Born Stanley Alejandro Clementina in 1974 in Buena Vista, Curaçao, Stanley Clementina is a bonafide veteran in the Dutch Caribbean music industry, with a music career that has spanned 33 years.
Yes you read that correctly; 33 years, unofficially starting with the release of his first single which came out when he was at the tender age of 9, a gospel titled “Dia Kristu Bini” (When Christ Returns).
Continuing a family tradition, he grew up very much immersed in the church scene and when it came time for his family to make the move to Holland when he was 11 years old, he continued on that very same path, becoming a choir coordinator for church groups in Spijkenisse and subsequently Rotterdam.
But eventually, being influenced by such popular music legends like Stevie Wonder and Carlos Santana, Stanley Clementina felt a bit stifled by the rigorous and solemn ambience of the church choirs in the Netherlands and so began his itch to branch out into more lively rhythms.
Thus when his uncle offered him an opportunity to join a popular music band – which “at the time was playing the type of music that we today call Ritmo Kombiná” – at the age of 14, he jumped at the chance.
This was to develop into a very busy career, in which he would go on to become something like Puffy in the late 90s or the Neptunes in the early 00s, every big artist wanted to work with him.
He was also kind of a pioneer because “long before Q-Sign came along I was imbuing the rhythms coming out of Curaçao with elements of Pop music and was even ridiculed for it. Then they did it and it became cool. Oh well”.
He was also a part of a boy band at some point called Black Flavors, comprised entirely of singers of Curaçaoan or Surinamese descent. And their popularity with tween girls was no joke they took their shirts off on stage and everything.
In addition to this he became something like a musical jack of all trades: he was a regular in several musicals, including The Lion King and Joseph, obtained a double degree at a conservatory, produced music for Tamara Nivillac and pretty much every other big other artist in the Netherlands you can think of, and also found time to give artistic workshops at schools.
And you want to know which student he happened to come across at one of those workshops? This funny little fellow by the name of Jandino Asporaat. Heard of him? Well, Stanley Clementina was actually one of the first people to ever work with him.
A multilingual (English, Papiamentu and Spanish) triple threat on the vocals, producing and guitar, he has dabbled in every genre from Soul to Merengue to Zouk. But now he has set his sights on Afrobeats.
“This is a music genre that is making major headway in the world music scene and with the incorporation of our beloved Papiamentu into its rhythms, I aim to give the language global exposure.”
And this dovetails perfectly into the path Stanley Clemetina has firmly placed his feet on:
“I’ve been the man behind the scenes for most of my career, usually putting other people’s productions first. But now I’m going to own this and get in the driver’s seat. I’m going to really focus on getting my own music out there and really letting the world get to know my own artistry.”
Well with his 2017 hits “Basil’e” and “Komehein” proving to be as engaging as they are popular, that should be a cakewalk.