We had the good fortune of connecting with Carey Clayton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carey, what’s your definition for success?
For me, success exists on two very different levels; an outward, quantitate one, and an inward, qualitative one. For me, by far the more important and sustainable is the inward, personal success. This is the feeling and fulfillment I get from the work I do. It’s the chasing after the inspiration of something that moves me, regardless of how it fits into a presentable, commercial end product. It’s the flow state I’m in when I making my best music. The more often I can exist in this state, the more successful I feel. Contrast this with the external, metric based success which can seem, completely divorced from the creative process, but is also important in growing as a creator and creating new opportunities to push the inward creativity.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve been playing in bands and producing music for other artists and brands for a long time now, and it’s only recently that I’ve really stepped out as a solo artist and songwriter. Since launching my solo project in earnest a couple years ago, I’ve already put out 2 albums and an EP. I like being prolific, and moving quickly with projects, but that doesn’t mean rushing or compromising. I think working quickly can help capture the essence of a song more deeply, keeping me in a creative flow and avoiding the overly critical, analytical thoughts which can creep in when something drags on.
I’ve been involved in countless projects over the years, toured all over the world, and been a part of dozens of albums. My path in this business has been anything but a straight line, and I think that’s what has really informed me as an artist and creator. My collaboration and exposure to so many wonderful creators over the years has really shaped and inspired me to hone my unique artistic voice. The process for me is to continually deepen the inward connection with the creative source and allow it to flow more and more effortlessly.
The creative part of this life has always come naturally to me, but it was the business side; how to actually make a living as a musician that took figuring out. There’s no clear career path as a musician, everyone really does find their own way of fitting the jigsaw pieces together. While stressful at times, it can also be really engaging and exciting as no two days are ever the same.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Dume to go rock climbing right on the beach. For food, I’d take them to Gracias Madre for some amazing Vegan Mexican food.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’ve been so lucky to be surrounded by creative and encourging people throughout my life, and to have a wonderful network of creators to collaborate. To really get to the source of it, I’d have to give a massive shoutout to my parents, who have been encourging me my whole life to pursue what I’m passionate about.
Jason Adler, Danny Wolf, Steen Kevett-Lopez