In any industry, it is of the utmost importance that you not only find people to befriend, but people you can learn from as well. The temptation that comes with pride, is falling into the mindset that you have to know everything; never making an effort to ask for help when you need it most. The truth is though, the most impactful aid you can give yourself is admitting that you don’t know it all, while latching on to people who may just know a little more than you do. The empowerment that comes with humbly learning from others is something that pays off in dividends, which is why I’ve tried my hardest to connect with people who are racking up the achievements that I dream of having one day. Someone who is not only an inspiration to myself, but to many others, is well-known and well-respected Artist Manager, Clark.
It’s one thing to meet someone and hit it off, but it’s a whole blessing when you’re able relate to them on a different level than most; That was the case when I connected with Clark as he is one of the only people in the music industry who has a similar background as myself. Before becoming the stand out artist helper that he is today, the Athens, Georgia native actually played Division 1 Football at Middle Tennessee State University. The career switch is not usually the norm, but if you take into account all that he has accomplished, it’s no surprise that the discipline that was instilled in him at the Collegiate level is what makes him the force he is now in the music world. If you’ve heard the names, 347aidan, Dreamer Boy, HVN, Hollow Sinatra, Bobby Knepper and Adam Alonzo, then it’s imperative for you to know that Clark is behind each of them. Over the past few years, the now LA-Based manager has been developing his own roster of impressive acts, while building out his company, Forever 150, which has the potential to be one of the most pivotal resources in the creative community.
For the sake of telling Clark’s story in the most honest and transparent light, we sat down and asked him a few questions about what this journey has been like. What you’re about to read is some of the most insightful and inspiring content that we’ve gotten to feature and we pray that it introduces all of the aspiring managers and creatives to their newest role model.
ER: What is the thing that keeps you so drawn towards music?:
Clark: As a manager, I think it’s the magic moment every time I get sent a fresh demo or idea from one of the artists I work with. Those moments always bring out the artist in me and I love the limitless ideas and further concepts that can come from that magic. In general, it’s a similar thing. I love that one day an artist could not “exist” to the world, but then the next day they drop their debut project and all of a sudden 100 gecs or Baby Keem exists. That’s the magic that excites me.
ER: What are you working on now?:
Clark: I started my own company, Forever 150, that I don’t even want to be defined as an artist management company. To me — it’s an art company/collective that won’t be able to be fully defined for at least another 10 years. Managing artists is phase one and right now I’m managing a developing roster of musical artists that include 347aidan, Dreamer Boy, HVN, Hollow Sinatra and producer Bobby Knepper (Dreamer Boy); along with Visual Artist/Photographer/Director, Adam Alonzo . In addition to management, I’m working at Snapchat as a Music Research Consultant helping curate their new in-app ‘Featured Sounds’ playlist that was launched last Fall. Beyond that, I love to paint and view myself as an artist also.
ER: What project are you most proud of working on/ was most memorable?
Clark: Thankfully, this is almost an impossible question to answer. I could have a lot of answers for this but to keep it simple, I’m most proud of all the current projects I’m working on. I try to focus on what is happening in the present, but be aware enough to see 5-10 years ahead, always. I’ve had a ton of memorable moments, but my most memorable moment is probably the day I got hired for my first real music opportunity by Pat Corcoran to help assist him at Haight Brand and with Chance The Rapper a little over 4 years ago. Definitely one of the most life-altering/memorable days I’ve ever had. I essentially was a naive, retired college athlete with zero connections, a music business degree, a little bit of taste, and a lot of hunger to breakthrough and make something happen in this industry and sent Pat a cold email. He and his team gave me a shot and from that experience I was able to get an intense and unforgettable crash course working with the biggest independent artist in the history of the recorded music industry. I’ve just kept pushing since then and learned to trust my gut more than anything from that experience.
ER: What are your goals for the future?:
Clark: FOREVER 150 will be an art company that will change how we view artists and music companies (record labels, mgmt companies, etc)
ER: What is your mantra? What guides you?:
Clark: ‘The reward for good work is more work.’ — My gut is my guide. I wouldn’t say that I have a proper mentor but I love to study great minds. Marcel Duchamp, Richard Russell, Rick Rubin, Tom Sachs, Robert Motherwell, Fluxus, Ahmet Ertegun, Black Mountain College & Christian/Kelly Clancy are my mentors that I’ve never met or talked to.
ER: What is your favorite part about music/working in the music industry?:
Clark: I love that our industry is ever-evolving and there’s always room for the youth. It may feel like there are gatekeepers, but compared to other creative industries, like film and fine art, there really aren’t. If you’re bringing something fresh to the table either as an artist, entrepreneur, or executive – you’ll have a great chance to find a seat at the table somewhere. Music thrives off of the youth, in all facets including the consumers. Young managers often ask me how they can get into the game or breakthrough to the next level and the most simple answer I have is: find a great artist. Any manager’s career can change course overnight with the right talent.
It is no secret that everything Clark has accomplished so far is thanks to his drive, determination and passion to make a difference in the music industry and the world as well. His tireless work ethic to be the best at what he does is proven through his body of work and we cannot wait to see all of the amazing things he does in the future. It is a huge blessing to have him on our page today to celebrate the person he is and we hope his words inspired you to step out of your comfort zone and take that chance. If you want to learn more about Clark, follow him on Instagram and stay tuned for all of the W’s coming his way in 2021!