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INTERVIEW: Sarah Sharp

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Right Through Me?”

My Austin drummer, Masumi Jones called me so excited about a Cuban born, Brazil based pianist she had heard the night before named Yaniel Matos. Masumi asked if she and Daniel Durham could bring Yaniel over for a jam session, so they could use the 1929 Steinway Grand I have from my mother. The kids had just gone back to school, so it felt totally decadent and free to open a bottle of prosecco in the middle of the day and fold laundry while they jammed in my living room. At the end, we played one of my songs, which Yaniel totally got and added his own flavor to. Then we all decided to write a song together. “Right Through Me” came out 90% fully-formed.  Yaniel left from my house to head to the airport and go back to Brazil. As soon as he arrived back home, he reached out about the idea of us making a record together. We did, and that record will come out as the 4th EP in a series of 4 Eps I’m releasing over the course of a year.

Did any event, in particular, inspire you to write this song? 

I was in the grip of a soul connection that made me believe in past lives when I wrote this song. It was a life/reality changer and a complete energetic upheaval of my life.

Can you talk to us more about your video for “Pieces”?

I just released two videos in collaboration with Top Girl Productions and the Lenz Twins. I would love to work with them again on something for this song. Check out the most recent one, “Pieces”!

The single comes off your new EP Dream – what’s the story behind the title? 

I’ve been dealing a lot with the idea of the shadow self and integrating the unconscious as much as possible on the conscious level, in order to not be my ego’s bitch.

How was the recording and writing process? 

The song flew out. Then I demoed it in Brazil when I went to work with Yaniel. Yaniel and I recorded a VERY different version of “Right Through Me” for the record we made. This version was what happened in the moment when I was in the studio with Phoebe Hunt, her band, and Austin guitar player Wilson Marks.  The thing the drummer is hitting on 2 and 4 is a pizza pan. Mixing nightmare, but Andrew Hernandez pulled the mix together regardless.

What was it like to work with Phoebe Hunt and how did that relationship develop? 

Phoebe and I go pretty far back in Austin and I adore her. Actually, the last record I released when Slim Richey  was alive and I was still singing with him in Jitterbug Vipers was called “Phoebe’s Dream” because of her. One night, we were trying a new viper song I had just written and I wanted to use a 1930/40’s sounding name, like “Maude” in the introduction, but it needed to be two syllables. When we were playing it live for the 1st time, Phoebe happened to walk into the club. Right as I was singing the intro,  ”Did you ever hear the story of dear….”  I filled in the name “Phoebe” as I made eye contact with her. That song ended up being the title track to the record.

I played a show in Arkansas where Phoebe was the band leader and her players were the house band for a handful of songwriters all on the same bill.  I loved playing with her band so much.  Phoebe also knew and understood a lot about the transition I was going through and where these new songs were coming from. We decided in Arkansas that I needed to get to New York to make a record with her.  Wilson and I slept in the living room of her Bed-Stuy Brooklyn band house which was just around the corner from the studio.

How much did she get to influence the album? 

Phoebe says herself that she just puts all the right people together and feeds them.  There’s a lot of truth to that. She’s a great cook and she sets a wonderful vibe. It’s very much a sense that all of us working with Phoebe are all from the same tribe and fully there to lift up whatever is the artistic endeavor of the moment.

What role does Austin play in your writing? 

Hmmmm… Well, Austin is a huge part of my identity, my life, and my daily joys and struggles and what I write is quite open and personal, so I think it plays a big role.

How did tragedy serve as an inspiration for songs and lyrics on this record?  

The last song, “Kidding” is about the end of my marriage, which was a nearly 20-year relationship.  I actually finished the song with help from my Ex on the chords and as we were working on it, I changed the lyrics to be written from his perspective. I’m not sure whether our transition is a tragedy or simply bittersweet transition.  “Easy” is about the balance of light and dark, love and loss, ying and yang and similar to that theme are the love songs, which are the victory on the other side of tragedy…which could only be as sweet as it is having known the other end of the spectrum.

Any plans to hit the road? 

I’m trying to manifest that. The intention is set. Have band, will travel!

What else is happening next in Sarah Sharp’s world?

Just trying to keep the dream alive!  I want to live the shit out of each day in complete gratitude, be super present with my kids, and keep a high vibration. I’m hopeful about romance, travel, creativity, and abundance, including continued abundance of good health for myself and my loved ones.  I just did my first day as a volunteer canvassing for the Beto O’Rourke senate campaign and I’m about to volunteer with voter registration in low turnout areas. I will continue to work weekly at a food pantry where I’ve worked for almost 6 years.

Thank y’all so much for your time and interest!  I hope everyone actually listens to the music.  Hard for people to get around to these days.  I understand, but I hope you listen.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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