Clinton Cerejo Biography
Clinton Cerejo is known for his contributions in the music department for Indian films. His range of work includes playback singing, vocal arrangements, musical arrangements, background scores, music programming, production. His unique style and musical enthusiasm has attracted various collaborations with many leading Indian composers.
Clinton Cerejo was born into an academically inclined family with no known musical background. His father was an engineer at L&T and mother is a French professor. His siblings too were into non-musical professions; with elder brother as a software professional and younger sister being an editor for medical journals in the U.S.
He completed his graduation in Commerce from Poddar College in Mumbai and was on his way to pursue a degree in M.B.A before his friends convinced him of his musical talent. The prospect of doing a desk job for the rest of his life was not very inviting and Clinton opted to pursue a career in the music industry. His family found this choice a bit radical and were skeptical about it, but as he later put it "I guess they just didn’t want to see me starve".
During his younger days, he was influenced by great producers such as Quincy Jones, Trevor Horn, Arif Mardin, Stevie Wonder, Babyface, Hugh Padgham, Peter Gabriel, Roland Orzabal, Roy Thomas Baker.
Clinton married Dominique, who was his college friend. Dominique Cerejo is also making quite a name for herself as a singer. Her recent melodious rendition of Ye Tumhari Meri Baatein from Rock On!! was hugely popular.
Clinton started off by participating in college festivals and making a quick buck with recordings for colleges.
Back in college days, he would often do jam sessions with his friend Siddharth Haldipur (of Band of Boys fame). It was on one such session that Amar Haldipur (Siddharth's father), who is a famous arranger and violinist, noticed Clinton and took a liking to his voice. Amar Haldipur introduced Clinton to Anand Modak, the music director of a Marathi film Mukta and soon he was performing his first song in a recording studio. It was an English song for a Marathi film, picturised on a black American.
After a series of sporadic recordings, he started lending his voice to many advertisement jingles. During this period he worked with Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani & Loy Mendonsa, Lezz Lewis, Ranjit Barot, Louis Banks. Some of his contemporaries at that time were K.K and Kunal Ganjawala, who eventually went on to become a playback singers. Clinton and Kunal sang a lot of jingles together.
Realizing that his voice was not versatile enough to be a successful jingle singer, he started looking at other areas of interest.
Since his college days, Clinton always took a keen interest in the texture of a song and all the elements that went into producing a song. This pulled him towards production/arranging. Not being too picky about the production assignments, he started off with small films and remix albums. By word of mouth, one thing led to another and his work was recognized.
A. R. Rahman, while working in an adjoining studio, happened to overhear one of Clinton's vocal arrangements for a song and when they met a month later, A. R. Rahman offered Clinton the opportunity to work with him. Soon his work was noticed by many and other projects followed.
Eventually Clinton went on to work with many leading Indian music composer performing various roles in the music department.