Cliff Notez

Assistant Professor
Affiliated Departments

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Boston native Cliff Notez is an award-winning, multi–digital media artist, musician, entrepreneur, and filmmaker. His art is a continuous exploration of the black mind.

He graduated from Wheaton College with a dual degree in music (voice concentration) and psychology in 2013. He then graduated from Northeastern University in 2016 with a master's degree in digital media. While attending graduate school in 2015, he simultaneously took a position at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston as the teen new media programs associate. As an educator and administrator for digital media programs and events, he began his own digital media company, HipStory.

Rooted in hip-hop, his art tackles the political and the personal, exploring the intimate consequences of a society where black bodies are easily ignored, forgotten, or disregarded. His second full-length album, Why the Wild Things Are, was released September 11, 2019. His films have been official selections for 20+ film festivals globally, winning five of them. In 2017, he was the grand prize winner of the March on Washington Festival and honored alongside Ta-Nehisi Coates. In 2018, he took home the Best New Artist award at the Boston Music Awards, while racking up over 11 nominations between 2019 and 2020, including Artist of the Year and Live Artist of the Year. In 2019, he became the first musician to be named Musician of the Year for Boston Magazine's Best of Boston.

Career Highlights
  • Performed and/or worked with STL GLD, Gym Class Heroes, Oompa, Ja Rule, and Will Dailey
  • Filmmaker and score composer with entries in 20+ film festivals, winning five
  • Nominee for Best Artist, Best Live Artist, Best Hip-Hop Artist, and Song of the Year, Boston Music Awards, 2019
  • Winner of Musician of the Year, Boston Magazine's Best of Boston, 2019
  • Winner of Best New Artist, Boston Music Awards, 2018
  • Official selection/grand prize winner for Vitiligo, March on Washington Film Festival, 2017
  • B.A., Wheaton College, music and psychology
  • M.A., Northeastern University, digital media
In Their Own Words

"I want students to come away from my classes with a better understanding of songwriting as a whole from the global perspective of hip-hop."

"I'm a performer and songwriter of over 20 years and currently in the music industry writing for artists across a multitude of genres. These experiences will enhance and inform my teaching."