JLM takes a quick break with rising singer-songwriter Stacy Clark. The wide-eyed brunette gives us the DL on the music biz and on her inspirational collab with To Write Love On Her Arms.
JLM: The most frustrating part of breaking into the industry?
Stacy Clark: It was hard figuring out where to even start. Everything I have learned has been by a lot of hard work along with trial and error. Another hard part is the rejection, there is a lot of it. Nothing can prepare you for the highs and lows of the entertainment business. The way I now look at it is: If you’re not getting rejected, you’re not trying hard enough.
JLM: Was there a point where you wanted to throw your hands in the air and quit?
SC: Many! At the end of the day I create music because it fulfills me and I love it. I will always write songs and music; it’s a part of me.
JLM:You completed a degree in art before pursuing your musical career—do you think it’s valuable for aspiring musicians to get educated in an additional field?
SC: I was raised very practically by a single mother who taught me the importance of an education. which I am forever grateful for. I didn’t want to go to college; I just wanted to pursue music. I didn’t want to go to music school due to fear of rejection and then having what I love turn into work.
Which is ironic, because it happens anyways! However, the experience, friendships and things you learn during that time are very valuable. An education is the one thing that cannot be taken away from you.
JLM: At this point in your career, what’s it like to look back at your old work?
SC: Hard, but also incredible to hear how much my voice, songwriting and as an artist I have grown. It kind of amazes me how much my voice has changed and has gotten stronger by working on it over the years. I’ve always considered myself more of a songwriter and when I was 15, I was insecure about my voice. So it’s pretty awesome when people come up to me and say they love the way my voice sounds. It’s a huge compliment.
JLM: Philosophy behind “Connect the Dots”?
SC: I came up with that title because it was a representation of me and how I felt at that time in my life. I was trying to get from point A to point B and make sense of everything I had worked towards up until that moment. It was about reaching a greater audience while still being true to who I was as an artist.
JLM: Why did you choose to independently release Patterns?
SC: My first love is songwriting. I can’t help but want to write and record as many albums as possible and share them with the world. I released Movement and Apples & Oranges independently as well. I didn’t want to go through the process of shopping it to labels and wait on the opinions of others. I just wanted to write, create and get it out to the people who support me.
JLM: How did you get involved with To Write Love On Her Arms?
SC: As happy as I am, we all have struggles. When I had moved out to California it was really hard on me and I felt really alone. I felt I had made some poor decisions and was really sad. I was paying rent to sleep in a closet, didn’t have a job and didn’t have any good friends trying to pursue a career that seemed impossible.
I wanted to put a little hope back into the world and needed a little hope myself. I wrote “Hold On” and later the opportunity to work with TWLOHA. I visited their offices when I was on tour in Florida. They are a wonderful organization and I was honored to work with them. My music video for “Hold On” was filmed in downtown Los Angeles in the heart of Skid Row. My hope was that if someone was feeling alone, they would know there is somewhere to turn to. To Write Love On Her Arms offers an outlet to anyone who needs to talk about anything.
JLM: The most valuable part of your work with TWLOHA?
SC: Letting people know that we all struggle and that there are people you can talk to if you need help. Most importantly, if you’re feeling suicidal, to know that your life is worth saving.
JLM: Projects you’re working on and aspirations for 2013?
SC: I’m writing a lot since I would like to release a new album in 2013. Generally when I am not writing, I am performing. In a few weeks I am flying back to Buffalo, NY to practice and perform with my band out there. We just opened for Eddie Money and we’re going to open for Rodger Hodgson of Super Tramp so that is pretty exciting.
My music video for ‘Sign’ is on MTV and will be airing early fall on MTVU. I was in NY this past spring and recorded a live performance that will air on XM Sirus “The Loft” in August. I’m also working on a music video for another song off my record. This Fall I plan on playing a lot locally so I can stay close to the studio to work on a new album. I’ll be doing some fly dates to the East Coast. Everything else is up in the air! You just never know in this industry when an opportunity will come.
Watch “Hold On” by Stacy Clark below:
Photo Courtesy of Doug Sonders