Interview with Sara Bareilles

On Saturday, April 23rd, Sara Bareilles will be performing at Minglewood Hall, the last stop of her recent tour with Elizabeth & the Catapult and Ximena Sarinana, to help promote her sophomore album Kaleidoscope Heart.  The first single off her new album entitled “King of Anything” has proven to be as poppy but bitingly honest as her first release “Love Song”.  According to Epic’s press release:

“’King of Anything’ is sort of a ‘f*ck you’ song,” jokes Sara Bareilles.  “I’ve had more unsolicited advice on my life than I care to mention, and this was how I dealt with it. It felt empowering to turn that frustration into music, especially a song that doesn’t even sound angry. That’s sort of what “Love Song” was as well. Apparently, I don’t get over things very quickly.”

Well, that’s lucky for us because what emerges from Sara’s songwriting are sentiments and thoughts we all have felt, but not known how to put into words.  Sara on the other hand does so beautifully and with a smile.

Since age 6, Sara has been writing her own songs and integrating music into her life.  When asked about how she has stayed focused on music for so long, she stated that music is her passion in life and that she decided she was going to continue performing and writing songs regardless of whether or not she struck a record deal.  In fact, the recording of her first album Little Voice she deemed a bit “surreal”.  It was a new experience and was difficult to adapt to (though Sara laughs that she is slow to become accustomed to change anyway).  The recording of Kaleidoscope Heart was much easier though.  Although many artists experience what is often termed “sophomore record” pressure, Sara actually found this album easier to record, due in part to the talents of producer Neal Avron.

When you listen to Sara’s music, you realize that it is hard to compare her to many contemporary artists.  Sara is a melting pot of inspiration, much like Memphis music is today, and loves Paul Simon, Ben Folds, Billy Joel, and Fiona Apple.  She is especially partial to piano players, since she is one herself, but finds that she is drawn to other artists who are storytellers.  Sara places great value on her lyrics and writes each song herself.  She hopes her music is “soulful and honest” and hopes that her style pays homage to the artists that inspire her through her unique style of music and songwriting.

Everyone knows that there are many, many musicians in Cooper-Young, so what advice does Sara have for you?  First and foremost “play, play, play!”.  To succeed, Sara believes you must put the time into your music, because playing is a self-exploratory process.  Over time, you will be able to focus what you have to say and will gain clearer vision.  She also remarks that “the best lessons are the hard lessons”.

Sara, now age 31, has reached a new chapter in her life.  She notes that it is easy to stay in a bubble in college, but life is more rewarding when you get involved.  Recently, Sara has raised awareness about the devastation in Japan, participated in TOM’s “One Day without Shoes” and noted that she loves grassroots causes when you can really get involved.  She encourages others to do the same and give back.  One day, Sara hopes to start her own foundation but is taking the time to discover what that foundation should assist with.  If this is the first third of her life, I’m sure she has amazing things in store for us.

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Author: LampLighter

The voice of Cooper-Young, a vibrant, diverse neighborhood to live, work and play, in the heart of Midtown Memphis, Tennessee.

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