20-year-old Londoner is embracing on an emphatic journey with her debut EP 'Dead End World'.
As a collection of songs, the 'Dead End World' EP showcases the artists' abilities as a young songwriter. All written when she was a teenager, the tracks pay admiration to some of her musical influences whilst reflecting on the world around her as she navigated becoming an adult.
Since early 2020, Sarah has kept our attention through a series of intimate singles that have helped soften what turned into a tumultuous year. Tracks such as 'Dead End World' - a comment on the experience of living in Tory Britain - and 'Tangled' - an ode to love and heartbreak. Both of which emphasises her velvet vocals and her love for nostalgic sounds and classic blues.
With such a poignant EP, Vibez got the chance to caught up with the artist about her latest project, grassroots venues and her values as an artist.
Firstly, what has lockdown been like for you and how excited are you for the release of your debut EP?
Lockdown, overall, has been good. It’s weird seeping back into bits of life after being a hermit for so long but I think it’s enabled a new perspective none of us had before. It’s been weird releasing throughout this time too, but I think it will feel good when the full body of work is out!
Overall, what inspired you to write and produce this debut EP?
The EP is a collection of songs written between the ages of 15-17 which naturally at the time were just reflecting and questioning the world around me at that age. I started arranging and producing the demo’s before I realised that was really what I was doing and then last year spent a few months recording them as the songs that are out. All the backing vocals throughout the EP were the same ones recorded on an old iPad with Garageband I used to work on. I didn’t have a mic either so just used the microphone built into my headphones. I still end up using things from the demo in most of my songs as I think it’s good not to be too precious about ‘doing things properly.’
To me, any recording with the right dynamic and feel behind it should overpower the quality of the actual recording itself - although a mixer might not agree! I tried to make the EP a have a blend of quite clean-cut live instruments played by some of my friends in a studio and then less live orientated production added at home.
'Dead End World' is a key song of the EP and you wrote it three years ago - why did you decide to release it now and add it to your project?
It’s always been the title track of the first EP as a project. All the songs on it happen to be from that period of my life. I wrote it after going to an anti-racism protest the year following Trump becoming president and Brexit happening… I remember it feeling frustrating watching all these things happen and being too young to be able to vote at the time It felt like these people who didn't care about us were deciding our futures and we couldn't do anything about it.
How important is it for you as an artist to support grassroots venues and support the music industry throughout these times?
It’s very important to give back to these venues! I feel most inspired after seeing live music. I did my first ever gig at The Bedford the day before I got my GCSE results to a small seated crowd and it felt great to have that kind of space willing to support me so young and inexperienced. Also, places like The Windmill in Brixton support a lot of my friends and have great people coming out of London. I hope venues in London on the smaller side can survive the current situation happening. There’s a crowd funder to keep The Windmill going at this time, and another one for Brainchild Festival too which has put on so many amazing artists that have come out of south London over the past few years so if anyone reading this can donate to those places please do so!
As a young rising star, what inspires you to create music and, how would you describe your sound?
I feel most inspired to create music after finding a new song or artist that I connect with. It normally takes resonating with someone else’s work to remember the feeling I get when I resonate with my own. I would describe my sound as very honest.
If you weren't doing music, what do you think you would be pursuing instead?
I’m not very good at much else. My mum works in Psychology and I have always been very interested in different ways of thinking…I think that's essentially what music or any kind of art is. So maybe studying that or criminology could be cool. I think these are things I’d still like to do in my lifetime hopefully at some point.
If you had a chose, who would be your dream support for a concert, and would you collaborate with anyone in the near future?
I would love to support Damon Albarn in some way…he’s always been one my idols. I’d also love to collaborate with people in the near future, it would be new territory. It’s been slightly tricky trying to do that throughout lockdown but during this time I’ve discovered some new artists around my age like Sam Akpro and Taylor Skye who I love. I’ve planned to try a few things out with each of them and I love what they're both doing at the moment so hopefully something fun comes out it!
How important is it for you to show your values and what you stand for through your music?
I think for me it must come naturally in the music. It’s important to show your values and what you stand for through a platform that your music has given you, 100%. But as for the music itself… I think as I've gotten older my songs have become more telling that some of my values or standards for myself / the people around me haven’t always been healthy - and that's okay. I’m glad I have songs covering topics that are political and get people thinking, but I don’t think every song has to convey a straight message to people. I believe the song itself will always be some kind of lesson to whoever wrote it about their values whether it's conscious or not.
Finally, where do you see yourself after this EP?
Hopefully releasing a 2nd EP I have been working on for a bit too long sometime soon afterwards…I miss playing live shows with my friends, so I’m hoping in some way I can be doing that soon, even if it’s just to a select few!