Home Sports Olympic triple jumper and rapper Will Claye on why his music career...

Olympic triple jumper and rapper Will Claye on why his music career is more than a hobby

“It seems to be just like the particular person is simply floating — there’s a cadence to it and there’s a rhythm to it,” Claye tells CNN Sport.

“I really feel like triple bounce is one of many more artistic-looking occasions … it sort of simply flows.”

It’s an acceptable alternative of phrases for somebody who divides his time between athletic tracks and music tracks. A two-time Olympic silver medalist within the triple bounce, 29-year-old Claye is additionally a recording artist who has began his personal file label, Desert Water Records.

On high of his athletic aspirations — which, proper now, contain getting ready for the Tokyo Olympics — Claye additionally desires of performing his music all over the world. His love for song-making runs deep, relationship again, he thinks, to earlier than the second he fell in love with observe and area.

“Music is my love language, ?” he says. “That’s why I am unable to actually shake creating it. I actually get chills after I make sure songs … it is one thing that I need to share with the world. I need to be one of many greatest artists ever.”

Claye, who additionally has his personal vogue label, featured in YG’s “IDGAF” in 2013 — the video for which has accrued practically 70 million views on YouTube and consists of the triple jumper carrying his Olympic medals.

In phrases of the artists he hopes to emulate, Claye lists Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Nipsey Hussle and Dr. Dre.

“I need to be on that kind of stage, music-wise,” he says. “And I believe as a result of I’m an athlete, individuals sort of overlook that.

“They assume that I’m doing it simply because I can as a hobby. But it is probably not a hobby for me. It’s one thing that basically is from my soul.”

Last yr, following the postponement of Tokyo 2020, Claye mixed his love for music and athletics into “Dreams Don’t Die” — a music that displays on how athletes had been pressured to place their Olympic desires on maintain.

It consists of traces corresponding to “4 years straight, my eye’s been on the prize,” “it is a lesson when coping with father time,” and the chorus “desires do not die, they only multiply”; the accompanying music video is a montage of Claye and different athletes coaching and competing.

“That was actually how I used to be feeling, and it was one thing that I knew all Olympians had been feeling,” he says.

“This dream that now we have — to be an Olympian, to be an Olympic medalist, to symbolize our international locations, to exit and simply lay all of it on the taking part in area — is one thing that we dream of. We dream of these moments.

“It nearly appeared just like the dream was simply denied … however for it to be postponed — , you bought to maintain that vitality up.”

And maintaining his vitality is precisely what Claye has performed.

“This would be the first Olympics that I’ve had 5 years to organize for,” he says, including that he feels this is “probably the greatest Olympic buildups I’ve ever had.”

Tokyo 2020 will get underway on July 23 and Claye will probably be hoping to win his first gold medal after twice ending runner-up within the triple bounce to countryman Christian Taylor.

He additionally has a bronze medal from the lengthy bounce in 2012 when he turned the primary man since 1936 — and the primary American since 1904 — to win Olympic medals in each the lengthy bounce and the triple bounce.

Claye competes in the men's triple jump final at the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships.
Behind Taylor and world file holder Jonathan Edwards, Claye’s private better of 18 meters and 14 centimeters is fourth on triple bounce’s all-time list.

Having dominated out the prospect of a correct indoor season amid coronavirus restrictions, his focus is now on competing at meets in Southern California in April earlier than preparation begins for the Olympic trials in June.

Beyond that, he hopes to have the ability to journey abroad for competitions forward of Tokyo.

The Olympics are an occasion Claye holds pricey, not solely due to his medal-winning success, but additionally as a result of he proposed to his wife, fellow Olympian Queen Harrison-Claye, at Rio 2016. The couple held an engagement ceremony in Sierra Leone, the place Claye’s mother and father are from, earlier than getting married in California in October 2018.

“The feeling of me proposing was a higher feeling than me being on the rostrum, actually,” he says. “That’s one thing that can without end be a reminiscence in my and my spouse’s lives.”

Claye proposes to Queen Harrison after winning silver at the 2016 Olympics.

This yr’s Olympics will doubtless be a more subdued affair for Claye in comparison with when he was encircled by a mass of spectators throughout his marriage proposal in Rio.

Organizers say that the potential for abroad followers having the ability to attend this yr’s Games will change into clear by the top of March — a determination more likely to have an effect on area athletes more sharply than different Olympians.

Jumpers may spend more than an hour and a half out on the observe throughout competitions, relying on the vitality of the group to gasoline their efficiency. But Claye stays undaunted by the prospect of a Games with few followers.

“As an entertainer, I would really like the group to be there,” he says, “however I do not actually assume it dictates my efficiency. I’ve had massive jumps when there was nobody within the stadium.

“I do know that folks will probably be watching from the consolation of their properties so I’m going to place on a present for them.”

In Tokyo, Claye may obtain the uncommon feat of successful medals at three separate Olympics; this time, nevertheless, he hopes to strike gold.

“That’s the aim … that is what we prepare for,” he says. “If this child from Phoenix, Arizona, was in a position to try this, I believe that will be a fairly cool factor for the world to see.”

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