STACY CLARK’S music is open and honest. In her newest album Connect the Dots she sings of heartbreak and rejection, and urges you to “Hold On.” Clark is the winner of “Best Pop” award for two years in a row at the Orange County Music Awards – in 2010, and most recently, this March 2011. You may have heard her music on TV series such as The Hills, Samurai Girl, One Tree Hill, and Make it or Break it.
Clark is a New York native who now resides on the West Coast, and who has just completed a tour with Jesse Thomas and Jake Newton. A bubbly, friendly, down to earth young woman, Stacy Clark attributes much of her success to the support of her friends and loved ones.
This week we spoke with Stacy about her private life behind the scenes:
Life-is-Awesome: You began performing music at an early age. How old were you the first time you performed live, and what was it like?
Stacy: I was 15 and it was exciting and nerve-wracking. It was an open mic, but still, I wanted to be good. But I had really supportive friends so that made it easy.
LIA: Now, for production of your album Connect the Dots, you temporarily stayed at a house in Venice Beach to write and record the album. Can you tell us about that experience?
Stacy: That was one of the most amazing experiences. I got to go and live at this house in Venice Beach. It was this giant house with 5 bedrooms and it had a studio. And my job for the month was just to write and record and create Connect the Dots. And I had the majority of the songs written already. But it was the first experience I ever had of actually just doing an album while I didn’t have to work full time to pay for it, because the label paid for it, so that was a huge experience for me, and obviously a blessing, because working so hard and getting a break like that was everything I wanted and it was just quite amazing. And I had a grand piano so I would write songs on the piano. And eventually it was hard because I kept writing songs, and my producer was saying, “Okay, we’ve got to stick with what we’ve got here.” It was too many new songs! It was awesome to have that problem.
Stacy: What happens on the road stays on the road! [Laughs.] Yeah I mean they’re really fun. There were a lot of fun things that happened but nothing too crazy. There was one night when they were trying to get me drunk. Let’s just say I’m the only one who didn’t get drunk! [Laughs.] It was a good time.
LIA: What was your favorite venue or city that you stopped at?
Stacy: It’s really hard because there’s so many –I mean, from a coffee shop at Stanford to the Living Room in Seattle. Egan’s Ballard & Blues House was a phenomenal venue. It was this cozy room. And when we got there to sound check, there was this jazz band playing. It was very intimate. Its one of my favorite venues. And then Denver, the Walnut Room was a really great show because there were so many people there…It’s just nice to be so far away from home and have, you know, people come out and see us play. It was a really, really awesome experience…The only thing that we would have changed was, we weren’t aware that Sundays in Salt Lake City everything shuts down, being that its all run by the Church of the Latter Day Saints, and in the religion of Mormon, Sunday is a day of rest. And we weren’t aware of that, and so we had 18 people for our show in Salt Lake City, I mean it’s still good, but we were [wondering], “Where are all the people?” A lot of our fans mentioned they were not allowed to go out on Sunday. We weren’t aware of that. We wouldn’t have booked a Sunday.
LIA: Okay, just to get an idea of the kind of music you listen to, what’s the last song you downloaded?
Stacy: The last song I downloaded was actually the Get Up Kids, Campfire Kansas, and Matisyahu, King without a Crown. I know they’re older songs, but we were on the road and I didn’t have my CDs with me or my other ipod and I was totally craving those two songs. I was in a reggae type of mood. I listen to pretty much everything. And the funny thing about when you’re on tour is you kind of become the biggest fans of whoever you’re touring with because you hear their songs every night. And at the beginning of tour you might not know it but by the end of tour you’re singing all their songs. So it’s quite funny.
LIA: What kinds of things do you like to do when you’re not creating music or touring?
Stacy: I’m pretty normal. I like to play soccer and go rock climbing and snowboarding, when time allows… I grew up in Buffalo where, you know, to keep out of trouble, and it’s a very artistic community, I really enjoyed art and music and sports. If I’m not playing sports I like going to sports events like basketball games and hockey games are fun. Pretty much just hanging out. Relaxing. Learning how to relax. I feel like I’m always doing something and I’m really trying to, on my down time, when I’m not traveling, and when I’m not writing or practicing, I try to just relax and enjoy the moment.
LIA: What is the best advice that you’ve received about the music industry?
Stacy: Honestly, if you want to do something, you’ve got to just go for it and put yourself out there. Rejection is part of it, but anything that you want, whether it’s a career, job, or a job in the entertainment industry, there’s always going to be some negative aspect, but to do a job that you love, I feel like that’s ultimately the most fulfilling. There’s so much good that can come with it. Even though there is a lot of negative, and you might be lucky and not have to go through any of that, or you might go through a lot of it. I think it’s important to persevere. I’ve been really lucky that people have been very encouraging for many, many years, and of course there’s a harsh reality that not everyone’s gonna like you, and being as sensitive as I am, you know, I’m sensitive and stubborn and determined to do what I want to do. And I just feel that if you love it, go out there and do it…If you love it, that’s ultimately what matters, but if you have people that enjoy what you’re doing, that’s a bonus.
Listen and download Stacy Clark’s music here.