Cliche Can't Be Tamed
And when that energy can be felt through an email interview, that's when you know it's real. After releasing his debut EP Thomas last year, Cliche has gone on to drop an eye-popping video for "Akira" and his most recent single "Pew Pew," all in anticipation for his upcoming project entitled Robot Jesus. With a myriad of diverse influences and a high-octane flow to complement them, the rapper may very well be just out-of-the-box enough to forge his a distinct lane all his own.
We caught up with the rapper to talk about his music being like a fresh sip of Sunny D, God being his favorite fashion designer, and Marvin Gaye.
Where did the name Cliche come from?
Honestly, it just sounded nice every time I pronounced it, and it was catchy and not too long haha. When I was a little kid I went by “Capt’Destiny," but I always felt like it was super long. So when I turned 16, I learned a fine keen sense of less being more and eventually changed it to cliche. some people also call me thomas as well initially that started out as others assuming I’m white ( fully hispanic ) but now its like a whole brand in my repertoire.
What is your song "Akira" about?
If you could sniff a couple lines of coke, sip some Sunny D and then take a walk through the forest—that's "Akira." Energy, baby. Energy energy energy coming straight from Thomas. PSA I do not approve or elicit drug use. Wait, actually I approve of all drugs. What were we talking about again?
Did you come up with the idea for the video? If so, can you tell me about the idea behind it?
Yes I did actually! Once I had the record finished, I immediately painted a full sketch in my head of this kid existing within the figments in his mind, going completely berzerk around his city, full of color, nostalgia, hella expression! I wanted to do something that was literally uncomfortable yet super vibrant, cinematic and really popping to the eyes. We had no budget, no high tech CPUs. Just one Mac laptop, two editors and a Thomas.
Tell me a little bit about your interest in/goals with fashion and music? How do you see the two co-existing?
I've always been interested in fashion and music, from taking forever to pick a fit before going to school to singing along songs in thrifts while shopping with friends! What highkey inspires me is the fact that fashion has not a single lane but an infinite lane. Just like music, it's like, hey there's an option C, D, E, F, G etc. I definitely see the two co-existing forever, honestly. Nature ain't complete without one or the other haha.
What kind of energy do you channel into your music?
GOD BODY, BABY!
How did you get into music?
When I was a kid, my moms would always blast her radio while she’d clean around the crib. I'd hear Busta Rhymes, Rihanna, Frank Sinatra, Amy Winehouse and at the same time my next door neighbor who I hung out with a lot put me on to Eminem, Dipset, 9th Wonder, Nirvana, Paramore, Fly Lo—lots of alternative shit. When I got older those foundations set me to dive deep into the genres I was listening to, inspiring me to write a lot. Eventually I got my own set up in my room, found purpose through what I love amd from there it began.
Who’s your favorite musician right now? Of all time?
Off Rip, Sheck Wes right now. Of all time, Marvin Gaye because he had literally incorporated his whole spirit into his music which you could feel on an emotional level. It's almost empathic in a way, which is super vital as an artist! His father never supported him and to see where he went with his artistry worldwide is very, very inspiring and influential!
Who’s your favorite fashion designer or visual artist?
I'll start with my favorite visual artist—Masashi Kishimoto who is the creator of Naruto. Just the way everything visually in that show is so appealing & aesthetically fit, a lot of my outfits are inspired by anime generally but mainly from characters in Naruto. My favorite fashion designer is God. Homie is definitely the ultimate creator for real for real. Just look at you and me. Homie has mad creative aesthetic facts, b.