Thursday, May 23, 2013

EXCLUSIVE: Michele Clark & the Rise of New Music at Sunset Sessions

There is a quote that hangs on Michele Clark's wall that reads: "There are no limitations to the self except those you believe in." That one simple sentence, which hangs as a daily reminder and reflection for Michele, captures the inspiration and spirit that fills so many entrepreneurs, artists and athletes. In all of us there is a burning passion, something we love and would love to do. The problem is that all too often we do not listen to that voice, we do not follow that passion, mostly because we do not believe in ourselves.

Michele's passion was, and still is, music. Born in New Jersey, Michele began to explore the Asbury Park music scene at the tender age of 15 years. She was immediately hooked and knew that music would be her life. In 1990, Michele started Michele Clark Promotion, which quickly became the leading independent radio promotion firm for the Triple A format. Prior to selling the company (which had changed its name to M:M Music), Michele had collected numerous awards and was instrumental in the radio campaigns for Matchbox Twenty, Coldplay, David Gray, Maroon 5, Train, Norah Jones, Jewel, Edwin McCain, Hootie and the Blowfish, John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, the Dave Matthews Band, Lenny Kravitz, and countless others, including such rock legends as the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Peter Gabriel, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Neil Young and Van Morrison.

About 17 years ago, Michele saw a problem with music conventions: all of the artists were there, but few (if any) radio folks were in attendance. How could new music be discovered and break through if those responsible for getting airplay were not in attendance? As Michele puts it, "if you see something being done wrong, do it right." So Michele took out her credit card and flew a bunch of artists, radio professionals and others in the music industry to beautiful St. Thomas island for a weekend of an intimate music discovery experience. And like that, Sunset Sessions was born.

Over the years, Sunset Sessions have hosted the likes of The Black Keys, Fun, Jack Johnson, Stevie Nicks, Carlos Santana, Jason Mraz, James Blunt, The Zac Brown Band, Colbie Caillat, Melissa Etheridge, Nickelcreek, Chris Isaak, Billy Corgan, Steve Stills, Jewel, and many more. Today, Sunset Sessions has evolved into a destination where anyone passionate about music who can assist in breaking new artists and getting new music and bands discovered (including radio programmers, music supervisors, music managers, television bookers, etc.) can come together and find the next big thing. In Michele's words, it's a "new music adventure."

Michele Clark listened to her inner voice and followed her passion. As a result, she has been living the dream for many years. For Michele, success is not about money or fame. It's about doing what she loves and being happy. In her own words: "If you follow your passion, if you do what you love, the rest takes care of itself." Truer words cannot be spoken. The trick is, they need to be believed.

The next Sunset Session will take place this June 6th, 7th and 8th in Carlsbad, California. For more information, go to

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