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Stacy Clark @ Artpark

Filed under: Music
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Pop music with some rhythm and creative instrumentation can be hard to come by, but Grand Island native and pop-star on the rise Stacy Clark pulls it off. It might be the dancer inside of her that helped create the body-moving tunes like “Not Enough,”on her new album Connect the Dots, but it’s the poet inside that arouses the heartfelt and sincere lyrics about relationships and the weight of the world on songs like “Touch & Go.” Now, as she prepares to release her music to the world, she returns to Buffalo from her home in Southern California to open for the legendary folk rock band America at Artpark on Tuesday (June 29).
AV: Who are your biggest influences?
Clark: Ani DiFranco, Stevie Nicks, Jimmy Eat World, the Beatles, Buddha and Jesus.
AV: How long have you been playing the guitar/piano and how did you learn?
Clark: I’ve been playing guitar for 15 years. Piano is recent, but I love composing on it.
AV: What does the title of your album, Connect the Dots, mean to you?
Clark: It’s about making sense of all the opportunities that are presented to you and being grateful for what’s given to you.
AV: Your songs go deeper than most pop artists, for instance, on your song “Misery” you sing about how the weight of the world weighs down on everyone no matter what they look like or who they are. How does it make you feel to reveal so much about yourself to your listeners?
Clark: Vulnerable, but it’s worth it to me if someone can relate to the lyrics and gain something from it for their own life.
AV: A lot of your songs are about love and relationships, whether it be with friends or romantically. Can you talk about one friendship or relationship that has inspired you?
Clark: My relationship with my friends (who I consider the real threads of life) are an enormous part of my life. Those I love also have the greatest power to hurt. Sometimes my songs reflect those instances when someone close to me hurt me – it’s a deep wound that affects me more than say, a fight with a boyfriend. It’s an important part of maturing emotionally, to be hurt in this way, and it’s something that can happen at any age.
AV: How does southern California compare to Buffalo, New York, culturally and musically?
Clark: Completely different. There’s more of everything in California so the amount of music and art is vast. Buffalo’s music scene is small, so it’s close-knit. Not to say either one is better! There’s something unique in that small community—the bonds between artists are so strong. The scene is Buffalo is amazing…and there’s definitely no place like home for me!
AV: How does your experience as a dancer impact your music?
Clark: Rhythm and beats are important to me, as much as lyrics and melody. A song should move people on different levels and the physical reaction to music is as important as the emotional one.
AV: How does it feel to return to your hometown, to open for such a classic American rock band like America, in anticipation of your new album’s release?
Clark: It’s an amazing milestone for me that I only ever dreamed of achieving. Artpark was where I first saw Sarah MacLachlan and knew I wanted to pursue music. I’m overjoyed and completely thrilled!
Stacy Clark plays at Artpark’s Tuesday in the Park on June 29, 6:30pm. Her album Connect the Dots will be available August 10 (Vanguard Records). The show is part of Artpark’s free outdoor summer concert series
cory perla