Country music artist Callista Clark may be young, but she’s wise beyond her years. The CMT’s Next Women of Country member recently (June 6) sat down with Big Machine Label Group to discuss the impact GRAMMY Award winner Jennifer Nettles has had on her artistry and what it was like to cross paths for the very first time.
Long before Clark became a household name within the genre, she was actively involved in a Georgia 4H performing arts group. While honing in on her craft, the “Real To Me” singer received a surprise visit from one of her primary musical influences – Jennifer Nettles.
“So, me and Jennifer were both in a Georgia 4H performing arts group called Clovers & Company, obviously at different times,” Clark explained. “So, Jennifer met me through that.”
Nettles returned to the organization to give the aspiring musicians guidance and to hear the children’s choir perform. During that time, Clark had the chance to introduce herself and poise for a photo.
“There was a video shoot where we were performing and playing for her, for a magazine, and got to take pictures and meet her and everything, and it was … insane! Super cool! A great experience,” she recalled.
When the young vocalist was first breaking into the industry, Nettles approached Clark for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“She remembered me from that [Clovers & Company] and invited me to perform with her for an international 4H gala in Washington DC,” the vocalist shared with excitement. “I was terrified out of my mind, but she was so nice and calmed me down and just has always been really supportive ever since then.”
Before the two performed together for the very first time in the capital, Nettles described Clark as a “fantastic singer” and “fearless.” At just 12-years-old, Clark delivered Sugarland’s smash hit “Baby Girl” alongside Nettles.
Since that day, Clark catapulted to stardom and inked a deal with Big Machine Label Group. In late 2021, the fast-rising musician took on the Grand Ole Opry and released her debut collection “Real To Me.” To pen the five-track project, Clark managed to collaborate with elite songwriters – Jonathan Singleton, Laura Veltz, Nicolle Galyon, and Emilly Shackleton.
The promising new artist has shared a stage with A-listers, including Chris Young, Mitchell Tenpenny, Brothers Osborne, Scotty McCreery, and more. Before the powerhouse vocalist jumps on the road to hit world-renowned festivals, she will be participating in Jessie James Decker’s Kittenish Fashion Show in partnership with CMT on Thursday, June 9, in Nashville. Clark will also make a stop at BMLG’s CMA Fest meet & greet on Sunday, June 12, where she will perform her single,"Gave It Back Broken." For updates and information on upcoming performances, visit callistaclark.com.