So here we are in what will be a heat wave weekend here in New England, USA. No matter the weather the music remains here @skopemag – which we could all use these days. Anyways today we link up with Sarah Christine. Colorado based up and coming singer-songwriter with proud Minneapolis roots, Sarah Christine draws influence from pop, indie, folk and electronic sounds to create a unique blend of original compositions. Sarah has been making music for a while now but we caught her from her new newest song – just released this month – “The Choice” which is about Sarah quitting her job to do music full time earlier this year. How many folks out there dream of that but they face this thing called bills & reality. Anyways I am fascinated by the music & story behind Sarah Christine so lets get right into this awesome Q&A!
@skopemag: Where are we talking from today July 16, 2020 and how is your week going so far?
SC: Hey Stoli! Today I’m hanging out in my studio in Denver, CO. Week is going well! I’ve been recording like crazy today and am also getting ready to head out to LA to The Van Speed Shop pick up my Sprinter van – this was supposed to get us from show to show through 2020. Although the concerts have been pushed to 2021, I’m stoked to finally pick it up and adventure away!
@skopemag: I am so curious how Covid-19 is effecting folks in the USA. How has your life been interrupted both personally and in your music career?
SC: Everyone is facing such challenging times for everyone. I’m honestly praying for everyone across the world right now. Lost jobs (I lost my day job), health issues of course, economic changes. It’s just been a whirl wind for all. As for me, I just can’t believe how …
March – tour is starting. Boulder, CO show happens. Denver is next.
COVID. HITS. HARD.
March 27 show. Tuft Theater. Denver. Canceled. Next Seattle. Canceled. Portland. Gone. LA. Minnesota. Gone. Gone. And Gone. The list started piling up until, there were no shows left. And an entire tour I worked so hard independently building across the US, in a blink of an eye, canceled.
But I’m not losing hope! I find peace and perseverance through singing and songwriting and in my heart, as tough as times are, I truly believe there is a new found respect for art, and once this lifts, the thing people are craving so hard, music, will be back like never before. I can’t wait to be a part of it. Until then, I’m just wishing everyone and their love ones health, safety and any happiness you can find during these times.
@skopemag: When you started your journey in music what inspired you to see it more as a career and less of a hobby?
SC: That’s a great question. There was one moment in particular where I knew this wasn’t just a hobby for me – I truly believe God gives us certain talents to use to better the world. Then, I think, he gives us intuition and a chance to listen. For 13 years I juggled a corporate role on top of music, knowing in my heart, there would be a time where I’d be pushed to put that aside and GO FOR IT. That push happened for me in May. However, the moment that inspired all of that was early on, in Breckenridge, Colorado, before I had ever sang for anyone, EVER! That’s also where my core theme ‘IN IT TOGETHER’ (which ironically and importantly the worlds theme now) was born.
So, here’s the quick 411 on the story. My best friend had come to visit me in college and saw a guitar under my tiny twin bed. I was playing college basketball at the time, so music was simply a hobby. She asked me, “OH MY GOSH, SARAH DO YOU SING?! WHAT THE HECK?!”. My reply … “Sort of? I mean, no? I’m not really sure but I’m learning the guitar”. She had me play. And sing. She about fell over. A few weeks later, my best girlfriends, since 4th grade, and I, ventured to Breck for our annual vacation and there was a songwriter playing at a wine bar we stopped at after a hike. He had a long set, 4 hours or so, with long interims where he’d take a breather. My bff talked to the manager of the wine bar (behind my back of course – I had the worst stage fright) and the next thing I knew, the manager comes on the mic. “Hey, Sarah, you can use the guitar, we hear you can sing, come on up”. I about died. I was so scared (thank God for that glass of wine (ha ha)). So, I got up, the bar was loud, I started signing, and the place went totally silent. After a few songs, I handed the guitar back to the musician. He smiled, winked at me, and said I should close out the set. A stranger came up to me after I played and said “I hope you don’t let that voice go to waste – you can do this”. I’ll never forget that moment. I thank that guitar player for giving me the music fuel, and a quick kick in the rear, I needed to face my fear and get on stage. I knew at that moment, I should go for it.
@skopemag: What inspires you to create music – such as the environment, your mood, etc. and do you work with any other musicians in particular?
SC: Such a good question! Really, all of it! It could be a conversation with a friend that spikes a hook in my head. It could be a bummer of a day or an amazing moment. I honestly write all the time but certain moments happen where it’s just like – stop, drop, and roll. Time to write. I am a bit weird where I tend to write hooks first and then the verses. A bit backwards. But, I am weird, so it works :).
One person I’d love to highlight that I adore working with is Adam Tucker with Signaturetone Recording in Minneapolis (my home town). He mixes and masters my music and is such an amazing partner. Gene Foley, with Foley Entertainment, has also been absolutely amazing to work with!
