Born Clifton Radley End on the 1st of February 1978 in Curaçao, Clifton End has been a member of several groups that have entertained the Dutch Caribbean and European masses for years. Now the time has come for him to break out on his own and he does it in a beautiful way: by paying homage to Curaçaoan legends.
Here is his story:
Clifton End grew up in the neighborhood of Joshi, located near Pietermaai. His mother was a former Offshore company employee and his father was a seaman. The middle child of three brothers, he proved to have an affinity with music from a very early age.
However, his musical journey did not start with his singing pipes but rather with his ability to play instruments. He started taking lessons to play all sorts of instruments – including the flute, the cuatro and the guitar – starting between the ages of 4 and 5 and in fact learned how to read notes before he even learned how to read words.
His singing talent was discovered during a school trip when he was around the age of 10. While he was singing along to Mariachi songs with his classmates on the bus, his teacher noticed he sang perfectly in key and invited him up to sing in front of everyone. He accepted her invitation and from that fateful day onward he became a familiar face at song festivals and singing competitions on the island, many of which he won.
The beginning of a music career
These victories launched his music career as he soon joined the music group Floribèl at the age of 12, a group funded by the Cultural department of the Curaçaoan government. They performed at different churches and would transform into an Aguinaldo group during Decembers and perform at many venues throughout the island. Many of the members who performed with Clifton End are also still active in music to this day.
After his stint with Floribèl he joined the music group Genesis. They sang Gospels and covers of American Pop songs and had many performances at what is now the Plaza hotel. At the age of 17 he was approached by Gibi Doran to become a member of the famed Curaçaoan band GIO Fuertisimo and accepted the offer.
For the ensuing 4 years, Clifton End sang lead vocals on several of their hit songs and performed with them at many venues. After his tenure with the band he decided to place his focus on finishing his secondary education, which he did.
Shortly hereafter he helped form a band called Tune and they decided to take their act to the Netherlands. After a year he decided to return to Curaçao but he didn’t stay for long as he got a call from Spain a month after he had gone back to the island.
The call from Spain
Some of his old colleagues from his days in Genesis were doing shows in Spain for a company called Romantic Inc. They recommended Clifton End to the company’s higher ups and they soon approached him to perform in a tribute to Soul music band on the Spanish island Mallorca.
He initially received a six-month contract but his employers were so impressed with his talent that they invited him to join a show in Tenerife, another Spanish island, which was being headlined by Curaçaoan great Tony Shearman.
This was a dream come true for Clifton End. Tony Shearman was one of his idols and back in Curaçao Clifton had worked with him on several occasions in his Genesis days. They worked together for two and a half years as members of the group Ebony Power (which was a Four Tops tribute band) and to this day he considers it the best and most formative time of his career.
Eventually Tony Shearman decided to leave Ebony Power and go form a group with his brothers elsewhere, leaving Clifton End as the headliner. At first it proved to be a bit difficult to steer the ship without Tony, but Clifton was able to eventually take the band to new heights.
The move to the UK
After a year and a half another opportunity came to call. An American businessman who had worked with Clifton during his days performing with Ebony Power recommended him to another American named Freddy Lee who had a Four Tops tribute band in London and was looking to branch out to a Drifters Tribute band. He needed a lead and Clifton answered the call.
And so the UK years came to call. He eventually broke out as a solo act and received many bookings throughout the United Kingdom. In a total of four years he even started a family in London.
The Cache Deluxe years
But after a while he and his partner decided that London was not a suitable city to raise a family in. And so in 2010 they decided to move to Helmond in the Netherlands, his partner’s hometown where many members of her family still resided.
Clifton did not have any misgivings about the move as his years in Spain and the United Kingdom had taught him that no matter where he goes, he’ll land on his feet. This proved to be true in the case of the Netherlands as well, where it wasn’t long before he got a call to join the Dutch-Curaçaoan superband Cache Deluxe.
Time to go solo
He spent six years touring and doing shows with them until he decided it was time to finally start producing his own material and bring out an EP. And this brings us full circle to the current point in his career. Just last month he was in Curaçao promoting his single “Mi Pais”, which pays homage to Curaçaoan legend Ced Ride’s original masterpiece.
This was the first of many such singles in which he honors the legends of Curaçao and he is currently working on an EP slated for release sometime in 2018.
We can’t wait to see what the next phase will be in his storied career!