Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images


welcome to afropunk: cautious clay

April 30, 2019

Every year, AFROPUNK festivals around the world welcome many new, young artists to its stages for the first time. Last year, we decided to spotlight a few of them, having them introduce themselves to AFROPUNK’s audience by answering some basic questions. We got some great responses from JPEGMAFIA, Andre Power, Sandra Nkake, Gaika and others. So, in 2019, we’re doing it again.

This time around, it’s Cautious Clay (born Joshua Karpeh), a 26 year-old singer/songwriter/flautist (what’s up with all the flute of late?) who’s been dropping Soundcloud singles and EPs since September 2017, and has — co-sign by co-sign — built himself a helluva DIY career. Cautiosu Clay will be playing at AFROPUNK’s Carnival of Consciousness in Atlanta in October.

Place of Birth and/or Residence:

Born in Cleveland, OH and currently reside in Brooklyn.

If there was one or two core thoughts/ideas that you want your music to convey, what are they?

I want to convey the emotions and realities of life, both the good and the bad.

What separates Table of Context from your previous projects?

Table of Context is a bit more acoustically driven but in many ways I am elaborating on a lot of the subjects of my past two projects.

When did you first hear of AFROPUNK? Do you have any first-hand AFROPUNK experiences of your own?

I’ve never actually been to the festival but a lot of my friends have gone and I first heard about it in New York at Fort Green Park when Kaytranada played a couple years ago.

What are your favorite things about where you are from, and what are your favorite things about local black culture where you are from?

My favorite thing about where I’m originally from, which is Cleveland, is that a lot of the black people who are from there (or parts of the Midwest) who end up leaving have a particular type of creativity and unabashed vulnerability that I don’t think you commonly get if you are from the East or West coast.

What are you looking forward to most when you play at AFROPUNK?

Definitely getting to hang out in ATL, I’ve only been once before.

What does the term “We See You” mean to you?

That term feels like I am validated for being myself in my skin and the content of my character.