Pittsburgh-based Claye Green’s Warrior trilogy is hardcore relaxing | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pittsburgh-based Claye Green’s Warrior trilogy is hardcore relaxing

As Blue Soul Ten, Claye Greene makes expertly produced smooth R&B

Claye Greene can’t remember the name of the song that launched his music career. It might have been “Instrumental 1” or something equally vague. It was among a batch he sent to a production house on spec in 2009, all instrumental, all within his wheelhouse of smooth jazz and R&B (though “smooth” is a bit of an understatement there; this stuff is hardcore relaxing). He envisioned the songs being used in film, in transitions between scenes, for characters driving down highways at night, stuff like that. The production house was interested in one track (the unnamed), asked to shop it around, and Greene forgot about it. Six months later, the royalty checks started arriving and a full-time career in music seemed doable. He dove in.

This fall, Greene released his second album of originals, The Fearless Warrior, under his moniker Blue Soul Ten. While he enjoyed the success of writing for others, after a few years, he wanted more out of his career and started writing songs for himself, songs that didn’t need to be pitched or sold to meet other people’s needs. Those songs became the first album in a trilogy: 2015’s The Unspoken Warrior, September’s The Fearless Warrior, and The Beautiful Warrior (which he’s writing now).

It’s a little tough to classify the meaning of the trilogy within the music. The laid-back, keyboard-driven compositions are consistent throughout his catalogue, but Fearless is certainly more polished than Unspoken. (Greene says he didn’t consider his first album radio-worthy, more “lounge-worthy.”) The tracks are clean, concise and expertly produced, almost sounding like something pre-packaged for Talib Kweli or A Tribe Called Quest to sample. Greene is a keys man, and the compositions show it, building expansive instrumental atmospheres from a foundation of jazzy funk chords.

So what’s the meaning behind all these warriors? For Greene, these titles represent the three values he lives by: humility, courage and love. Or to put it another way, as in the mantra he recites daily: “To embody the strength, honor, balance and disposition of a warrior, and live life as if no life or no moment is ordinary.”

For more information, visit www.greenehousemusic.com

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