It’s official. I have made my radio debut!
Last Friday, Colin and I were invited to be a part of KPSU’s “Live Fridays” segment, where they feature in-studio performances by local artists followed by an interview. The lovely DJ Rachelle Schmidt hosted, and our new friends at PSU TV filmed a YouTube livecast during the set.
We had an absolute blast.
Whenever Colin and I get in a room together, we find a way to make it fun. I’ve been told I could have fun in a paper bag. But get me in front of a camera, and I’m completely in my element.
Our performance went off without a hitch. We kicked it off with “Young Love”, followed by “Wild Heart, Gypsy Soul”, “A Date With Jack” and “Trouble”, which we dedicated to my studio drummer, Mathieu Lewis-Rolland, for his birthday. Because we had extra time, and we kill whenever we play it, we ended the set with an emotionally-charged “Just For Tonight”, finishing the performance on a high note…literally.
Then came the interview. As a former aspiring broadcast journalist, this stuff used to be my bread and butter, and it didn’t change being on the receiving end. But more than anything, it was a chance to expand on the story that my music tells; a chance to explain where I came from and where I’m going. I got to give listeners a taste of the vision I have for my songwriting and my music career.
We wrapped it up an hour later and got to hang with Rachelle and the rest of the crew. They were all so welcoming and appreciative, I can’t wait to work with them again!
A few highlights from the interview:
Rachelle: Tell me about your creative process, what all goes into that?
Sarah: Absolutely. It’s interesting because, how this all started, I’ve played guitar since I was 7 and I started singing when I could talk […] but I never really took it to this level of performance because I felt like without the writing I wasn’t really legitimate and I didn’t want to be a cover singer. It’s interesting because I was always a writer but never put the two together. Then when I was traveling, I started writing a song at yoga school. It’s on the album it’s called “Sorry I Couldn’t Stay” and it’s about leaving my corporate job and comfortable life back home to discover myself in South America, and I kind of was writing it just to get it out of my system, as a tribute to the people I left behind. I remember playing it for my friend in the Bahamas two months later and she was just blown away; I think I just needed that little bit of confidence and from there on it was pouring out of me. I was writing three songs a day for two weeks straight. Now, I get a lot of inspiration when I’m running, or out in nature. I’m a very spiritual minded person so getting into that centered place is important, and exercise always jostles the words out.
Rachelle: [Band chemistry is a big deal but certainly doesn’t always happen, what has your experience been like?]
Sarah: I got really lucky. My studio band became my family, as cheesy as that sounds. I look to these guys as brothers and they are some of my best friends, I mean we spent so much time together. So much that this album is now representative of that for me, it’s those memories that we made just being in the studio. Even though the songs are about completely different stuff, this album will always remind me of the last nine months of my life and the start of really living a dream. And ultimately, that’s what I want to inspire in other people through my music; to live authentically, to get outside the box and to have the courage to go against the status quo. This has been that for me, I’ve lived it and now I really want to share that message and this music with people.
Rachelle: You mentioned leaving your corporate job; with all that shifting, what advice would you give yourself back then knowing what you know now?
Sarah: I would just tell myself to have as much fun as possible. Up until I actually bought the ticket in April of 2013, I knew in my heart I wanted to travel, I’d even had a massive breakup over it, I’d been telling people forever that this is what I wanted to do and it took a while to actually take that step. But when I bought that ticket and I saw that light at the end of the tunnel, I started to live completely differently. I started focusing more on what I wanted out of life and what made me happy. If I had any regret it would be that I was so stressed out while I was traveling, it’s a really hard thing to do and I was a little naive. I wouldn’t say traveling was fun all the time, but it was transformative. I knew going into it that it would probably be the biggest transformation of my life to date, and that was true, because it did lead me to having the confidence to write my own music and to go for a dream that people tell you is crazy. I have a lot of belief in that we write our own story in life and we can create what we want.
Colin: The long and short of it is, Sarah and I are both pragmatic people, but you have to take risks and you have to put yourself out there from time to time, and if you do that, it’s worth it’s weight in gold.
Sarah: It’s where the real learning comes from.
Colin: It’s going to be full of trepidation before it even starts, but you have to really strike out and challenge yourself. If you do it, do it with a sense of authenticity and come back and impart that wisdom on other people.
Sarah: And fear is realistic but not being held back by your fears is I think what I’ve been working through and it’s a terrifying thing but you know what? It’s great songwriting material, the challenges of life that we create to learn and grow, it really is great songwriting material
Rachelle: So what’s propelling things going forward now?
Sarah: I have a very specific and detailed vision for what I want out of this and that’s helped propel me in the right direction thus far. Especially since traveling, music lifts me up. It raises my personal vibration, it makes me feel better, I love performing, I love writing; those things are thing I truly don’t think I could be happy and thrive without. So my personal goal is to find every way that I can to enjoy this process and enjoy life. I’m a person who gets really caught up in the end goal, I see where I want to go and then I get stressed out about where I am. I really want to be better about living in the moment and enjoying this journey because everyone who’s been on this path is always like “I wish I would have spent more time just enjoying where I was.” The larger vision I have for this is, well my music is very mainstream, it’s certainly not hipster fodder, it’s got a lot of elements of the way that hit songs are written and I did that on purpose because I really think that a big platform like mainstream media is a great place to spread this message of freedom. We don’t really get a lot of that in pop music. There’s some negativity and there’s not a lot of soul to it, there’s not a lot of depth. When there is, people are baring their soul and their emotions and that’s such a beautiful thing and I kind of want to promote more of that, promote inspiration. I especially ultimately want to inspire and empower women, because I think that we are the key to the changes that are happening on this planet. And just bringing more compassion, more love, more joy; if I can bring people those things, I’ve done my job and that’s really my goal. So wherever all this takes me is kind of up to the divine at this point. I believe this is my way of being able to serve humanity while I’m here in this short lifetime.
Rachelle: When you perform, what is your hope for the audience?
Sarah: I go into it with a meditation before and I just say “Whoever in the audience needs to hear this tonight, that’s who I’m performing for.” Instead of trying to get everyone to like me or trying not to mess up I just imagine that the people there are there for a reason, they’re there to hear my stuff and it’s going to trigger something in them or plant a seed, so I imagine I’m singing directly to those people. It definitely works really well, I don’t really get nervous anymore but that takes away all the extra pressure, just coming from a place of service. I’m certainly no angel, I can be very self-centered and narcissistic but it’s always a reminder for me of where I’m trying to go and who I’m trying to be.
Colin: You always remind yourself that people paid money, they could have been somewhere else.
Sarah: Yeah, just giving every single person my all and being as present as I can possibly be in those performances and just show them what I’ve got. And we have fun doing it! I think it’s part of our charm that we are sometimes a little bit awkward and goofy, I mean, I think so, maybe other people don’t…
Colin: The whole “Beauty and the Beast” thing, it fits.
You can check out the full interview by downloading the podcast or watching the recorded video stream, below. FYI that our part of the programming begins at minute 9.
A HUGE thank you to Rachelle, KPSU and PSU TV for making this happen, and for everyone who tuned in!