We had the good fortune of connecting with Stello Clark and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stello, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Aww man. I’m working now more than I ever have haha. The balance question is always tricky because I sincerely love what I do and most of the people I work with are my actual friends. I feel like I’m hanging out and being productive all at once. It’s a part of my life I want to constantly be involved in. I’m always looking for new projects to take on. That being said, over time I’ve had to force myself to take breaks. Even though I enjoy my work it’s still very possible to run myself into the ground and be completely exhausted. I build in at least one off day every week. I make myself sit down, watch Netflix, read something, or simply do nothing. Outside of sleeping, sometimes the body and mind just need rest! The other thing I do is take breaks. Usually a hectic day or week means nonstop work. So once I finish a task I’ll stop to play a game on my phone or watch a fun YouTube video just to reset before diving back in. It works wonders! Those little breaks really help with the monotony that can come from working on the same project all day long. Lastly, I always make time to eat!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My music is unique because it’s different every time. I don’t even know what it’s going to sound like most of the time lol. Growing up, I had a very diverse musical background ranging from being a classically trained cellist and singing in the church youth choir to being a self-taught drummer in a high school rock band. My interest was always in anything I thought sounded cool. I never limited myself to one genre or even one instrument which is why I float between so many of both now. I’m able to be a sort of musical chameleon that way. I think now I’m in a very good place. I’m finally starting to see all the skills merge together into a dream career after quite some time. It hasn’t been easy because I was never really able to figure out exactly what path I wanted to take. The problem with being a jack of all trades is that you feel limited by not excelling in one particular area. Usually it feels like you need one main focus to get your foot in the door which will then allow you to pursue whatever you want. However, my journey has seen phases of learning different aspects of the music industry. I’ve spent seasons learning studio etiquette and how to navigate sessions; both as artist and producer/studio musician. There have been other moments where everything was about the live gig. I’ve been blessed enough to sit under people in just about every environment. That experience has now culminated in me pretty much being a one-stop-shop for anyone’s musical needs. Now I’m in a position to produce music, be a hired gun on a gig, be an artist, be a songwriter, be an audio engineer (live or studio), put together ensembles for any project, etc. My experiences over time have pretty much allowed me to understand the music industry as a whole which I believe gives me an advantage when trying to create something special. Plus, along the way I’ve built a lot of great relationships in each of those fields. So if I don’t know how to do something, I probably know someone who does lol. If I had to share a lesson I’ve learned it would be to pursue every passion because there’s always someone who needs what you have. And the more you have to give, the better!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m not going to lie, most of this will be places to eat. The first place I mention to anyone visiting Atlanta is Dwarf House. It’s the original Chick-fil-A and such a fun experience because you really get that old diner feel (and they actually serve burgers)! Flip Burger Boutique, HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern, McCray’s Tavern, New Orleans Daiquiri Bar & Grill, and Busy Bee Cafe are also a few of my favorite spots to hang out and grab a bite. They all have different vibes but they’re all so good! Other than that this is actually pretty difficult because I’m such a homebody. I typically prefer hanging out with friends at the crib where we create our own fun environment. You’re just with the people you want to be around and there’s no pressure to move to the next spot or leave by a certain time. It’s always just super chill. But, a fun spot to checkout if you like a little suspense is Breakout Atlanta. It’s a really cool escape room and super fun! And there’s always the movies. I’m really more about the people than the places though, so we can really do whatever and have a good time.
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 shout out my parents! They always pushed me to be my best and encouraged all of my interests. I’m able to do as much as I do now because of their support. From a young age I watched them both juggle a million things at once so I have that pretty honest. But they always took the time and energy to help me cultivate any new skill, instrument, or endeavor I ever sought after. For that, I am eternally grateful!
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