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Cautious Clay

Cautious Clay

ALL ARTIST INFO IS PULLED FROM PUBLICLY AVAILABLE DATA.
IF YOU REPRESENT THIS ARTIST AND WOULD LIKE TO VERIFY YOUR PAGE OR UPDATE THE INFO, Click Here
birthday
30th
January, 1993
Birth Place
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Birth Sign
aquarius
Biography

Joshua Karpeh, also known as Cautious Clay, is a singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist known for his blend of R&B, experimental indie, and hip-hop, all of which is influenced by electronic sounds. At times, he’s been compared to contemporaries like Sampha and James Blake, but Cautious Clay’s sound is all his own.

Born January 30, 1993, the 28-year-old artist is proficient in a wide repertoire of instruments, including saxophone, flute, bass, electric and acoustic guitar, keyboards and synthesizers, drums, and vocals. He’s been said to credit Stevie Wonder as an idol and Quincy Jones and Burt Bacharach as ever-present influences in his music.

instruments played
bass
Guitar
Piano
Vocalist
Associated Acts

Taylor Swift, John Mayer, Remi Wolf

Birth Name

Joshua Karpeh

Genres

R&B, hip hop

Labels

Independent

Occupations

Singer, songwriter, record producer

Years Active

2015 - present

Cautious Clay: The Bio

Karpeh was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and raised by his mom, but he left his hometown to go to college. Joshua attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he studied International Affairs. After college, Karpeh moved to New York City, where he worked in several industries for the next few years. Karpeh spent time as a real estate agent, then switched to advertising, but eventually decided that it was time to focus his energy on music full-time. Joshua got into beat-making when he was in college in Washington, D.C. However, he was a gifted musician long before he started honing his production skills and was already interested in the worlds of blues and jazz. He had been playing classical flute and saxophone since high school, but Karpeh learned a number of other instruments in college as he got more into producing.   The majority of the instrumentation and production on Cautious Clay’s music is done by the artist himself. He’s a virtuosic performer, producer, and musician, and he rarely collaborates with other producers or songwriters to make his own material, although he did a remix of Billie Eilish’s “Ocean Eyes” in 2016. In addition, Karpeh releases all of his artful arrangements independently, even though many a label is chasing after him and he has plenty of fans. The modern songwriter’s most recent record, Deadpan Love, is entirely self-produced.

Cautious Clay’s Music

As Cautious Clay, Joshua Karpeh has released one full studio album, three EPs, and a wide array of singles. His full discography is listed below.

“Cold War:” Karpeh’s Breakthrough Debut Single

Not long after he started pursuing his artistic journey in music, Joshua Karpeh scored a hit with his first single, “Cold War,” released in September of 2017. The pop/R&B track features lush vocal harmonies, sparse, organic production, and staccato drum samples. It is currently the artist’s number-one song on Spotify, with nearly 90 million plays on the platform as of 2021. “Cold War” was later featured on Cautious Clay’s debut EP Blood Type, which he released twice – the second version of the EP came out in 2018 with one additional track.  The song was later sampled in Taylor Swift’s song “London Boy,” which earned Joshua a songwriting credit on Swift’s Jack Antonoff-produced album Lover.

Cautious Clay’s Other Singles

Cautious Clay’s other single-track releases include the following songs:
  • "Joshua Tree"
  • "Stolen Moments"
  • "French Riviera"
  • "Crowned"
  • "Reasons"
  • "Sidewinder"
  • "Swim Home" – This single was featured on the soundtrack for the Netflix original series 13 Reasons Why in the show’s third season. For “Swim Home,” Karpeh worked alongside legendary musician John Mayer. Clay also partnered with Mayer for the latter artist’s single “Carry Me Away.”
  • "Erase"
  • "Cheesin" – This track is a collaboration between Cautious Clay, Remi Wolf, Still Woozy, Sophie Meiers, Claud, Melanie Faye, and HXNS. The song was released during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Karpeh worked remotely to produce the song, getting vocals from the artists who were featured. “Cheesin” currently has over 26 million plays on Spotify, making it one of Cautious Clay’s most successful songs to date.
  • "Agreeable"
  • "Dying in the Subtlety"
  • "Roots"
  • "Karma & Friends"

Cautious Clay’s EPs

  • Blood Type, released February 2018 
  • Resonance, released May 2018
  • Table of Context, released March 2019

Deadpan Love: Cautious Clay’s First Album

Regarding his first album, released in June of 2021, Joshua Karpeh told The Line of Best Fit, “Deadpan Love explores the ways I cope with the worst of what humanity has to offer. It’s about opposites—having an outer layer that’s tougher, this ‘deadpan’ state, and an inner layer of compassion, where you’re open to being there for the people you care about. It’s this warring compassion and cynicism that has empowered me to express myself through this medium.” It demonstrates an external witty side and a softer inner layer. The record was given a 9/10 score by The Line of Best Fit’s David Cobbald, along with numerous other notable music critics. Clay describes this album as the layer of wittiness that he uses as a protection mechanism to cover his inner empathy and compassion. It’s the two sides of the same coin that make up his identity.  American Songwriter Magazine praised Cautious Clay’s full-length debut as well, describing the record as digging “deep into matters of relationships and swimming within murky spaces.”  Karpeh’s songwriting has long been considered a highlight of his musical abilities, and with his new album, that perspective on the artist has only been reinforced. His poetic lyrics are considered soul-searching, displaying deep emotional intuition, personal self-reflection, and unflinching honesty, all at the same time. Combined with his soulful vocals and the unique combination of organic instruments that he makes use of, you can see why tickets go fast, regardless of the venue that he’s performing in. 

Joshua Karpeh’s Songwriting Credits

Josh Karpeh has written or co-written songs for a wide array of high-profile artists, and he’s regularly working on his own project and on projects for others. His songwriting credits include “Floating (Feat. Khalid)” by Alina Basraz, “Devil in Paradise” by Cruel Youth, “Hey Nice to Know Ya” by LP, “Matches” by Quinn XCII, “London Boy” by Taylor Swift, “Sober” by Sebastian, and three songs from John Legend’s most recent album, Bigger Love.

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