Since we first heard the debut EP “Real To Me” from Callista Clark back in February 2021, it was evident that really big things were going to be happening for her, then fast-forward twelve months and she is on this side of the pond playing Europe’s largest country music festival! We spoke to Callista last year through the magic of Zoom where we gave you a first introduction to the teenager from Zebulon, GA HERE and ahead of her UK debut at Country to Country in London we were absolutely thrilled to chat with her in person about her first trip across the pond. “I know everyone is excited and the audience is excited that it’s finally back, it’s sold out and it’s a huge thing but genuinely every single artist that I’ve talked to is so excited to be here. I’ve heard amazing things about it even over the last three years and everyone is really excited now that we are actually here, I feel like in a way we were all kind of thinking well, I’ll believe it when I’m there and here we are. It’s happening!”
After the OMG it’s a REAL LIFE CALLISTA CLARK that is not just on Zoom and talking about how cool the purple streak in her hair looks in person, we very quickly drifted into the realms of something we are both incredibly passionate about and is totally on brand for the pair of us, coffee! I’m sat down with my iced, vanilla Americano and decided that I needed to establish from a fellow connoisseur how different the taste of my favourite Seattle based coffee chain tastes on this side of the Atlantic? “It does taste different, and I was talking about this earlier because I’m a huge coffee fan and Starbucks here, if I get anything with caramel, to me it tastes like salted caramel.”
Using my extensive knowledge of the Starbucks mobile ordering system, I was able to offer a helping hand in informing her that we have two different varieties of caramel syrup as in general UK food and beverages are lower in both sugar and salt than they are across the pond. “I need to get into all of that. Everyone else I know has there order down with no dairy, then it’s caffeine but it’s no sugar and I’m like OK that sounds healthy but I’m going to get not that! “This is why I need to talk to people like you, because I didn’t know any better.” When we last spoke, Callista shared her own relaxation method (serious potential for when she creates her motivational life skills products in years to come) of simply watching people making coffee on TikTok. “Ha-ha, it literally still is! It’s so strange I’ve turned into a six-year-old kid who gets handed an iPad to unwind and calm down but just gets distracted. It’s so bad to admit but I still look at random videos on TikTok and nothing has changed here.”
Photo by Luke Dyson
Writing this is in a strange time loop where we spoke before the festival started but after her initial showcase on the Wednesday night and after she had landed, she was working hard on the media front, which comes as no surprise as she is someone that all of the guys over here instantly felt her warmth and intense energy when we got to speak to a virtual Callista Clark previously. She did get to tick all the tourist boxes during her trip, but you could tell that she was really excited to head out and explore. “I’ve not yet, I got here a couple of days ago and it’s been pretty crazy busy, but it’s been awesome. I hope I get some free time to do all of the touristy things, my day-to-day manager has a list of things to check off before I go because I can’t come here and tell all of you that I’m so excited to do this, this and this but not do it. Usually with radio shows and whatever you get there the day of, you fly in and maybe stay until the next morning until 3am and when they ask what you did? I SLEPT a little.
We did eventually get round to talking about where we were with new music and during the course of the festival, she shared a lot of it which translates that there are big things on the way. From the first time that I got to see her on stage in a round and then again when she OPENED THE ENTIRE FESTIVAL on the Town Square stage her personality shines through so strongly when you watch her and listen to her as a storyteller. However, my biggest take of watching her perform is the way that even when little Callista is just stood there on her own with her guitar, she really commands the stage and is gravitating with her poise, her energy and confidence in a way you don’t see from artists that are well over twice her age! Amongst these new songs that she performed was something she had teased on Instagram with #WorstGuyEver which I was really hoping would be something that we would get to see. “Potentially ha-ha. It’s a song that I’m really excited about and I’ve been starting to tease it on Instagram, and I appreciate that you actually look at but that’s definitely one that I’m excited about and whilst I’m here some of my sets are longer than others. In the longer ones I’m definitely going to play some things that are unreleased, and you might hear that one (which we did and absolutely loved) in there. All of the shows that I’m doing, even if it is two songs and I think I have one which is forty minutes but it’s all me. Just, solo acoustic.” Then lastly, we touched upon these mythical beings over here that can turn up to a show and just give people on stage their time and full attention along with how the push towards female artists is not just being stated but being acted upon with the festival. “It’s definitely awesome, and I’ve only done one show so far, like you said last night and it’s super comforting to know that immediately people care, people listen, and you learn every song, not just the single. I’ve heard to play every song that is out because people will know it, which is super awesome and I know that they are very supportive of women over here, female stories and women’s songs so I’m really excited to play here for the first time.”
We all knew how well this young lady was going to go down at the festival and how well people would connect with her. She is going to be an absolute star and from what we got to hear over the weekend, what she has waiting to burst out of her locker is so hot and we really hope that it is not too long before she comes back to see us real soon. On stage she is absolutely born to be there whilst Callista herself, well she really is one of a kind! The debut EP “Real To Me” from Callista Clark is out now and available HERE through Big Machine Records. If you are not already following Callista socially (which you definitely should be) you can keep up to date with her on INSTAGRAMTIKTOKTWITTER & FACEBOOK.
Photo by Luke Dyson
True country music is honesty, sincerity, and real life to the hilt. Garth Brooks