Three years ago, Covington, Ohio-native Clark Manson set out for a music career in Nashville. A bright future in songwriting and performing was ahead of him. Since then, Mason returned home, got married and started a family. But the songwriting and performing have only gotten better.
The country music star has a new single, “Towns Like Us,” coming out May 18. The single is his first solo-written song in years.
We spoke with Manson about what’s new in his life, his music, and how his home state inspires him.
What can you tell us about the growth of your musical career in the last three years?
I feel like the content has grown substantially — from the subject lines of songs to social media. Before, in 2012 and 2013, I was in college and most of the songs I wrote were party songs, because that’s where I was at, at that moment. I’ve grown a lot as a person. I’ve gotten married, and we’re expecting a child. I was in Nashville three years ago writing every day for a publishing company, and have since returned home. I am now writing on my own terms. I’m now a little more of what I want to be, rather than what the industry is wanting. It centers me to write about real-life things.
What can you tell us about the Concert for a Cause that you’re headlining?
Nancy Wilson called me with the idea, and I was immediately interested. Doing a concert to benefit a good charity is something I’ve tried to do more of since I’ve been back in Ohio. It’s one of those things where we can do what we love to do, for a great cause, and a great crowd.
What does it mean for you to support Moms 4 Miracles?
About three years ago was the first time we [Manson’s band] played at Dayton Children’s. We played, visited, and ever since then, we’ve all said “if we could ever do something here, we definitely would.” Also, my mother and grandmother suffer from breast cancer, so I can sympathize on the experience of what these kids are going through - it’s an everyday fight.
What do you look forward to when you’re back in town?
I play a lot of golf around the area at different courses. I also go to a few open mic nights. I go to check out, to hear other people, which can be inspiring for my own writing too.
What currently inspires your writing and performing?
I was driving through Covington, and I noticed everyone was waving – from there I was inspired by this 2-stop light kind of town. It’s a hometown story with a personal twist. People from our area are going to know this is the area I came from, to a T.
How does it feel to be back home?
It’s pretty cool to be able to come to my home state, basically my home area, and live and be able to make music and perform on a national platform. I do make sacrifices not being in Nashville and having to travel, but it feels great to be home doing what I love to do how I want to. We play a lot in the area, especially places I originally started. I don’t want to forget where we started. I don’t want anyone to think, “he’s too big for here;” it’s something I always want to keep up. It’s important to remember where you came from, where you’re going, where you’ve been.