Powerhouse Vocalist, SARAH SIMMONS Discusses Her Recent Album “Freedom”, Being On The Voice and More!!
Posted On 29 Dec 2016
Sarah is a former finalist on The Voice and her sound is reminiscent of the queens of soul with a little rock attitude thrown in — think Janis Joplin, Tina Turner, Stevie Nicks — her five-octave range is phenomenal.
She’s had previous press mentions from RollingStone.com, Examiner.com, Entertainment Weekly and Newsday —
“Effortlessly flowing from smooth notes to her falsetto and then adding a pleasantly unexpected gruff, Sarah brings down the house. I mean, really. The girl is ridiculous.” – Samanthan Highfill, Entertainment Weekly
Learn more about Sarah in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! Now that we are well into the fall of 2016, what are some words you would use to describe this year? What have been some of the highlights for you and your music? What are you most excited about for 2017?
Words to describe this year would be a whirlwind of excitement. Some of the biggest highlights of this year have been my album release, music video release and playing on tour for fans that I’ve been wanting to play for for years! My band and I have been traveling all over the country meeting inspirational people, and it has only just begun! Also, meeting people this year I grew up personally listening too like Alison Krauss, Eddie Vedder, and so many more! So grateful!
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
I knew I wanted to be a musician ever since I heard Ella Fitzgerald singing “I’ll Be Seeing You.” My passion for music expanded as I started to discover different artist’s such as Led Zeppelin, Stevie Nix, Eddie Vedder, and so many more! The first time I ever performed was when I was in 5th grade and my teacher Mrs. Bretz encouraged me to get on stage for this talent show and I sang a capella “I’ve Got Rhythm,” and she and all the students went to my Mom and asked her what I was doing with singing. I started vocal lessons that same year learning about all different sounds of music and didn’t want to do anything else!
How would you describe your time on 2013 season of The Voice? What do you think was the biggest lesson you learned from being on the show? Would you do it again? Would you change anything about your performance or something else if you were on it again?
It was an amazing experience. It is a lot longer than people think. I was on the show for 8 1/2 months. I learned that everything is a journey and that the show was actually just an experience to the next step. I am so grateful for The Voice and the publicity it brought to my personal music and fans. I wouldn’t change anything of what happened.
How do you think your music has grown through the years? What has changed about the way you create music?
I have been writing music since I was very young, but finally got to compile all my songs together and make my album come to life. I don’t know if anything has changed in the way I create music rather than just going through more life experiences from loss and pain, to finding love, and more.
Let’s talk about your latest collection, “Freedom” which was recently released. What did it feel like to finally put your debut full-length album? What was the inspiration behind this album? How long did it take to put it together?
The album took me 2 years to finish. It being the first album I put out, I had to make sure everything was just right and to give it the time it needed. My inspiration for this album was really from what I was going through. I was releasing myself of people, places and things that were toxic in my life and I was trying to find peace when writing this album. That is what the whole album is really about- is freeing yourself from anything that keeps you from being you and being happy.
What are some of your favorite songs on “Freedom”? Which songs stand out to you as the most memorable to create?
Definitely the song that stands out to me the most is “Staring At The Sun.” I wrote this song on top of my car in the middle of nowhere Arizona and my best friend Sean who had passed away 2 years prior- I felt his spirit visit me and the words just came to me almost like he gave me the words to find peace with the pain I was feeling. I had the honor to be able to make this song come to life in a music video staring the amazing legendary actor Wes Studi in Albuquerque, NM. You can watch it on Youtube.
What if anything has surprised you about the music industry? What do you think has been your biggest challenge? And what do you think has come really naturally to you?
I think the biggest challenge is persevering through the humble beginnings. The challenge of keeping myself balanced, not allowing myself to get too excited; especially when so many promises are made. As you already know, this industry is a roller coaster but really what comes naturally to me is appreciating the everyday of getting to do what I love and what I’m passionate about. I never want to go back and regret not giving this my best. Have to be happy with the journey and the experiences along the way.
Who are some of your favorite artists and what bands continue to inspire you and your music? Who would you still love to work with in the future?
Eddie Vedder, Lisa Gerrard, Led Zeppelin, Heart, Fleetwood Mac… honestly too many to list. It has always been a dream of mine to collaborate with Eddie Vedder and Allison Krauss, especially after getting to meet them. I also look forward to getting into more electronic music outlets, and currently looking into remix and edm compositions. Also, throughout my life I continue to be inspired by music from film and TV. Always have wanted to experiment with film scores and compositions, and have recently been working with some composers. Some of my favorite music is from what I have heard growing up watching movies.
How excited are you to be heading out on tour this month? Where in particular are you looking forward to playing at?
My band and I are so excited to be on tour! We just finished our east coast tour and now on our west coast tour starting today actually! I am really looking forward to playing LA at The Hotel Cafe Nov 18th and San Francisco Nov 22nd! I love the west coast!
When you aren’t performing, working in the studio, what do you like to do for fun? How do you unwind from it all?
I like to go out and socialize, drink a glass of wine, maybe a couple!
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
I hope that the message of my music is hope and positive light and helping others realize the freedom they can have no matter what religion, sexuality, race or anything but that we all should strive to truly be ourselves.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
I like to think I’m as genuine with my music as I am with my personal life. I aspire to reflect my music in my day to day life. I want to be the same person on stage as I am off stage. I feel the need to share the love I’ve been so freely given, I feel like that is my duty as a human being.