Stacy Clark to jolt Niagara Falls tonight
blog by BuffaloDotCom • October 13, 2011 @ 10:20am
Stacy Clark has one of those voices that instantly makes you jealous, especially if you’re one of the people whose rock ‘n’ roll fantasies have amounted to countless hours spent harmonizing into a hair brush. She effortlessly reaches levels of emotion and intensity that most of us approach for only a fleeting few moments in our lives, usually just as the steam from the shower fogs over the mirror. I was instantly wrapped up in the singer-songwriter’s indie-pop sound and heartfelt lyrics when I heard her music for the first time four years ago at Mohawk Place. The Grand Island native will perform tonight at the Niagara Falls Hard Rock Café and at Hops-N-Vines in Lewiston on Tuesday, Nov. 1.
Although the musician still considers Grand Island her home, she now resides in Orange County, Calif. In 2002 she graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh where she studied art and determined to make it in the music business, she headed to California in 2004. Clark says she’s always been goal-oriented and learned from her mother at an early age that she has to work hard for what she wants.
“Growing up my mom provided a lot for my sister and I, but she was a single mom so if I wanted to go to Girl Scout Camp I had to go sell cookies and be the top salesperson,” she said. “I learned at a young age that things aren’t going to be handed to you. My mom always provided me with things I needed rather than things that I wanted and I’m grateful for that. She taught me a valuable lesson.”
Moving across the country wasn’t the easiest decision to make, but Clark knew it was what she had to do if she wanted to succeed. The independent spirit her mother helped her develop early on in life gave her strength to her make the difficult choice.
“I knew in my heart I had to move to California,” Clark said. “It may sound crazy to some people, but in my head it totally made sense. There’s a lot of easier ways that I could of went about getting a ‘career’ in the music industry, but I just kind of did it by trial and error and I followed my heart. There are times when you do make bad decisions and you get hurt, but you gotta keep on keeping on.”
It’s not surprising to those who have followed Clark’s career that this decision paid off for her. The musician has won several awards to date, including a few at the Orange County Music Awards and her most recent album, “Connect the Dots” (2010) was number 12 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers list. After picking up a guitar at 15, she made the rounds at open mic nights, and was a regular at Nietzsche’s in the late 90’s. Michael Meldrum took her under his wing and taught her how to book her own shows and network. She poured over books about the music industry and learned everything she could about the business.
“Michael was my mentor when I was younger,” said Clark. “He introduced me to a lot of folk artists in the area and showed me how to book shows. I just took what he taught me and took it to another level. I studied as much as I could about marketing music and getting connected. I was so sad when I heard he passed away, his death is a huge loss for Buffalo.”
At 19 Clark booked her own two-month tour and crashed in her friends’ dorm rooms as she made her way around the country. She released her first EP, “Unusual,” in 2006 and in 2007 released a full-length album, “Apples and Oranges,” which she funded with money she earned doing phone sales for an advertising company in California. She signed with Vanguard Records in March of 2010 and her second album, “Connect the Dots,” was released later that year.
The musician’s songs have been featured on popular television shows like Keeping up with the Kardashians and The Rachel Zoe Project, and she recently made an appearance on LA Ink. Clark has also collaborated with Jack’s Mannequin and has performed with Phantom Planet, Paper Route, and Copeland.
Clark is currently preparing for the release of “Patterns,” her third studio album, on November 23. Like her previous records, she will fund this album because she believes in being an independent musician. She is pre-selling it along with other creative gifts on Pledge Music to help with the costs. Clark enjoys helping various charities and plans to donate ten percent of what she collects for this project to the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program.
The musician has played around with many styles of music on her records and is looking forward to taking the next step of her career with “Patterns.”
“I was really into beats and dance music when I moved out to California so ‘Apples and Oranges’ is more electronic,” said Clark. “‘Connect the Dots’ is more stripped down and honest. For this next record I thought it’d be cool to do a mix of all my favorite styles. It’s going to be a fusion of folk meets electronic.”
After all the long hours in the studio, touring, and award show appearances, Clark says her proudest moment was at Artpark in the summer of 2010. She opened for America and was overjoyed that she could share the moment with her family and friends.
“My mom has seen me perform at a lot of venues, but playing in my hometown and showing people how hard I’ve worked was a really proud moment for me,” she said. “I’m also proud of being true to myself. I’ve had opportunities to do music or deals that aren’t me and I’m happy that I stood for something.”
Clark with play with special guests Reign, Grace Stumberg, and Dallas at the Niagara Falls Hard Rock Café tonight. Doors open at 7:30 pm and tickets are $5. On November 1 she will play a free show at Hops-N-Vines in Lewiston at 8 pm. Visit her Facebook page for more information.
Deandra Modica has contributed to Buffalo.com since 2008. She is a graduate of Niagara University and Syracuse University. She has written for numerous blogs and publications throughout the United States.
(Photo credit: Solmaz Saberi via Stacy Clark’s Facebook page.)