Clevervizion Brings Detroit Together Through Laughter

By Benjamin Seidman on March 22nd, 2016 / Comments

Clevervizion has been years in the making. Ever since the renowned Kris Kelly of FM 98 JLB saw potential in Desmond “Kid Clever” Lester and granted him an internship, Desmond has collaborated with top hip-hop artists, entertainers, and industry executives. He believes this opportunity enabled him to dream big, or dream clever.

Clevervizion is a publication and also an events series for artists, entertainers and positivity, featuring exclusive one-on-one interviews and the latest music from Michigan and around the world. Clevervizion also creates original content including comedy skits with a web series called ‘D Code’ coming soon, in collaboration with Coattail Collective.

“I wanted a platform where artists, entertainers, or anybody doing anything great in the entertainment realm would have a platform to be showcased,” Desmond says. “The ultimate goal is to be a respectable brand name not only here in Michigan but all over the world. ”

Clevervizion’s Goin’ Up comedy show each and every Tuesday night in Detroit is an embodiment of that dream, helping artists of all types from aspiring amateurs to well-known veterans. With virtually no comedy clubs in Detroit, Clevervizion fills a clear need in providing a stage for laughter.

“It’s a blessing to see everyone working together and everyone coming out,” says Desmond. “That’s one of the best feelings in the world, to have an idea in your head and to see it go through exactly the way you want it to.”

Desmond credits his strong support system for his success. “My mom, she supports me in every way. She’s at the door making popcorn and taking money and doing everything she can.” Clevervizion’s Goin’ Up attracts 50-100 per night. Clevervizion has fit a clear need in Detroit, as Desmond describes it, “Supply and demand, you know. Once that demand meets the supply, then you become successful.”

Some days Desmond works so hard he forgets to eat, which he explains is a good thing because he loves what he is doing. Clevervizion is something he sees that he will one day be able to pass on to his future kids. Something Desmond learned at a young age is that his word is everything. It’s values like treating people the right way and loyalty that come through in the Clevervizion brand.

Josh Adams is the regular Host at Goin’ Up and has been with Clevervizion since it’s inception. Towards the end of the night, Adams says they don’t even have enough chairs to seat everybody. For Adams, he feels like the city is behind it. Adams style is improvisational to the core so his audience is never hearing the same study.

“You come here on a Tuesday, man we’re just trying to help you get through the rest of your week. We know Monday is the worst part of it. We’re trying to turn Tuesday into Friday,” Adams explains. “It’s all about love and having a good ass time. Leave your ego at the door. You laugh at other people and you laugh at yourself.” Adams feels like Clevervizion could be one of those landmark spots in the city for comedians.

Adams admires Desmond for his collaborative efforts and wisdom.

“He puts the right people together. He’s like Quincy Jones. Quincy would put people in places where they would flourish,” says Adams. “Sometimes Dez will tell me to do something and I know Dez my whole life. I’m taller than him and I’m older than him. I’m like man ‘don’t tell me what to do’ but he gives you a suggestion and I finally started listening to him and he knows something I don’t. He’s got a gift.”

As for the future evolution of Clevervizion, they are aiming to create more experiences that change other peoples’ viewpoints.

“We want to take over the world in a positive way. We want to glorify the accountant, the videographer, the artist manager, the artist. We want to show all aspects of life. We want to show the youth there are multiple ways to be successful and reaching your dreams and have a career that you really enjoy. That’s what the goal is, to really enjoy what you do.”

So whether you call him Desmond or Kid Clever, he is fine with it either way. Just know that “Mom named me Desmond. That’s what I want the check to say.” 

Follow along their publication and events in Detroit here:

About the Author

Benjamin Seidman

Benjamin Seidman

Michipreneur Influencer at @michipreneur. Director of Business Development at @SPLT. Executive Team at @detroityp. Core Team at @Urbanei1. Tweeting my photography @bigseido and Instagram @seido_photography. Almost forgot, Go Blue!