On first glance, it might seem like viral sensation Callista Clark is just a good ol' Southern girl from Georgia who minds her manners and sings her songs and can be found every Sunday sitting with her family in a pristine pew at church. But make no mistake — this girl also has a bit of sass.

And it shines through on every word of her debut single, "It’s 'Cause I Am."

Written by Clark alongside fellow songwriters Cameron Jaymes and Laura Veltz, “It’s 'Cause I Am” tells the story of that moment where we all ultimately feel unheard or invalidated, as if our feelings aren’t worthy of being expressed and our soul too small to ever be noticed. But it’s also about having the confidence to stand up against those feelings. It's a story about finding your own individual strength.

And in a way, it’s very much Clark’s story, too.

“It’s about someone telling you that you can’t do something, and I truly have felt that way sometimes as a young girl trying to make it as an artist,” says Clark, who is exclusively premiering the lyric video for “It’s 'Cause I Am” with Taste of Country. “It’s always been a special song to me, and it’s the one song that I thought people my age could really relate to. And yeah, I guess it let me get out all the sass and anger I had built up.”

Despite being just 17 years old, the road to a country music career has already been an interesting one for Clark.

“Music has always been a part of my life,” she tells Taste of Country in a recent interview. “I’ve been singing since I could talk, and the very first place I ever sang was at my granddad’s church. I eventually started singing by myself, and then I started learning all of these instruments, and then I started writing poems, which were basically songs, even though I didn’t know it at the time.”

When she turned 13 years old, and at her grandfather’s urging, the skilled musician who can play a total of eight different instruments decided to post a cover of her singing and playing the guitar to the Creedence Clearwater Revival hit “Have You Ever Seen the Rain.” And from then on, Clark’s life was forever changed.

“It just blew up,” remember Clark, who eventually caught the attention of industry powerhouses including Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta. “I still don’t understand why it did what it did, but it changed everything for me. It blows my mind to this day.”

In fact, Clark’s online videos have amassed over 65 million views on Facebook and over 6 million views on YouTube. Next up for Clark is the release of her debut EP, Real to Me, on Friday (Feb. 12). And while her star seems to be rising awfully fast, Clark already knows the artist she wants to be.

“I just always want my true and honest voice to be heard through my songs,” she concludes. “Whatever the song is, or the emotion is, I just really want to always try to dive into that feeling. And in doing so, I really hope it resonates with someone out there.”

It already has.

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