Clerel is a natural vocalist, soul singer, and songwriter who nurtured his taste for melody in his coastal hometown of Douala, Cameroon before moving to Montreal. He has appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, La Voix, and performed at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. His latest single, “Rainbow,” is out now. Ahead of his tour and the release of his upcoming EP, we chatted with Clerel about recording songs for the musical picture book A Feast Beneath the Moon and its prequel, A Picnic in the Sun. As a singer-songwriter, you write and record your own music. How is recording songs for children different? One of my earliest and most formative musical experiences was singing French nursery rhymes with my grandmother as a child. Because of this, recording children’s songs feels like a delicious return to my deepest and simplest musical self—a part of me that I’m always in touch with, even while working on my own music. The artist in me is the child in me! I believe children’s songs distill the enjoyable aspects of “grown-up” music down to their most immediately accessible elements, and as such they can be enjoyed at any age. The songs on this album are well-constructed and catchy, and recording them with Geneviève Toupin and the whole team was a truly enjoyable experience—one I’m grateful for. You performed A Picnic in the Sun, the prequel to A Feast Beneath the Moon, in front of a live audience during Pop Montreal. What was that like? It was definitely outside of my comfort zone. Keeping an audience of children involved and attentive requires a certain amount of theatricality and expression that I was not used to. I really wasn’t sure what to expect initially, but we were well-coached and prepared by The Secret Mountain’s publisher, Roland Stringer. On the other hand, playing with such great, hardworking, and personable musicians as Jérôme Minière, José Major, and Geneviève made the whole experience fun and exciting. I had a great time and it was a nice way to cap off the recording experience by bringing everything to life. I think the kids liked it too… What are you working on now? I’m working on a new English language long-form EP that was initially due this fall, but has been delayed to next spring as I was invited to support Noah Reid’s tour in Europe, Australia, and the US this fall! There are a few songs from this project that are out already and we’re releasing the next single from it on October 20. It’s called “Lemon Water.” A Feast Beneath the Moon Find it on Bookshop | Shop Local (Canada) | Barnes & Noble | Indigo | Amazon | Edelweiss | Goodreads TK Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to stay informed about our new releases, events and for a chance to win our subscriber giveaway. To order books for your library or bookstore, please contact Independent Publishers Group (United States), Hornblower Books/University of Toronto Press (Canada), and MMS/BookSource (United Kingdom). For additional information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.