Clay Drayton is an award-winning veteran Motown songwriter, producer, arranger and musician. Born the second of seven children in Jacksonville, Florida at a time when oppression and segregation were great, and opportunities were few for people whose skin color was their identity and economic hold back. As a boy, Clay was hypnotized by the power of live music as he watched “Pops” Staples play guitar at church in Newark N.J. That ignited the spark for him to want to play the guitar and started his musical journey leading him to the biggest record company in the world, Motown.
Mr. Drayton was a staff songwriter at Motown Records for 7 years, where he wrote, arranged, produced and played on songs for Diana Ross, The Jackson 5 and many others. He has earned gold & platinum records to his credits. Clay wrote jingles for ‘70s R&B radio station KDAY. His music has been heard in commercials, major motion pictures and TV Shows including America’s Top Ten, The Jefferson's, the Carol Burnett Show, the Sonny and Cher Show, So You Think You Can Dance, Star Search, and Mad Men. Mr. Drayton is the instructor of an online songwriting course “7 Secrets to Hit Songwriting” with over 2400 students in 101 countries. He is also the inventor of the PhatFoot Drum Harness for percussionists which is endorsed by many Professional Drummers around the world. www.phatfootusa.com. He is currently putting the finishing touches on his new books,” Be Fierce, Be Fearless, Be Phenomenal”, “From Jacksonville to the Jackson 5” and “The Hook”. As a professional Songwriter & Producer for more than 30 years, his accolades have caused him to be a highly respected and sought-after instructor of songwriting, conducting professional songwriting seminars and workshops nationwide.
Mr. Drayton is a frequent Musical keynote speaker and guest lecturer for colleges, schools, music industry panels and seminars, songwriting organizations, prisons, churches and rescue missions across the nation. In his messages, Clay encourages the incarcerated to reposition themselves for a new beginning, helping them to understand that their past does not determine their future. He compassionately motivates those on skid row to get back up again and start anew, and he reignites the fire of faith for those who have given up on their dreams. His topics “From Jacksonville to the Jackson 5” & “Dream BIG” to name a few, are inspirational, educational & motivational. Mr. Drayton helps his audience learn to believe in themselves and live up to their greatest potential.
His motto is “If you say that you can or say that you can’t, you are right”. His unwillingness to let an opportunity pass him by was rewarded with countless successful accomplishments. Mr. Drayton realized that his, “I can do it” determination and positive outlook on life has opened doors for him and can do the same for the audiences who hear him.