Alex Clare, the Orthodox Jewish, British musician best known for his double platinum single “Too Close,” has been nominated for a BRIT award in the Best British Single category, along with Adele, Florence & The Machine, and other acts. Clare, who dated fellow Jewish Brit Amy Winehouse before he was famous, has been orthodox for around five years, according to the JTA.
Clare’s career has seen ups and downs. A year ago, his label dropped him when his album “The Lateness of the Hour” flopped. That was before Microsoft decided to use “Too Close” for their Internet Explorer 9 ad campaign. The ad campaign began March 5th and by April 1st, “Too Close” had sold 100,000 copies. Universal/Island picked his contract back up.
Now that he’s a star, Clare strives to balance his orthodox lifestyle with touring life. He travels with a full set of meat and milk dishes and pots, as well as a suitcase of canned and dried kosher food. He studies Talmud and the Chassidic Tanya every day. He says his bodyguard helps keep him shomer negiah (avoiding physical contact with members of the opposite sex.)
Clare plans to release a new album next year, with more spiritual themes, including a song based on Shir HaShirim [Song of Songs].