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What’s NeW by andy argyrakis
When Patrick Ryan Clark was growing up in Oklahoma, he may have attended church casually, but his major focus was playing basketball and making the most of his party-leaning college experience. Ironically,
a late night in the dorms led to flipping through a buddy’s book of CDs and giving DC Talk’s Jesus Freak a listen, which after hearing the Prodigal Son-like anthem “What If I Stumble?,” led to a complete turn around. Besides rededicating his life to Christ, Clark put his ball on the shelf and tried out guitar, falling in love with the instrument immediately and embarking upon a career as a singer/ songwriter/worship leader upon graduation. These days, he’s inked a deal with Word Records and is gearing up for his label debut Where Would I Be, which features production from Ed Cash and recalls that Dove Award winner’s past collaborators Chris Tomlin or Bebo Norman.
With... Dara Maclean
Growing up on a steady diet of Motown and ‘70s soul helped shaped Dara Maclean’s sound long before she ever signed a deal with Fervent Records. The newcomer to the national Christian music scene grew up in Fort Worth, Texas singing from the age of 8, leading worship throughout her teen years and continuing to minister at church and on the road through today. See what she has to say about the goals in store for her debut disc You Got My Attention and the lessons she learned in the studio from super producer/All Star United singer Ian Eskelin.
CCM: Why did you decide to name the album You Got My Attention and what are the themes that run throughout the record?
Dara Maclean: Actually, I was trying to decide between a few titles, this being one of them. In the meantime, we had already picked the cover picture and the designer happened to attach the track name You Got
My Attention to the cover shot for us to look at. When we all saw it, well, it got our attention. After that, there was no question, it was like a dawning moment and I really thought, “that’s exactly what it should be.” Thematically through the record,
I want people to get a taste for something more—to know that there is more to this life than meets the eye, and instead of just existing through Christ, we can actually start living. Impossible dreams really are placed in our hearts for a reason, freedom really is available, peace actually can happen in the midst of the world falling down around us and real love really is enough.
CCM: Who were the influences that helped shape your soulful sound?
Maclean: I have a love of all things soulful, thanks to my parents. Their love of soul, funk and Motown spilled onto me on a regular basis. At 13, I started playing the guitar and writing. I somehow got my hands on Lauryn Hill’s Unplugged record and then immediately bought the Miseducation record and anything else that I even thought was from her...Before that though, I was listening to all things CCM, but one artist in particular, Crystal Lewis, [really stands out]. I still think she has one of the best voices and was so ahead of her time sonically.
CCM: What were the biggest lessons learned from working with super producer Ian Eskelin?
Maclean: Well first off, I learned to relax, take a deep breath and enjoy this, instead of being a silly
perfectionist every second. Ian is amazing at what he does, and he took the time, even though he doesn’t have much, to help me tread these new waters.