Kelly Clancy, Co-Founder of 4 Strikes

– Kelly Clancy

Kelly Clancy

Co-Founder of 4 Strikes

For Kelly Clancy, family and business go hand in hand, from founding 4 Strikes with her husband Christian Clancy to the management company’s existential philosophy. 

“We both came from the label side and wanted to create something that was an extension of us and our family so our goal was to always keep it small and intimate,” says Clancy. “Since the beginning, we’ve worked with artists who we are equally as passionate about on a personal level as we are professionally. We’ve managed to keep things small and intimate while growing 4 Strikes and helping our artists evolve their careers. Last year marks our company’s 10-year anniversary and I can’t think of a greater accomplishment than that.” 

4 Strikes’ client list features Tyler, The Creator (with projects including his annual Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival, his film and TV production company Bald Fade Productions), Brockhampton, Raveena Auora, Domo Genesis and the late Mac Miller (Clancy still works directly with his family/estate). 

Clancy attributes her success to being able to find the right balance in the blurred line between work and personal relationships, where “if you can get it right then both our staff and artists become family.” She adds, 

“The trust that we all have in one another gives us the freedom and ability to represent our artists in the best way. Sometimes the path to where we need to go doesn’t follow traditional paradigms, so the trust we have in each other is the foundation of our success.” While acknowledging the challenges of working as a “5’2” woman of color in an industry that still has a strong ‘good ol’ boys club’ membership,” 

Clancy encourages younger generations of women to break into the business wherever they can, even if a company or lane doesn’t seem like a perfect fit. “You may find your dream position through trial and error,” Clancy says. “Take everything as a learning experience. Also, if what you’re doing ever causes unhealthy stress or starts to affect you in a negative way, don’t be afraid to take a step back and reevaluate. This should be fun and fulfilling at the end of the day.”

Where can you be found during a show?
Shows have become ritual – I hug our artist(s) before they go on and then I’m side stage through the first song to make sure nothing goes wrong. Then you can usually find me at the front of house.

Who is your role model and why?
Jan Katsuki – my Mom. She is one of the strongest people I know. She raised my twin brother and I while teaching kindergarten – shaping the lives of young people for over 30 years. The way she cared about her students greatly impacts the way we work with our artists today.

Where do you see your segment of the live business heading in the next five years?
 That’s a great question and I don’t have an answer. My role is to help our artists get to where they want to go and I’m always amazed by their creative vision. Camp Flog Gnaw was all Tyler’s imagination and look at where it is today.