Interview: Candice Nelson - talks 'Fling' EP, working with Mindless Behavior, The Clutch
She's worked with Timbaland under "The Way I Are", and Mary J. Blige for her song "Take Me As I Am" in 2006. She also found time to hop in the studio with Ciara for "Like a Boy" the same year. Let us introduce Candice Nelson -- one of the songwriters behind those several records that should take you on a musical journey a couple years back. Candice, along with 4 others, made up a songwriting crew called The Clutch that wrote some of your musical favorites, while also working with some of the largest producers in the music industry. Well that was a few years back and since then the group has separated and each of them went their separate ways. Since then Candice has been cultivating her own personal project and finished working with Mindless Behavior -- a teen boy band that we first broke in August of 2010 and has since accumulated 31M views on their video. With such a rich musical mind to dig into, we knew we couldn't let the opportunity to pass us by to interview Candice. An honest, humble, and very musically inspired soul -- we are happy to reintroduce Candice Nelson.
You've been in this industry for quite some time -- 15 years to be exact. It's no secret that you have lent your vocals on several tracks in the past, and that you've been singing on demo tracks throughout your songwriting career. So, why the change in career path from songwriter to singer?
I think it as a natural progression. I would sing on demo's and always get asked "why aren't you a recording artist" question from A&Rs, managers, and recording artists. Naturally if I was a songwriter, the next step that one would take would be to go into singing. At the same time there was always that "maybe I can do that" in the back of my mind. When I was younger I was in talent shows and noticed my love for singing that way. Actually Walter Millsap III and I went to high school together! He heard me sing and that's what really sparked our relationship. I was in the gospel choir, and he was a musician -- he would always be in the studio and he asked me one day to do vocals for him on his track. That was the first time we linked up and worked together, I wouldn't say it's the best work I've done, but it was a point in my life that changed it completely.
"Fling" is what you are calling your next body of work.. "Fallin" really sets the story line of the project. What perspective did you form this body of work in?
I wanted to write from a perspective of someone that likes to take it slow. Essentially taking one experience at a time. I think I've covered most of the facets of that type of relationship in my work. It was also taken from personal experience. You know when you're young you experiment with different things. I've definitely have been through it, and have kind of balled-it-up into one project.
What experiences are you taking from your past to build your debut EP "Fling"?
The concept of the 'Fling' project really describes my approach to life at this point. I don't want to be too attached to any situation or experience. The recent loss of a loved one really got me thinking and I decided to just let go of the fear of what could go wrong when I could focus on what's real and true and what's right for me based on how I feel. I want people to hear this project and FEEL what I'm singing. Just let go and have the experience. Enjoy the things you like about it and dismiss what you don't like. This is something I had fun with and that I hope people will enjoy but if they don't love me, that's fine too. My experience was great and that's what I plan to take away from all this.
You've been on a hiatus from the industry for quite some time -- It seems as though ever since The Clutch disbanded in 2010. (pic below)
I took a break at that point. of course I was a writer before the formation of The Clutch, and then after we all split apart it was again the solo career of "Candice Nelson". I believe it's been two years since then. It was a much needed break. As The Clutch formed I moved out to Georgia and left behind my family in California. After we all split apart I moved back to Los Angeles and have been living there ever since.
How have you seen music change since 2010? or has it even changed in your opinion?
I notice more R&B sounds coming from great artists. This makes me extremely happy because that's where my roots are. I also notice that boy bands are back! There's some great young talent out there and I gotta give credit to Walter Millsap and Keisha Gamble for seeing the vision early. Those two are the managers behind Mindless Behavior -- a young boy band that I recently finished working on. There were no other boy bands out when they put the group together. It's really cool to be part of something like this.