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Callista Clark: Young Blood

As seen in
Guitar Girl Magazine Issue 22 – Winter 2022

Callista Clark has been part of the music scene from a young age. Clark successfully learned how to play multiple instruments by the time she was 11 years old such as the ukulele, guitar, and piano. At only 19 years old, Clark has quite a report playing eight instruments and putting out a full-length album, all before most people even start their college career. She is no run-of-the-mill artist either, as she has received awards like becoming the youngest artist to be named the CMT’s Next Women of Country.

Clark might be young now, but her career started when she was a mere 11 years old when she was tinkering around with instruments and jotting down her first lyrics. She wrote her first song, originally meant to be a poem for a school competition called “Wildfire,” when she was in grade school. She has been singing and competing with her lyrics since she started talking.

By 12, Clark performed with country legends like Jennifer Nettles from Sugarland. She gained a major following when she covered Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” which received over 29 million views on social media. From there, she was signed to Big Machine Records and released her first EP, where she co-wrote all five of her songs.

Since then, Clark’s musical career has been going strong as she is currently touring with Brett Young across the pond in the United Kingdom, as well as putting out a full-length album titled Real to Me: The Way I Feel where her new single “Brave Girl” is gaining some major attention.

This is just the beginning of this shining star’s bright career as she plans to keep her creative songwriting going strong. We caught up with Clark to get all of the details of her career and what she has been up to.

You’re a young artist at 19 years old. How did you know you were going to pursue music?

I’ve been singing my entire life — in church, competitions, performing arts groups, and other gigs. It’s always been a very natural thing for me and a huge part of who I am. I started posting on social media when I was 11, around the time I started learning how to play instruments. Everything started happening and growing pretty quickly after that. From there, I knew I wanted to pursue music as a career.

Photo by C. Thompson

When did you start writing your own music, and where do you get inspiration?

I started writing music when I was 11. When I was 14, I started having official co-writes in Nashville. At first, I didn’t know what to write about because I thought I wasn’t going through anything major enough, but I quickly realized that my age made me unique. I wrote about my feelings and experiences, and it was incredible to see that people of all ages related.

Can you talk about your new single, “Brave Girl,” and tell us what message you are trying to achieve with this song?

I wrote “Brave Girl” a few years ago. When I found out I was going to put out a full-length album, I knew this song would fit perfectly, and it belongs on this album. It’s all about growing, having self-confidence, validating emotions, and being bold.

How does it feel to be the youngest member ever named to CMT’s Next Women of Country?

It is a huge honor! Every year, different groups of insanely talented women are chosen to be a part of this, and I’m so thankful. CMT has been amazing to me and very supportive of my career.

You play eight instruments. Which is your favorite?

My favorite varies between acoustic guitar and piano. I haven’t gotten to play as much piano lately since I have been on the road, but there is something magical about it.

Photo by C. Thompson

Which one of your singles is your favorite to perform and why?

“It’s ‘Cause I Am” has become my favorite song to perform because when the intro starts, I can see people’s faces light up. Especially when I play it full band and the drums start up. They know what’s about to happen, and more and more people sing it back to me at every show.

What are you most excited about in regard to your tour with Brett Young in the U.K.?

I am most excited to see everyone face-to-face again. I came over for the first time in March, and I wasn’t sure when I was going to be back. It’s amazing to be able to say that I am already going back, and with an incredible artist like Brett Young!

Do you have any big plans for the future?

The future for me is playing as many shows as I can and spending time being as creative as I can. I’ve been on the road a lot for the last two years, and I love it! I’m looking forward to more shows and lots of writing.

~ By Jessie Dax-Setkus

Guest Blogger

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