DI singer-songwriters sound off about their music and influences - Part 2
What did you do over the summer? While a lot of returning college students spent time catching up with high school friends and hanging by the beach, Daniel Island songwriter Clara Park spent her time off from school writing over 50 songs.
“Last year, I wrote 200,” she said. “I should be writing more, but I’m just super busy.”
That’s the work ethic expected from a part-time resident of music mecca Nashville. Park is currently a sophomore at Belmont University in the buckle of the Bible belt, where she majors in songwriting and minors in music business.
Park took a well-known path to get to where she is now.
“I got started in about seventh grade,” said Park, a Bishop England graduate. “I started taking guitar lessons and I started writing really, really bad songs when I was younger. And it kind of just became a daily thing.”
As she grew, Park began to define her sound, which she describes as country-pop, with a little R&B influence.
“A lot of my songs come from personal experience,” she said about her lyrical content. “Sometimes, my friends will vent to me about something, and confide in me about something, and then I’ll write a song about it.”
One of Park’s defining moments as a songwriter came from her writing about a tragic experience, the suicide of a student at her high school. In response, Park composed a song titled “Free.”
“He meant so much to everyone, so I wrote a song for him. I had to perform it in front of my whole school at this mass ceremony we did,” she said about the song. “I saw the way people reacted to it, they loved it, and they really connected to it. That was the first time I was like ‘okay, I want to do this. If I can make a difference in someone’s life, I want to do this.’”
In her current life as an out-of-state music student, Park learns the ins-and-outs of the business, including copyrights, co-writing songs, and the ancient art of making connections. Recently, she locked down a management deal with Michael Wolf of 30 West Music.
“They’ve been awesome. Right now, we’re trying to write for my new EP,” Park said.
The EP is untitled at the moment, and the songwriter said that she still needs to pick the songs that will comprise the release. Park is aiming to drop the album in October or November.
The singer has plotted out the next few steps. She hopes to sign to a label in the next two or three years and wants to tour in the next five. But, she knows 2018 will keep her busy enough.
“Right now, I just want to keep writing for my EP,” said Park. “I want to do one step at a time.”