CLUTCH THE BOY WONDER
It all started when…
He was a young “urbo-centric” geek who spent most of his days gallivanting Harlem, managing to circumvent the lifestyle that statistically many tend to succumb to when it came to being raised in an underprivileged rough neighborhood. Coming from a broken home where he was raised by his aunt because his mother was battling addiction, what was it that guided him on to a different path you ask? He consciously went against the norm. His days weren’t spent taking in the tunes of rap or hip-hop, but rather he enjoyed the anarchist music of Green Day and Paramour. He also spent his time reading comic books and watching tons of Japanese anime.
He is now an outspoken, positive minded young man, and Influencer. He is Quavon Hollis, but you can call him Clutch: The Boy Wonder, and he plans to dominate the world of Hip-hop and Comic-Con.
We took a stroll with Clutch on New York City’s Highline, a once abandoned, dilapidated train system, now converted into an outdoor industrialized, rustic garden. Stylized and well put together! This transformed park is very fitting of Clutch's life transformation.
Who is Quavon Hollis (Pronounced Quay-Von)?
To be honest he's like just this geeky lonely kid who is often misunderstood; and because I struggle from being in two separate worlds, which is, you know nowadays called cosplay pop culture, whatever you want to call it. And also growing up in a neighborhood who didn't understand, and that it was just mainly, you know like urban culture, like violence, you know drugs, things like that and I didn't want to be a part of that. So, I just stood in my room, played video games and watched anime and things like that so just a geeky kid.
Who is Clutch The Boy Wonder?
People call me Clutch for short. Clutch The Boy Wonder is like everything that Quavon wanted to be. To expand a little bit on Quavon before I get into Clutch, is that even in high school, like I used to have braids, I was very short, I mean, I'm short now, but I was shorter than this believe it or not (laughs), and it was like I didn't have the confidence that's instilled in me today. So, it was just like I was very nerdy and geeky. I didn't know how to talk to girls and things like that, so it was just like I, I Clutch is this cool persona that came from after when I graduated high school when I decided that I wanted to take my interest into music and animation, that I decided to be myself and things I love. But, actually be like a hero, but in real life. But by being myself and wanting to help other people.
So when you say a hero, give us an example of how your heroism came about?
As bad as I want to be like, you know, Batman and Robin, you know this comic book logic and you know you can't, there's no superhero powers that exist. So I take the word hero very literally. It's just because you don't have superpowers, don't mean you can't help people. Growing up from a very dark place that I know, like a lot of this world is broken, and a lot of people I feel like they just need love and respect so I try to help people the best way I can, and help comes in many forms. You can just sit down and talk to somebody and have a conversation with them, you know. And you never know you might talk them off a ledge because the world could be so wicked. Or you can just like, it sometimes comes in finances, sometimes is comes to talking to people, sometimes it comes with the bonds you have with people. So that's what I mean by hero. If you're helping somebody in any way, shape, or form, I like to think you are a hero in your own right. Yeah, because the world is so wicked nowadays. It's just like we can't pay attention. We be on the internet. It's like next. And it's just like to have genuine human conversation, to have another person that is just willing to listen to you, they don't even have to understand, you can come from two different separate worlds, but the fact that the person is willing to listen, that says a lot.
So I hear that you spit? (Rap for those of you who don't know that is by now). Do you freestyle?
I don't but I'm always prepared, like my favorite hero Batman. I was just speaking to my girlfriend (Yes, ladies he's very much taken) about her situation. 'Baby you always got to be prepared for any situation like Batman. That utility belt has everything' (he giggles). So I am pretty sure I can think of something, life.
Ok, now tell me a bit, what got you into rap? Obviously you come from an urban environment, is that what you grew up listening to? Why rap?
Fun fact. I hated rap. I couldn't stand rap! Like, when I was, I didn't get into rap until I got to college actually. When I was eighteen. But here's the thing, I used to always listen to rock and roll and I got my Green Day, my Paramour, my Bowling for Soup; I can go on for days. But like, what got me, I guess what got me into rap that part of me being Quavon. I wanna get in touch with me being Quavon. Me being misunderstood when I was younger, I didn't have no forms of outlet. My aunt, she, you know she was taking care of me. But I didn't really get that attention because she had her kids. And you know, my mother was not around, my dad was not around, so I needed a form of expression, and when I was a kid, I used to always write poetry in my books. I used to always write how I'm feeling because no one wanted to hear me and I had a lot to say because I was just, I was very sad and depressed. And that's why video games was my outlet along with you know, poetry. So when I became eighteen, I decided like, me and my first girlfriend broke up. Aw man, I was going through it, and I decided to make a music video about it. But, it's so funny, it wasn't my video. It was my video that I made, I went on the rooftop and did it myself, but it wasn't my lyrics, I was just feeling those lyrics.
What artist was your inspiration at the time of your break up?
My favorite rapper D-Pryde, at the time. I got it from him because it was a bad break up. After that I started to write my own stuff. And at first, I used to get so much criticism. 'Oh it sounds good, but you're not on beat.' And then, I'm not gonna lie, I used to have two left feet. Oh my God, I never had rhythm, like that, but I had a lot of shit to say so, it took me a while to understand the essence of hip-hop. I'm actually learning even now as we talk. I'm like, I'm going back to Wu-Tang, like you know, Big Daddy Cane, like I'm learning my history because as I got better with it. The more I got better with it, the more I realized I need to learn the history behind it. Because I don't care how good I get at hip-hop, but I need to know where it originated from. So when I figured where it originated from, it made me feel, less alone because it originated from the Bronx, you know (where Clutch lived with his Aunt even though he spent his days in Harlem), and it was basically forms of expression, expressing yourself, you know. You got five elements if Hip-Hop. You got dance, rapping, and so forth. I know there were important elements to put together to express yourself because in the African American culture that we live in today. We didn't have much though. We needed a way to have fun to express ourselves without getting into trouble like that. So when I look at the history, I'm like wow history is really repeating itself.
How is it repeating itself?
Through me. I mean, through me because it's like hip-hop, they turned nothing into something and now it's a big market and you get paid for these types of things. And like, I realize me being lonely at the time, so long, it's just that it goes back in tenfold. Cause hip-hop always comes from how you express yourself. A form or expression.
So history is repeating itself in a sense that you are doing what they were doing back then?
Exactly, and I didn't even know anything about it. It goes back to judging a book by its cover. Like I never gave hip-hop a chance in middle school. Knowing this man is cursing. His mom got drug problems, his dad's got drug problems and he's saying 'I'm telling you how I feel.' And it's just like that was the first time I was able to express myself. Yeah, and also I wasn't being judged behind it. It was like, if I got judged behind it, I was like, don't care. You have empathy or you don't. You understand me or you don't. At least I got my shit off and that's where it counts the most.
So what's next for Clutch?
I will be premiering a music video this month (August 2018). I may have a table at Anime NYC and I have a table definitely coming for Winter-Con.
Well, Clutch we'll look for you at those events. If you'd like to keep up with Clutch, follow him on SoundCloud under Clutch Boywonder and on Instagram @clutch_boywonder.
ANIME NYC 2018 is being held at the Javitz Center from November 16-18. Get your tickets here! http://animenyc.com/tickets/
New York WINTERCON 2018 is being held from December 1-2. Get your tickets here! http://nywintercon.com/buy-tickets