Hit Man: Q&A with Claude Kelly

Photo: Rayon Richards

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Claude Kelly’s not sure how he acquired the moniker Studio Beast. There’s a good chance it sprang from his writing monster pop hits for the likes of Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, and Kelly Clarkson. A vegan who splits his time between Los Angeles and his hometown, New York, Kelly, 29, took a break from a packed recording schedule to chat with VT.

Q  Some people go vegan overnight, while for others it’s more of a process. How did it happen for you?

For me, veganism was a natural progression. I didn’t like meat when I was younger, and gave it up bit by bit. As I got older and developed a worldview, I also learned about the health benefits, as well as animal rights.

Q  A recording studio is an intimate environment. How do you deal with it if someone you’re working with questions your eating habits?

A  Very rarely is it an uncomfortable thing. If they’re open to it, I have them try what I’m eating. They always say, “This tastes amazing.”

Q  If “Studio Beast” were an actual beast, what kind of animal would he be?

 (laughs) A bear. Bears are warm and cuddly when they have to be, and ferocious when they have to be.

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