After 10 years in Los Angeles, singer-songwriter/producer Jesty Beatz recently moved back to Cleveland “in an effort to reconnect with the environment that helped originally shape [his] musical perspectives.”
As Holy Mattress Money, the songwriting project/band he's formed here, he's released a song every other Monday via Spotify, Apple Music and other outlets.
He recently collaborated with Bridgeport, OH-based pop singer Clemont [pictured] on “Summertime,” a breezy tune that features soulful vocals.
The track has gone viral.
Beatz originally met Clemont through Zach Rodgers, a mutual friend who studies photography at Kent State University.
“He played me her Soundcloud, and I was impressed,” says Beatz via phone. “She drove up to Cleveland from Bridgeport, and we re-recorded some of her demos from her Soundcloud at Bulkley House.”
COVID-19 derailed their plans to release an EP.
“[The pandemic] put a damper on our release schedule, so I wanted to do something to warm people up,” says Beatz. “I made a beat and sent it to her. There were two different versions. She wrote that song, and literally a day and a half later, we had the workings of something that sounded really cool. She did all the lead and background vocals. The way we work is that I send chords and basic drums, and she writes to barebones tracks.”
The song has spawned a dance and a "quarantine glow-up challenge" used in videos that've been viewed on TikTok over 1.2 million times. The tune even caught the attention of Rose, an influencer from the TLC show 90 Day Fiance: Before the 90 Days, who posted it on her TikTok account.
“Evann McIntosh, someone I’ve also worked with, has gone viral on TikTok to the point that she got a record deal," says Beatz. "I thought TikTok was where we needed to be. I put it out, and we brainstormed about what we could do to the song. She posted a video of herself changing from quarantine clothes to being outside in the summertime. We started by having her do it and from there, people started to catch on. This dude named Grandpa Joe did it first and then some beauty influencers did it too. It was one of those perfect storm situations.”
Clemont, who grew up in Bridgeport, Ohio, fell in love with music through the influence of her guitar player father who always had music playing in the house. Being surrounded by stacks of records from a young age gave her a deep appreciation for soul and R&B
With his production on “Summertime,” Beatz provides a thick bass riff and snappy percussion that nicely complement Clemont's vocals.
Beatz has now produced more than 30 “genre-bending” pop tracks featuring various performers on lead vocals. “Summertime” is Holy Mattress Moneyʼs first release in 2020 after producing Evann McIntoshʼs debut album, last year’s MOJO.
Beatz says he hopes Clemont’s EP, which he produced, will come out this fall.
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Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]