For Nicole Clark, it was a spring break like no other, a week in the city of stars.
A consummate performer, who loves being on stage, the trip to Los Angeles was more than a dream coming true.
“Songwriting has been my diary,” says Clark.
“Instead of writing in a diary, I just go and write songs.”
The Grade 11 Thomas Haney secondary student has been writing and posting videos on her own YouTube channel since age 13.
Her covers of songs by her favourite artists and original compositions slowly built a steady following and were noticed by a couple of L.A. producers last year.
When she was first contacted by the folks at Research Music and Sound in Burbank, California, Clark was a little skeptical.
“You can’t believe everything,” says Clark, who did a little research and realized Michael Getches and Shannon McArthur were the real deal.
Getches and McArthur have worked with and produced songs for Lucy Hale of Pretty Little Liars, Colbie Caillat, Jason Mraz, Train and Plain White T`s. They’ve also worked with another Maple Ridge singer – Ray Gibson.
Clark worked with McArthur via Skype crafting two singles – This Dress and Better Than You – which she recorded in California over spring break.
Her country pop sound is especially geared to a teen audience and emulates her favourite singers such as Taylor Swift.
This Dress is a song about a girl who catches the attention of a boy and Better Than You is about about breaking up, moving on and realizing that there’s a better person out there, explains Clark, who is quick to point out the songs are not inspired by her life.
Besides being a musician, Clark is a completive dancer, who has performed at the 2010 Winter Paralympic ceremonies, the PNE, White Caps games and the Grey Cup halftime show. She’s also acted in a couple of commercials for cough syrup and Pizza Hut.
Clark finds it hard to pick just one creative outlet.
“I love it all,” says Clark, who encourages up-and-coming singers to test their mettle on YouTube.
“It’s definitely a good thing to do. Social media makes it so much easier to get your stuff out there and to get noticed. YouTube has led to tons of opportunities for so many performers.”
She’s someone who doesn’t get butterflies in her tummy when on stage.
“It’s something I enjoy so much,” says Clark.
“Honestly just being on stage, it feels home to me. It’s somewhere I can be myself.”