As a native of Parkland, Florida, singer/songwriter Liddy Clark channeled her emotions about the school shooting the way she knew best: through music. Her single, “Shot Down (Stand Up)” was inspired by the students of Stoneman Douglas and the great perseverance of America’s youth. At only 20 years old, Clark balances a full college schedule while touching hearts with her music.
I sat down with Liddy to learn more about “Shot Down (Stand Up)” and her life as a singer/songwriter in college.
Ariel Zedric: Could you talk a little about the inspiration behind your most recent single, “Shot Down (Stand Up)”?
Liddy Clark: I wrote this after the incident in Parkland happened last February, and I knew that I wanted to write something that was uplifting without being too preachy. This song was created once I found out that the city of Parkland asked me to perform at their Wear Orange event [for gun violence awareness], and I knew I had to write something by then for what had happened.
AZ: What was that writing process like? Given the topic is so close to home and extremely difficult, was it hard to write or cathartic?
LC: It took a while for me to want to write it, to want to go back to that place emotionally. However, once I did write it, it felt very cathartic to get those feelings off of my chest and put it into words.
AZ: Music has always been at the forefront of your life. Talk a little bit about the role it’s played, not only from a career standpoint but also how it’s influenced you as a person.
LC: I believe music has impacted me in the best way possible, it’s introduced me to such creative people and let me experience emotions in different ways. I’m so thankful for the role music has played in my life because I believe it has opened up my mind to different viewpoints and stories.
AZ: Would you say you sacrificed a lot at an early age to pursue music like you did? If you could go back, would you change anything?
LC: I probably did, I know I’ve spent countless hours in rehearsals, writing songs, playing shows. However, I feel like that’s made me the person I am today, and if I could go back, I wouldn’t change a thing.
AZ: How has your writing process changed over the years? How has it stayed the same?
LC: I originally learned the craft of songwriting through writing with another person and that’s different than most people who start off writing by themselves. Since then I’ve learned how to write by myself and also had to adjust writing with different new people. I still write about some of the same things (love, loss, betrayal, etc.), but I think I’ve also grown to write about things that people wouldn’t normally think to write about.
AZ: You’re currently a sophomore at the University of Southern California. What’s it like balancing a full course load and your music career?
LC: College is no joke, haha! It’s been difficult finding time in the day to relax, but L.A. is a city where everyone is always doing something, so being in that environment definitely helps me feel very productive with my time.
AZ: What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to do or obstacle you’ve had to overcome in the music industry?
LC: People saying no! I mean you hear it all the time that you’ve got to get used to rejection, but it never stops hurting. Especially when it’s over something you can’t control (being a female in country music). But you do learn how to deal with it more quickly and get right back up and make more music.
AZ: On the other hand, what moment in your career so far has left you the most satisfied or proud?
LC: The craziest moment of my career thus far was performing at the Country Music Hall of Fame right before Garth Brooks, I just remember how thrilling it was to be on that stage with my band who had been playing with me for a few years. However, add Garth Brooks in the same green room, and it just became even more unforgettable.
AZ: Who is your biggest inspiration? Why?
LC: My biggest songwriting inspiration is John Mayer, who I started seriously listening to about 6 years ago. I remember I thought who I knew I was, and then once I listened to his songs, I completely understood that I did not know who I was at all, and that was okay. His songs made me want to be a better songwriter who could tell stories that take people to another place.
AZ: Where can people find more of your work / what can they follow you on?’
LC: You can find anything and everything Liddy Clark at www.liddyclark.com or you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, all with the username @liddyclark
AZ: Are you working on any other exciting, forthcoming projects that you want people to know about?
LC: I am releasing a video for one of my last songs really soon, and will be releasing another set of songs as an EP late summer/fall 🙂
AZ: Do you have any advice for young aspiring artists?
LC: Continue working on your craft, become the best you can be a what you love to do and always be kind to other people no matter who they are.
Photo courtesy of Liddy Clark