In this week’s episode of “You Should Know,” Billboard sits down with singer and E Street Band member Jake Clemons to find out who his dream collaboration would be with, what the best piece of advice Bruce Springsteen ever gave him was, what inspired his latest album title, and much more.
Asked who his dream collaboration would be with, Clemons tells Billboard that he would love to one day work with Stevie Wonder, calling him a “phenomenal songwriter.”
“The things he's written about and sung about have been just huge, covering the full spectrum of life on Earth,” Clemons says. “He stood up for things that were hard to stand up for at times. He used his voice in really powerful ways and really beautiful ways.”
Speaking of working with Bruce Springsteen, whose birthday is today (Sept. 23), Clemons reveals that The Boss has provided him with some advice that he has been able to apply to both his performance and his life in general.
“[Springsteen] said, ‘You haven't earned it…you're still earning it,’” states Clemons. “So after 40 years of playing, he's still earning it. This notion of when you go out there to do your thing, you've got to work for it like it's the first time and you've got to want it every single time.”
As for why people should listen to his music, Clemons explains that music is an experience, comparing music to food.
“You can get food from all over the world, and different regions, and different flavors and textures and music is the same way,” he says. “I would love for people to listen to my music because maybe there's an introduction of a new flavor or texture that they haven't experienced and that their pallet can grow from.”
In the interview, Clemons also chats about his latest album Eyes on the Horizon, revealing that he decided upon the title because it recognizes the inequalities and hardships of society.
“It's important to pay attention to those, but ultimately it's also important to know where you want to go, to know where you wanna be,” states Clemons. “In that, it's a message of hope to keep your eyes on the horizon. Recognize where you are, but keep your focus, your gaze fixed on where you want to be. And that's the journey of this record.”
You can check out the full video interview with Jake Clemons above to learn much more about him, including the time he had pizza with Will Smith at a presidential inauguration.