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Student artist profile: Aaron Clarke

What do you get when you mix a trouble-making kid with a house full of valuable instruments?

While the answer for some households may be a house full of broken instruments, this was certainly not the case for one musically-inclined Hamilton, Ontario family, whose artsy abode fostered an unconditional passion for music in one self-described “little terror.”

This is the story of singer-songwriter Aaron Clarke, and it’s a theme that resurfaces throughout his acoustic sound.

“I wasn’t a bad kid but I liked to mess around . . . and I liked to bug my parents a lot, that sort of thing. So growing up from that and getting to where I am now is something big I like to talk about [in my music],” said Clarke, now a second-year history student at the University of New Brunswick.

“Growing up is important to me; becoming more mature and learning a lot more about myself and life in the grand scheme of things.”

Music has been a part of Clarke’s life throughout the process.

“I come from a fairly musical family. We have a ton of instruments that everyone picks up and plays around the household; piano, guitar, drums, violin . . . ” said Clarke, whose family still resides back in Hamilton.

“My dad played [guitar] and I really had an interest in listening to music with him. I always wanted to play guitar to complement [my singing], so I was more than happy to jump into [lessons]… when I was about 11 or 12 years old.”

What began as a hobby for Clarke soon turned into a full-fledged obsession.

“Once I finished high school I started writing my own material and playing some shows and I’ve been doing it fairly steadily since then.”

Along with releasing a slate of singles over the years, Clarke has now released his first EP, The Maritime Tapes, a four-song album written and recorded in his own Fredericton abode.

“It’s definitely the best material I’ve ever written and released, so I’m pretty happy about it. I believe so. [It has] lots of harmonies and cool stuff . . . and the lyrics really dive into that [theme of growing up.”
Clarke will showcase The Maritime Tapes at the Cellar Pub this Friday.

“I like to think I’m entertaining. I’m really influenced by punk so I like to be loud and play hard on stage,” said Clarke.

“I like to try and get people involved so they see that I am really excited about the stuff I’m playing and it’s really coming from the heart; I think people will really relate to that.”

Clarke’s set will begin around 9:30 p.m. on Friday, with a cover charge of $5. In the meantime, you can keep up with his music at Soundcloud.com/aaronclarke09 or Facebook.com/acmusic09.

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