We had the good fortune of connecting with Will Clark and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Will, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Hello! I’m Will Clark; co owner of the CBD company Rocky top Genetics, owner of Prana Recording Studio, and member of the nationally touring band Funk You. I majored in economics with a focus in international entrepreneurship at Georgia State University. I’ve always had a love for entrepreneurship and have helped start 3 businesses that are all based around things in life that I love to do. I’ve been playing drums for 15 years touring nationally with multiple bands since high school. It’s been a dream of mine to play drums as a career since I was a kid. As most people know, it’s a very unlikely feat to make it in the music industry. I’m lucky to be able to share my art with the world and make money off my dream. I also have a recording studio and work with local artists in the Atlanta area to bring their art to life. Recently I started a CBD company called Rocky Top Genetics. CBD is derived from the hemp plant and contains numerous medicinal properties that help people around the world. It truly is a miracle plant and it gives me great pleasure being able to help people in need. I can’t reiterate enough how fortunate I am to be able to be in business with everything I love.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Any artist knows how lucky they are to be able to form a business around their art. I’ve been pursuing a music career since high school. Funk You plays about 150 shows a year all over the country for the last 8 years. We’ve gone from sleeping on peoples couches and floors to finally affording hotel rooms. The struggle is real! Every musician knows! Holding onto your dream is important and finding a way to profit is the key to longevity. I am lucky to have endorsements from Bosphorus cymbals and Outlaw Drums. These companies are extraordinary and keep me on the road with incredible equipment. As far as overcoming challenges, I personally have had many road bumps along the way and obstacles that could have easily deterred anyone. I have several injuries that could have stopped some people from pursuing their dream but I kept persevering. I didn’t walk for close to a year after I broke my right ankle. The bone wasn’t receiving proper blood flow and I had AVN of the talus bone. Luckily my doctor performed an experimental surgery poking microscopic holes in the bone that allowed for better blood flow. It was a super scary time not knowing if my bass drum foot would ever heal. I even played drums in a wheel chair for a while! I thought all major injuries were behind me but I was wrong. This past February, I was riding a moped in Key West and a car didn’t see me and ran me off the road. I broke my left femur and right collar bone. I guess i was lucky in the fact that I already knew the rehab routine and how to get back on my feet (no pun intended). I have a great support network and am back on my feet ready to rock and roll again! These obstacles have taught me to never give up and to keep on keeping on!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’ve lived all over ATL and this city has some remarkable things to do and places to see. Little five points is one of my favorite areas. I would grab a beer and some food at the Porter and catch a show at Aisle 5 or Variety Playhouse. I’ve been going to and playing shows at Aisle 5 since it was called The 5 Spot. It is a historic venue especially for local bands getting their start. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support Aisle 5 shows to local bands. Terminal West is another venue that I worked at briefly and would recommend visiting in ATL. My entire shift I would be dreaming of playing on that stage. To go from that feeling, to selling out one of my own shows there will forever be imprinted on my life. The belt line is another newer addition to the city that is full of delicious restaurants, hiking/walking paths, and beautiful green space. I would end our day eating all you can eat Korean BBQ at Iron Age. I’m a sucker for gluttonous amounts of meat grilled to perfection at your table.
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?
Every entrepreneur knows that your success depends on who you surround yourself with. First of all, I couldn’t be in a touring band, run a recording studio, or operate a CBD company without the support of my girlfriend, Emily Peay and I thanks to my family for supporting me nonstop throughout my artistic career. I also want to give thanks to all my business partners: Funk You (Evan Miller, William Foster, Palmer Owens, Gavin Hamilton, Mark Dykes, Geoff Wood, Josh Spillards, & Luke Gnarly G Powell + our managers Allen Roper and Matt Kolinski) Prana Recording Studio (Andy Headland) and Rocky Top Genetics (Cory Peay).
Other: www.facebook.com/rockytopgenetics Insta: @rockytopgenetics www.funkyoumusic.com www.facebook.com/funkyoumusic