@skopemag: Really loving your new single “The Choice”? How long did it take from being a tune in your head to being released and where did you record it?
SC: Thanks, Stoli! I loved making, ‘The Choice’. I have a 4 song EP coming out, and ‘The Choice’ is the single. It’s more of an anthem for people who lost their job during the pandemic. The others are ballads, a bit darker. As far as ‘The Choice’, I had a situation with my former employer where after 13 years, due to the pandemic, I was faced with a decision to stay at my role but in order to do so, I’d need to lay off a significant amount of our staff, demote some folks, and also move into a different role myself, or, leave. I couldn’t put my career above anyone else, so I chose to sign the lay-off paperwork and dive into bringing music to the world. So many people have faced awful employment situations because of COVID-19, that I thought it could be an anthem that helps everyone take some power back, where we all lost it. When that happened to me (a matter of days), ‘The Choice’ lyrics were brought to life and about a week later I had the song in Adam’s hands to mix/master. The song was recorded in my home studio in Denver, CO.
@skopemag: “The Choice” is about you quitting your job to do music full time earlier this year. Anyone with a 9-5 has this dream as long as they can still afford to live. What was the moment that you decided you could actually make this a reality?
SC: To be really honest, I had been saving all of my pennies for a few years so that when the moment was right, I’d have a tiny cushion to live off of until things got rolling. When COVID hit and the decision to make a change happened, my tour at that time wasn’t totally canceled, so I tallied up what I’d project making off of those shows, and I thought, okay, I’m going to be okay. What’s weird is, when the shows started canceling, I stayed calm and deep down had this sense of peace – like the world was speaking to me – “You’re doing the right thing now, Sarah, the universe will provide”. I’ve had to have so much trust in that, and it has. Livestreams, house concerts that are COVID compliant, generous donations, have been a source for me during what has been the bottom out of music. I think the point is, believe in yourself, NEVER QUIT, trust your gut, and do what you love, and the moment to just do it will never be the right moment, it’ll just be the moment you decide to go all in. I was so scared, but now that I’ve been in it a few months, all in, I have zero regrets. You won’t either. The universe will provide. Just believe.
@skopemag: Have you considered making a music video for “The Choice” and what would the visuals look like to portray the song?
SC: Yes! I actually just did and it is finally up on YouTube! Check it out under Sarah Christine ‘The Choice’! Or, you can also view it on my Instagram account @sarahchristinemplsmusic.
@skopemag: Now that you do music full time – how much time per week do you put into it?
SC: The quote “you’ll never work a day in your life when you do what you love” – I never really believed it. Until now. I honestly would tell you all day every day – in any capacity. Networking. Writing music. Learning the business. Marketing. Recording. All of it – as an independent artist. But for the first time in my life, I don’t feel like I’m working. Even if it’s sunrise to sunset. It’s just pure passion and that’s how you know it’s right. It’s amazing. I wish if for everyone reading this. You can do it!
@skopemag: Social media is crucial in all industries these days. What platforms do you use most for music promo and why?
SC: I love the social platforms mainly because you can build a one-on-one relationship with people who relate to your music. I personally really like Instagram (@sarahchristinemplsmusic) – I find it easy to work with and I love having conversations through it. Facebook is another platform I use often (although I should probably be using it more).
@skopemag: When you are not making music what else do you enjoy doing?
SC: I am super social, so I love anything involving friends and family get togethers. My rescue pup, Masin, is also by best bud. We love chillin’ together. I am also a lover of nature and all things outdoors, which is why I moved from Minneapolis to Colorado, to explore the mountains. If you haven’t come to visit yet, the hiking, rafting, camping, mountain biking, and just the beauty here in general, is amazing. I’m staring out the studio window right now at the sunset over the Rockies in Denver – it’s stunning. Honestly if you do visit, hit me up on Instagram, and I’ll most likely find a way to buy you a beer and welcome you to town :).
@skopemag: We are about halfway done with 2020. What and how would you like to accomplish in life & music before this year is over?
SC: Wow, crazy! Time flies, even when in quarantine, huh! Personally, I’m looking to spend more time with my Mom, as soon as possible, she’s battling cancer right now and it’s been tough going through that with COVID-19. It’s been so difficult not being able to just give her the biggest hug. But, she’s a trooper and we are getting through! Prayers please! Aside from that, I’m also planning to move to Aspen, CO, the city I have fallen in love with since moving to Colorado, this August, so I’m stoked to head further west. As for music, I am looking forward to my new EP release and planning for that, as well as working on a lot of custom love songs / wedding songs I absolutely adore putting together for couples! If you’d like to check out more about that, just head to my website, www.sarahchrsitinempls.com and click on weddings, and we can hook up from there on more info. I hope the end of the year is amazing for you too, Stoli and everyone at the mag! And, thank you so much for this interview – truly grateful to be part of the @skopemag family now!
IN IT TOGETHER! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND FOR LISTENING! – SC