We had the good fortune of connecting with Jess Clark and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jess, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
My favorite quote of all time was given by one of my biggest inspirations and idols, Lady Gaga. She said, “Never be afraid to get kicked in the teeth. Let the blood and the bruises define your legacy.” I think this specific quote has always really resonated with me because there have often been times throughout my life and career where I’ve felt knocked down or misunderstood. Although I may have felt pain in those moments, I truly feel that each one of those experiences has greatly shaped not only the artist, but the HUMAN I am. I feel as though some of my toughest times have helped to define my artistry and creativity, and have contributed to some of my best ideas and work. I’ve learned, over time of course, to wear my scars proudly and I think the fact that I’ve chosen to do that really defines who I am.
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 am a singer/songwriter based in Pasadena, CA. I’ve been singing and acting since I was a little kid and I always knew the stage is where I wanted to be. I was always involved in the school plays and musicals, and felt most comfortable when I was in front of a crowd. It wasn’t always an easy road. I faced a lot of rejection growing up and always felt a little misunderstood by my peers. Although it was painful at times, I truly am thankful for it now – being that it made me one tough cookie. I can’t take all the credit though. I was fortunate enough to grow up with the most loving and supportive family. I was always able to lean on them and ultimately go to them for guidance, and without that, I’m not sure what I would have done. I’ve been professionally writing and recording my own music now for the last 10 years. My career has evolved over time and I have definitely dipped my toes in all kinds of pools. From girl groups to writing for other artists, to experimenting with different genres for my own music, I have definitely gone through different “creative phases”. I would say just in the last two years or so, I have really honed in on my craft and artistry. I grew up listening to mostly jazz and R&B/pop, idolizing artists like Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga and Gwen Stefani. I was always intrigued by artists who were able to evolve and play with different sides of themselves. I think this may be a huge contributing factor to why I’ve always been a little bit of a chameleon. I think I’m most proud of how I have pushed myself, especially within the last few years. I have never given up. If I was to try to best describe and define myself to the world, I guess I would define myself as an artist and person who can’t really be defined. I lead my creativity with divine feminine energy and no matter where I may wander, I somehow always manage to come back to my R&B roots. I like to sing about love, lust and chaos. I’m really excited to be releasing a new single on October 2, 2020 called “Questions”. It will be my third solo project. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that you are ultimately in control of you – nothing else. Stay true to who you are and whatever is meant for you, will be.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
One of the best things about living in Pasadena, CA is all the amazing restaurants, bars, and entertainment we have right in our Old Town area. My all-time favorite place to go to have a good time is Barney’s Beanery! It’s actually where my fiancé and I had our first date AND where he proposed! Barney’s is a bar/restaurant and they even have karaoke on the lower level. Karaoke is my guilty pleasure!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to dedicate my shoutout to my family. To my Mom, Dad and Tyler, you guys have taught me how to be strong, how to love, and to know my worth – and that is irreplaceable. To my Phillip, you love me for the mess I am and I couldn’t be more grateful.