Q: Wow, I LOVE everything about this track. From your lyrics, flow, and the infectious beat, this is like my ideal type of music. Can you walk me through the creative process in making “Run It Up”?
CLEJAN: Hellllll yeah. I love hearing that ! – so I walked into the studio knowing that I wanted to flip a beautiful violin solo into a banging trap beat. I improv’d the violin, and my co-producer Dela (@delamusik) and I were able to pretty quickly flip and sample the violin and turn it into the hard-knocking instrumental you hear today. From there it was just finding the flow – ‘Run It Up’ came to me almost immediately, and it seemed to match the energy of the song, so I just dove into that with the writing and found flows and lyrics that fit. I knew I wanted the second verse to go stupid, and I had already been talking with a new friend and artist Science about a potential collaboration. I showed him the song and he was as hype as I was on it, so I tapped him for the feature. The rest is soon-to-be history 🙂
Q: I know for a fact that “Run It Up” instantly got me hooked and will be a killer addition to anyone’s party playlist. What are you hoping listeners take away from this track?
CLEJAN: First off, LOVE the confidence haha. I certainly think so too – apart from it being high energy and a verified slapper, the message behind the song is this – Go after everything you want in life with everything you’ve got, because tomorrow isn’t promised and life is short.
Q: I’m always interested in an artist’s musical journey; did you grow up with a musical family/do you remember what or who first made you fall in love with it?
CLEJAN: My dad was a violinist, and my grandfather a pianist. My great grandmother was actually one of the first women violinist’s to attend the Conservatory of Music in Austria in the 1800’s. So music’s in my blood. Even though I grew up with just my mom (parents got divorced real young), I still got to see my dad and grandfather playing music a good bit, and this inspired me to start playing violin on my own. To be honest, though, after my parent’s split I lost interest, and it was my mom who pushed (forced) me to keep going. While I didn’t love the violin and the classical music I was being told to play growing up, I did fall in love with Hip Hop. Growing up in Atlanta, I got to see the rise of ‘Trap’ music first hand, and this is what really inspired me to become an artist and make the kind of music I make today.
Q: What was the inspiration behind “Run It Up”?
CLEJAN: I was actually inspired to make this song when I heard Mike Dime’s song ‘Wiss’. It started out with a beautiful violin solo that was then flipped and sampled in the beat drop. I’d thought of doing something similar in the past but hearing how he did it I was like… ‘damn, I just gotta make this happen’ and made my own version : ) The message behind the song is something I truly feel inspired by – I strive to live my life going after things 100%, so to make a song out of that was really rewarding. Y’all can pre-save the song now at the link in my social media bio’s!
Q: If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only take three albums with you, which would they be?
CLEJAN: The Beatles – 1
Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III
6lack – FREE 6LACK
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received about the music industry, and how has it helped you navigate through it thus far?
CLEJAN: As much as you possibly can, don’t wait on others to move you forward. Nobody will care about your art as much as you, in fact some people may even try to gate keep you from succeeding – so teach yourself everything you can about the business and push yourself. It may take time to learn everything but the time & money you save relying on others will be worth it in the long run.
Q: If you could collaborate with any artist in the world (dead or alive), who would it be?
CLEJAN: Kendrick Lamar or Lindsey Stirling
Q: Thanks so much for talking with me! Tell everyone what’s coming next for you! (projects, shows, etc.)
CLEJAN: Thanks for covering this release and the interview! Next up is another absolute banger, out on Nov. 9 with Philly rapper A.Rob. After that, in the end of November I’ll release my third ‘String Beats’ Instrumental album, and a Christmas trap violin song in December. 2023 I have plans to release at least 12 singles and another full-length album, so definitely stay in touch for an influx of new music and videos. I would love to go on a tour next year, just need to find the right artists to be on the bill with me. Apart from that, I’m going to keep building my social media brand, with the hopes of hitting 1 Million followers on Tik Tok by the end of next year. Y’all make sure to connect with me on Spotify, Apple Music, Tik Tok and Instagram – I love meeting you and hearing what you think of the music ! All the best – Zac
Interviewed by Melissa Cusano