In an exclusive interview with the acclaimed singer-songwriter Sarah Burton, we had the opportunity to delve into her journey as an indie musician and explore the inspirations that fuel her creative process. With her unique style and sound, Sarah sets herself apart from other musicians, constantly evolving and exploring new musical territories. She opens up about the challenges she has faced along the way and shares her insights on overcoming them. Through her heartfelt lyrics and captivating melodies, Sarah aims to convey themes of intuition, adventure, love, and a desire for positive outcomes. Looking ahead, she envisions a future where her music transcends indie boundaries and reaches audiences worldwide.
As an indie musician, Sarah acknowledges the constant challenge of comparing oneself to others in the industry. Overcoming these mental blocks requires identifying the associated struggles and developing a step-by-step plan to tackle them. However, Sarah believes that true happiness lies in finding joy along the journey and fulfilling basic needs, such as laughter, friendship, physical activity, time spent in nature, and quality time with loved ones. By prioritizing these fundamental elements, Sarah finds that she thrives in all aspects of life.
Sarah Burton describes her journey as an indie musician as a compelling adventure filled with both triumphs and challenges. Music is more than just a career for Sarah; it’s a compulsion, an addiction that she cannot ignore. Drawing inspiration from life itself, Sarah finds meaning in every interaction, experience, and emotion, which eventually finds its way into her songs. Her music is driven by an overwhelming force, akin to love or addiction, that fuels her passion and dedication to pursue a career in music.
In this exclusive interview, Sarah Burton provides a glimpse into her extraordinary journey as an indie musician. Driven by her unwavering passion for music, she continually evolves as an artist, drawing inspiration from life’s intricacies. With her authentic and relatable style, Sarah Burton’s music resonates deeply with audiences, creating connections and inspiring listeners to embark on their own adventures. As her career progresses, Sarah envisions a future where her music transcends boundaries, reaching a global audience and leaving an indelible mark on the music industry. Check out the interview beneath and be sure to stream “I hate Goodbyes” afterward.
Can you tell us about your journey as an indie musician? What inspired you to pursue a career in music?
Being an indie musician is definitely a journey – one where your car breaks down alot. I’m only half joking. It’s definitely a grind, but that’s kind of just how life is (for most of us). The thing about being a musician is that if you are a musician you kindof can’t help it. Creating and performing are a compulsion, almost an addiction – I have tried to put music on the backburner and pursue other things, but the withdrawal from music is too much for me to bear. I am inspired by life – every little interaction, every moment experienced or witnessed, even bi-proxy experiences from people I come across – sometimes fleeting, sometimes deep – all these feelings, thoughts, stories, emotions and moments get stored away in my little squirrel brain and some of them end up in songs. Everything inspires me to create – but it’s not inspiration that drives me to pursue a career in music – it’s an overwhelming force, sometimes like love, sometimes like addiction, that drives me to pursue a career in music.
How would you describe your unique style and sound as an artist? What sets you apart from other musicians?
Have you ever noticed how Charlize Theron looks like a completely different person all the time? She changes her look drastically for different roles, and some of that is because she’s a great actor, but some of that I think is who she is. I don’t know her, personally, of course, but I’ve always identified with that ever-changing artistry. I write, first and foremost, and my writing can be characterized by thoughtful lyrics that are often quirky. There are plenty of hidden jokes and double meanings in there if you take the time to look. But I’m not over-ly poetic in my writing style.
Sound wise, I tend to write catchy pretty melodies, and it all ranges from intimate folk/country to harder grimey garage rock. The sound of the moment for me really depends on the songs I’ve written, who I’m playing with, and where they were written geographically — for example, I write more rock and country music in Texas, more pop in California, and more Adult-Contemporary and folk in Canada. I hesitate to try to put into words what sets me apart from other musicians, because, well, don’t they say comparison is the enemy of happiness? I’m just trying to be happy and hopefully make others happy too.
Could you share some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as an indie musician and how you overcame them?
Well, speaking of comparison, that’s one of the biggest challenges I think we face as indies: There is always someone doing better, catching a break, getting the deal, selling more, getting more followers, etc etc – it is so hard to just go with your own flow when it feels like things are flowing better for others. Most of the biggest challenges for me are mental blocks related to where I want to be and what successes I wish to gain. Overcoming these challenges is an ongoing practice, and for me there are two methods that seem to really help. The first one involves identifying what tangible things are associated with my mental struggles, and writing out a plan to tackle these items step by step. The second one, and I think the most important one, is to remind myself what I need in order to be happy. I used to equate my happiness with success, but I’ve come to learn that happiness comes from finding joy along the way and filling your days and hours with the basics that you need. In my case, I need (in addition to food, water, shelter) laughter, friendship, physical activity, time spent in nature and quality time with loved ones. If I focus on keeping those basic needs met, I tend to do better in all aspects of life.
What is your creative process like? How do you approach songwriting and composing music?
Maybe this sounds cheesy, but I don’t feel like I approach it – I feel like it approaches me. A little idea, like a lyric or a melody just pops into my head, and I work it out and play around with it until it’s something more. I usually make a little voice memo to get the idea down, and eventually when I have time and I’m in the mood, I just grab piano or guitar and build it into something more developed.
Are there any particular themes or messages that you aim to convey through your music? What inspires your lyrics?
Not deliberately, but I’m sure there are patterns. I don’t feel bound or guided by any particular idea, principle or ideology, but I think there’s a common thread, and I think it has a lot to do with intuition, adventure, love and a desire to make sense of things for a positive outcome.
What are your long-term goals as an indie musician? Where do you see yourself and your music in the next few years?
To be honest, I would love to not be indie. I would love to expand my team to work with great labels and booking agents. I see my music continuing to shape shift between Americana and Garage Rock, and I see myself touring Europe, Australia, Japan and anywhere else this crazy wonderful life can take me!