Posted On 07 Aug 2019
Get to know the emerging LA-based pop-artist, Sarah McGowan!
Her new EP, A Little Intimate, was released on June 28th.
Listen to Sarah’s new singles here:
“Leave You Lonely” – https://soundcloud.com/sarahmcgowan/leave-you-lonely-1
“It Felt Good” – https://soundcloud.com/sarahmcgowan-music/it-felt-good
Earlier this year NPR featured her side-by-side with Dolly Parton in its 51 Percent podcast, calling her song “Molly” a modern day “Jolene.” Medleyville.us wrote her debut album For Whom They Sing was “on par with recent efforts by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson”. Now with her new single, “It Felt Good”, Sarah McGowan introduces an infectious new sound, brighter and edgier than her previous folk-pop tunes.
A prolific songwriter, Sarah’s songs have been featured on NBC’s Superstore, Netflix’s Cable Girls, ABC’s Mistresses, and a trailer for CBC’s Hello Goodbye. Sarah’s music has been praised in publications such as The Huffington Post, Pop Matters, Diffuser.fm, and Elmore Magazine. Noisetrade introduced her as a “New + Notable Artist” in both 2015 and 2016 and she was awarded Pulse Music Television’s National Audience Spot- light Award in May 2016.
Also a trained music producer/engineer, Sarah co-produced both her EP and album. Sarah released her first EP of original songs, Indian Summer, in 2015. Her first full length album, For Whom They Sing, was released later that year.
Connect With Sarah McGowan Here:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you?
Hello! I’m currently at my home in Los Angeles.
Now that we are half-way through the year, how has 2019 been treating you? What are some goals that you have for yourself this year? How close are you to reaching them?
2019 has been an interesting year for me both personally and professionally. I’ve had lots of ups and downs and plenty of new experiences. One of my goals was to release new music and I did (my new EP A Little Intimate)! I also recently signed a licensing deal with Sweets & Pop Music, which had been a goal of mine for years. My new goal is to start playing more live shows in the Los Angeles area, which I am currently working on.
Growing up, how important was music in your life? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make?
Music has always been a part of my life. I grew up watching Disney movies and fell in love with singing all of the songs (especially from Pocahontas and The Little Mermaid). I later became interested in the folk singer-songwriters my mom would play on the way to school. I decided to pursue music when I saw a Sheryl Crow show when I was in high school. It blew me away and I knew that I wanted to be like Sheryl someday.
Was there ever a time when you thought about doing something else? If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing? Would you be as fulfilled in life?
For a while, I wanted to pursue medicine. I was an Emergency Medical Technician in high school and really enjoyed helping people. But after I finished a surgical externship after high school, I realized that pursuing medicine and making music just a hobby would leave me feeling like I lost a part of myself. So I made the decision (for better or worse) to pursue a career in music.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
I think the craziest part has been deciding to move from New York City to Los Angeles. After making several visits, I realized that the opportunities I had in LA were better than those in NYC. I had never considered moving so far away from my family, but it was the right decision.
Let’s talk about your newest EP that was just released called “A Little Intimate.” What was it like making this collection? Did anything surprise you about the overall process of making it?
It took me about 3 years to finish A Little Intimate. The songs were all written over the span of two years, and some were entirely created over FaceTime. These songs are my first experiences with co-writing, which has significantly improved my songwriting. I was surprised at how fun it is to collaborate with other writers/producers and I think the quality of the songs on the EP reflect that.
What are some of your favorite songs on this new EP? What was the inspiration for them?
My favorite song is “Leave You Lonely”. I wrote the song with my friend Anna Schulze. It originally was a song we were writing for synch licensing, but once we got to the emotional chorus, I realized how special and personal it is. It’s really raw for me at the moment. I also love “It Felt Good”. It took me several edits with my co-writers to really nail the lyrics and I think it’s so fun to sing.
Your music has been compared to some pretty incredible artists. What has that been like for you?
It’s incredibly flattering! It makes me want to work harder so I can be half as successful as an artist like Sara Bareilles.
Where can people see you perform next? Do you plan to tour at all this summer or later this year? What has been a favorite performance of yours so far?
I’m currently working on booking some intimate shows in Los Angeles, and then maybe some more in different cities! Any show where I can feel a connection with the audience is what makes this job worth it. My last show at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC was really special because I got to see a lot of my friends and family and watch them sing along with my songs.
How do you think you have grown as a musician since you first started making music?
As a performer and writer, I’ve become less shy. I’ve learned that being honest and bold are what draw people to you as an artist. And I also try not to take myself too seriously and still write songs that are funny and make people smile.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now? What has social media done for your career so far?
It’s a full-time job that I’m still trying to figure out! At the moment, I really love Instagram because I can post snapshots of my day (whether it’s a picture of my cat or a clip of a new song) and connect with my fans on a personal level. As much as social media can be overwhelming, I’ve been able to meet some great people who enjoy my music and support my career.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
I’m incredibly inspired by Sheryl Crow’s career. She’s been hustling for decades and her music is constantly evolving. Same with John Mayer—I love how he’s not afraid to play with genres. As a songwriter, I worship Taylor Swift’s honesty and mastery of hooks. And I’ve really been digging Amy Shark and Great Good Fine Ok. Working with any of those artists would be a DREAM.
If you had an unlimited budget and your schedule was free, what would your dream music video look like?
My dream music video tell a compelling story with beautiful imagery. I’m dying to make a music video for “Leave You Lonely”. I would love to share that story on film.
What has been the coolest place/TV show/commercial that you have heard a song of yours? Where would you still love to hear a future song of yours played?
One of the coolest moments of my career so far was when a friend sent me a phone recording of my first ad campaign. He was in his hotel room in Canada and heard my song “When I Come Home” on an ad for the TV show Hellogoodbye. I still get goosebumps when I think about my song being played in people’s homes. I would love to hear one of my songs on a movie trailer someday! That would be epic.
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
I hope that people can connect to my music. If I can make just one person happy, I’ve done my job.
Would you like to share anything else with our readers about your music?
Please follow my musical journey on my social media platforms! I’m working on some new tracks at the moment, so I may have some new music for you guys sooner than you think…