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North London newcomer Benjamin Clementine has announced a headline show at London’s Koko for Thursday, May 15. Unsigned in the UK, the news follows Clementine’s striking television debut on BBC2’s Later… with Jools Holland in October last year and two acclaimed sold-out shows at London’s Purcell Rooms in early December, earning Clementine a 5 star Evening Standard live review. Clementine’s debut EP ‘Cornerstone’ is released in the UK this week.
Aged 26, Clementine left Edmonton - long rated one of the most deprived, crime ridden areas of London - for Paris aged just 20; there had been trouble with a flat-mate, a broken relationship, and an overwhelming urge to get away. When his money ran out, he started sleeping rough and then busking inside the Metro at Place de Clichy station.
From there, what was born out of a need to survive, became a calling for Clementine and an experience for the thousands of Parisian commuters that saw him perform daily for nearly two years, building his voice and refining his craft, as he made enough money to move first to a hostel and then into a room of his own.