Portia Clark Interview

by the partae

Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your latest single, ‘Look What You’ve Done,’ and how the collaboration with Audius Mtawarira came about for this emotionally charged track?

I wanted to share a conscious message. I have songs about all things but in this song, wanted to speak to everyone. We should all take responsibility for our own contribution to humanity. Audius is a great writer and producer and he helped me deliver this message in song. We are both from Southern Africa and we connected instantly creatively and personally. He’s my brother.

The lyrics of ‘Look What You’ve Done’ delve into your personal journey, from facing hardships to finding love and success. How challenging was it to channel such complex emotions into your music, and what message do you hope listeners take away from the song?

Sharing my experience is like therapy for me. Talking about my hardship has been the journey to my success. Now I live my life reaching for more love and more joy. It wasn’t easy channeling complex emotions but I love knowing that my story empowers young girls who may be going through the same experiences as I did.

In the song, you pose thought-provoking questions like “Where is the joy in the life I’ve been fighting for?” and “Would God really want all this despair behind every door?” Can you share more about the significance of these questions and the themes you explore in the lyrics?

It only makes sense that we ask difficult questions in order to find real answers. We all seek happiness so it’s important to check in on whether our daily walk is moving us in the right direction or not.

The production of ‘Look What You’ve Done’ is described as slick, consistently enhancing your exceptional vocals. How do you feel the production contributes to the emotional impact of the song, and what role does it play in conveying the message you want to share?

We worked hard to make sure the song had all the elements that sound good but also to deliver the message. There was a lot of refining and I believe we achieved a well produced track. I love bass in my songs and all the elements of country music so it wasn’t an easy job. Audius worked his magic.

There’s a lyrical shift from the first to the third person in the second chorus, where you sing, “Oh look what we’ve done…” Can you explain the significance of this shift and how it reflects your personal journey and the support you’ve found?

I didn’t want the song to point any fingers. The line ‘look what you’ve done’ is not meant to blame or accuse. I changed the ‘you’ to ‘we’ because we all contribute to this world in one way or another.

Your life story involves overcoming adversity, including being born into poverty and surviving domestic violence. How has your unwavering faith played a role in transforming your life, and how do you hope it inspires others facing challenges?

I hope my story brings awareness to the plight of the girl born in poverty. The difficulty I faced made me strong but not all girls in that situation survive. We all have to shed more light and find ways to help. I hope my story inspires everyone to believe that nothing is impossible.

Moving from Zambia to Australia in 2014, you’ve created the life you dreamed of with your husband and children. How has this change in environment influenced your music and the themes you explore in your upcoming album?

My environment and circumstances may have changed, but I will always be me. My husband, children and inlaws are a great support for me. I will wear my scars and cherish every moment. I will tell my story through my songs and I will keep fighting for love.

Your goal is to uplift people through your music, especially those who may be feeling down. How do you navigate the balance between sharing your personal story and creating music that resonates universally with diverse audiences?

I will just keep doing me, using my God given talent to sing great songs. I will sing about all things that inspire me so that I can inspire others. Music is a language of its own and I love being able to inspire with my voice. I’d be happy to change only one persons life for the better.

You mention wanting your presence on stage to connect with people and make them feel better about themselves. How do you prepare for live performances, and what do you hope the audience takes away from the experience?

I love how music connects from the stage to the audience. When I perform I try to connect with everyone who is listening. I want them to feel the joy, love or pain. To share the experience, and to be on a creative journey with me. I never just sing, I connect.

As you co-wrote ‘Look What You’ve Done’ with Audius Mtawarira, can you share more about the collaborative process and do you have plans for other collaborations and if so, who with?

I’ve found a great working relationship with Audius and I look forward to making more music with him. We work well together because his process is patient and he takes the time to understand what I want to express although music is beauty and with me everything happens spontaneously like my collaboration with Darius Rucker.

Your upcoming album is scheduled for release in 2024. Can you provide any insights into what themes or experiences will be explored in the album, and how it builds upon the narrative established in ‘Look What You’ve Done’?

The album explores many subjects of interest to me. It is also an album of meticulously chosen songs that I knew I could sing well. I can’t wait for everyone to hear what we have been working on.

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