment in his career as a “weird moment that was surreal. ” “Suddenly the single was on the iTunes chart for America. The single just kind of rocketed up.”
“I’d been nowhere to being on the top 10 on the pop charts. And then, in Germany, I was flying into Germany and my single went straight to number one…I had this really weird experience in Berlin of being told that ‘your record is the number one record in the country.’”
–Nadia Noir, CBS Radio Los Angeles