Is Parkland’s Liddy Clark on her way to becoming the next big thing in country music?
There’s a hint of the South in the way Liddy Clark speaks. She was born in Dallas, but her family moved to Parkland when she was 6 years old.
“Texas is my home state, but Florida is where I’ve spent most of my life. I grew up here,” says the 18-year-old. “But Texas definitely draws me to country music.”
Southern country is in her blood and songwriting is in her DNA. Her cousin, Drew Womack, has written nine songs on the Billboard Top 10 country charts, including Kenny Chesney’s first No. 1 hit, “She’s Got It All.”
Now Liddy Clark’s debut single, “Painted By Numbers,” is getting some notice. In September, the song was picked up by Radio Disney Country and continues to get airplay.
Liddy’s mother, Shana, was surprised when she learned her daughter had singing talent, and even more astonished when Liddy began writing her own songs.
“My husband and I had no idea she could sing. She was in second grade and she told us she was going to enter a talent contest at school. She first started singing after she won the contest at the Parkland Day School,” says Shana Clark, who now manages Liddy’s career and runs Crimson Rose Records, the independent record label the Clarks created to produce and promote Liddy’s music.
Liddy “started seriously songwriting” when she was 12, around the time she wanted to learn the guitar. After winning the contest, she started working with a vocal coach, learning mostly songs from Broadway musicals. It prompted her to explore her own favorite artists’ path and discover how much she liked country music. She says she was drawn to its simplicity and honesty.
“It was what I liked to write, what I liked to play and what I liked to sing,” she says.
Liddy wrote “Painted By Numbers” when she was 16, and in the past six months, the song has gained some traction. In addition to its airplay on Disney Country, the video premiered online at Celeb Secrets Country, part of the Huffington Post.
The song is an anthem to self-love that Liddy says is relatable to anyone, whether they’re a high-school student or someone attending their high school reunion.
“I wanted to write a song that made me feel better about myself and made other people feel better about themselves,” she says, “because I know I wasn’t the only one that was feeling insecure and doubtful about myself when I was 16.”
She’ll perform the song live at a concert benefit for Feeding South Florida on Nov. 12, at Parkland’s city amphitheater.
“I love performing,” she says, “but it’s always that much more special when I get to perform for causes like this. There’s so much more meaning behind it. I’m glad I can be there to support the cause.”
Shana says the city has been a great support to her daughter’s career. “The first paid event that Liddy played with her band was for the city of Parkland,” she says.
When I’m playing music and singing, it feels more natural to me than talking.
A non-stop performer, Liddy’s appeared as the opening act for Scotty McCreery in West Palm Beach and Taylor Hicks at the Pompano Beach Amphitheater. In October, she performed at Nashville’s famous Listening Room Café as part of the Song Suffragettes, a series that features rising female country artists.
Education is also in Liddy’s future. The 2016 North Broward Preparatory School graduate already has been accepted to the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. With experience from three summers at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and performing professionally, Liddy decided to pursue a degree in something other than music. Her mother says she deferred her enrollment for a year.
“I am definitely going to go to college,” Liddy adds. “I plan on learning as much as I can. But this is the one thing I’ve been pursuing my whole life. When I’m playing music and singing it feels more natural to me than talking.”
Does she wants to become a big star—maybe on par with Taylor Swift, who began her career as a country singer-songwriter?
“Playing stadiums and playing shows—that’s always awesome, but I want to meet as many people as possible,” Liddy says. “I want to travel. I just want to see everything in my life that I can.”
Feed a friend
Donate canned food items at this month’s Eats and Beats, benefitting Feeding South Florida. Give back, eat from the food trucks and jam to School of Rock Coral Springs on Nov. 12, 5:30–9:30 p.m. at the city amphitheater in Pine Trails Park, 10561 Trails End, Parkland.