story/ PAULETTE ELY
Clear Mortifee, The Toronto bred, non-binary breakout star, created the anthem “So Much More,” as a whimsical wake up call for those who may not feel like enough. Since their 2017 debut release, Medicines, Clear Mortifee has paved their path of societal relevance in the music industry, and their ride down the road to liberation has no red lights.
Less than a week after the VMA’s, the release of “So Much More” sings at the same key as Lizzo and Missy Elliot as a song of self love with more of an electronic essence yet still just as booty-moving-inducing. Although Clear Mortifee wrote the tune as a way to turn inward, the song awakens a level of acceptance in each person who presses play as well.
Their lyrics foster the idea that leading a healthy life is so much more than eating greens and getting a good night’s sleep. It is Clear Mortifee’s untethered honesty with themselves and their listeners that keeps their aura glowing and their smile genuine. As the musical master put it themselves, “…I wanted to help folks get out of their minds and into their cells with this dance bop, giving them space to express their sensuality and celebrate themselves as they are!”
Get familiar with Clear Mortifee from our interview below and read more about what inspires such an inspiration. Their song is a relevant revolution toward true self-love, but really… it’s so much more.
What is your process of writing a song such as ‘So Much More?’ Is it always lyrically/message based, or do beats sometimes spark inspiration for you?
“So Much More” – as with probably 99% of the songs I write – came directly from a need for catharsis. The message I’m sending is always first and foremost to myself; it’s just a perk that, through sharing the song publicly, it’s become an anthem for others as well :))
I co-create my songs with my producers – this one is prod. by SLWJMZ (Freddie Gibbs, Sean Leon) from Toronto. I brought some track references in, he started the beat, I gave input about what I wanted to hear…and from there, the song pretty much wrote itself. The melodies and lyrics appear in my mind – it’s my job to get out of the way and let them come out my face.
The song speaks to being so much more than “just a body.” What does that mean to you?
I’m grateful to have a healthy body to house my Spirit – and my body is just that, an interactive landscape for my experiences. The more honest I live, the healthier my cells are.
“Grown proud of wrinkles around our eyes, now we’re being graced with growing archetypes.” Do you remember where you were/what the moment felt like when those words first came to you?
When I first started this song in fall of 2018, the lyrics were “Grown scared of wrinkles around our eyes, cuz we’re being told that’s the shit y’all won’t buy” – but when I came back to the song, I chose to flip the script. I didn’t want to be repeating that. The truth is, aging gifts me with qualities I actively aspire to – wisdom, grace, and an ability to mentor others from a grounded place.
You identify as being gender-free. I wonder if that clear identity allows your music to be free of genre-boxing or preconceived ideas about it as well?
When I let go of the gender-binary, it definitely helped me to let go of other binaries in my life too. Binaries around my career, binaries around genre, and binaries around what artistic modalities I use to communicate. The truth is that I am all dualities. By telling this story honestly, it helps me to know my Self, and that empathy heals me 🙂
“So Much More” is really a song of celebration. Do you feel that that style of music can convey your message better than a more somber sounding tune?
I do ! I’ve been writing more danceable tunes lately because I just love to dance, as you’ll see when the music video for this song comes out 😀
Why do you think music is your outlet for self love? Have you always had a personal relationship with music?
I’ve been singing, dancing, and performing since I can remember. It’s how I express my experience – an act that is in and of itself, Self-Loving.
What advice would you give to other people reaching for self love/ liberation? What you speak to is so brave, how did you initially find the courage to sing songs that show your heart on your sleeve?
Thank you! That’s so sweet. To be completely honest with you, showing my heart on my sleeve is way easier for me than hiding who I am. When I hide, I communicate to myself that I am ashamed, which is not what I aspire to. By sharing who I am + what I’m going through transparently, I align with the acceptance, celebration, and dignity that I’m actually pursuing in this lifetime.
My advice for others cultivating Self-Love is to Trust your own advice. You know what you need.
That being said, I will share with you how I do my own Self-Loving: I witness Clear Mortifee as a personality that I have the joy of caring for in this Lifetime. I hear their innermost fears and desires, which are more often than not the same thing. I get to support Clear in Self-Actualizing, in living their true passion. I don’t take who Clear is personally – I didn’t choose for them to be who they are. But I do get to choose to be curious about them, to accept what I find, and to do my best to support them in their Freedom. Clearing my mind + connecting with the Angels helps me to maintain this detached + devoted perspective.
Who are some artists that you look up to/ would love to collaborate with one day?
I look up to Lizzo! To have watched her 5 years ago on the StyleLikeU YouTube series where she talked about cultivating her Self-Love using affirmations, etc. then seeing where she is now is so dope, so inspiring! I’m so proud of and grateful for her journey !!! It’s all in the mind-set, and she has harnessed that tenfold. I also look up to fellow enby (non-binary) influencer Rain Dove. The compassion they demonstrate for folks who antagonize them is so consistent + genuine + heart-centred. Big thanks to both of them ~~ follow their journeys at @lizzobeeating and @raindovemodel
What can we expect next from you?
Well well, I don’t wanna share too muuuuch, but let’s say I’m just getting warmed up 😀 Definitely got a handful of surprises coming soon! Follow me on IG at @clear.mortifee so you don’t miss anything – and please reach out, I love building community with folks who are vibing with my journey ! xx
CONNECT WITH CLEAR MORTIFEE: