PHOTO CREDIT: Cameron Powell
THE next couple of weeks are going to be rather…
extraordinary and busy for Sarah Darling. She has a huge gig at Hyde Park and will play alongside, among others, Paul Simon! Darling has been talking with me about her latest single, Diamonds, and what its story is; recording it in Nashville and when she started to get involved with Country music.
She reveals whether more material is coming and what other tour dates are occurring; which three albums mean the most to her; a couple of new acts we need to get involved with – Darling tells me about her ambitions for the remainder of this year.
Hi, Sarah. How are you? How has your week been?
Hello and thank you for the interview! It’s been a wonderful week of resting and spending time with family. I’m a girl of balance and love the recharge time. I’ve been quite the world traveller lately.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
Hello. My name is Sarah Darling - that’s my real last name! Welcome to my world of Country music meets the wide open spaces. It’s music that allows you to really escape somewhere beautiful through a story. If you get a chance, check out Diamonds, Where Cowboys Ride and Halley’s Comet and you will get to know me in about twelve minutes!
Diamonds is your new single. What is the story behind it?
Diamonds is a very special tune. I wrote it with a really good friend, Jessica Sharman from the U.K.
We sat on my front porch in Tennessee watching the sun go and wrote the words to this song. It’s the idea that not everything beautiful happens in an instant. There’s a process to everything - and it’s what you do in the process that makes it all worthwhile. It’s really been my life and my experience of chasing my dream in the music industry. I wouldn’t change a thing to the process of how I’ve done things.
It’s led me to far more beauty than I could have ever imagined.
Is it true the song was recorded in Nashville? How cool was it recording there?!
Yes. Diamonds was recorded in Nashville with producer Mark Bright at Starstruck Studios. He’s one of those producers I had always dreamed about working with. Honestly, recording in Nashville is one of the most magical experiences. You basically get the most creative people in a room and they bring a song to life. I always wish I could bring everyone in the room to watch the process because it’s so wonderful.
It seems like there are similar lyrical strands to Wasted. Do you see the two songs as companion pieces?
A lot of my music touches on certain subjects I’ve been finding. I think it’s great to be a storyteller and messenger. Hopefully, the words really speak to somebody.
Are there going to be more tracks coming before the end of the year? What are you working on?
I’ve been writing like crazy the last few months. We will be announcing new music very soon.
It seems Country music plays a big role in your life. Is it a genre you are drawn to?
My grandfather was a big Country music fan and introduced me quite young. Country reminds me of home and all the wonderful memories of family. I love bringing that aspect into what I do every day.
I notice Pop elements coming into your current material. Who do you count as musical influences?
I’ve always been a blend of all my influences. I love great music and don’t even create genres anymore. I grew up listening to Joni Mitchell, the Eagles and Shania Twain. I’m a product of all the music that’s influenced me over the years.
Will there be any live dates coming up? Where can we see you play?
Yes. I’m playing my biggest show to date July 15 with Paul Simon and James Taylor at Hyde Park for British Summer Time! July 22 at SummerTyne Festival; July 23 at River Town and August 26 at the Cottingham Folk Festival.
Do you have any ambitions to fulfil before the end of the year?
I have an ambition to elevate, musically. I absolutely loved making my last album and now it’s the fun part of creating a new world for people to enjoy. Creating is hard and wonderful all at the same time.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
I had someone share how Diamonds really made them feel uplifted in a very dark time in their life. That’s what music is supposed to do.
Which three albums mean the most to you, would you say?
Raising Sand - Alison Krauss and Robert Plant
The Woman in Me - Shania Twain
X & Y - Coldplay
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Always be yourself and beautiful things will happen. It’s not a race - and allowing yourself to make something that’s truly ‘you’ will make all the difference.
IN THIS PHOTO: Gabrielle Aplin
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I always try to get an escape just to shut down my mind. I love to cook and go on hikes as well as travel to new far off land!
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Ward Thomas - Lie Like Me. I love these girls and this new release!
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