Sarah McGuinness Speaks About Glamour and Her Debut Album
Emmy nominated British producer, director, composer and screenwriter, speaks to Press Party about her musical alter-ego, glamour and what it means to be 'unbroken'
Firstly, can you (in a nutshell) tell us about your career to date?
Seven years old - music, then theatre, then college, more theatre, then comedy, back to music, then film, and back to music again, still learning every day and only ninety three!!
An impressive career as a global movie producer and director, why step into music?
Music informs everything I do, always has. I write the music for every project I do, as well as for other people. I went back to theatre and film as a way to use my music.
We love your style, very silver screen glamour, is that what you were aiming for?
Absolutely – I love those pulp fiction covers where sexy, powerful, sassy women looked out at us, handbag of cash or gun in hand, without self-doubt and worry – who wouldn’t want to try to be like that?
Would you say you’re like an Emma Peel yourself?
I wish! – nuclear scientist, martial arts expert, rapier wit and model looks?? Working on the science bit…
How important do you think glamour is for women today? Do those lashes and mascara make a difference to you think?
I think it’s wonderful to realise we can make ourselves into what we want to be. It’s taken me a long time but at least I feel I own this, and we can all do it. That’s what I love about the 1960’s looks, big hair and lashes will make any girl feel good. Yes it’s something of a mask, but hey, we can be what we dream in those, and how liberating that is!
Your press release tells us that you’ve taken on an alter ego for this album project , why is that? And who is the real woman behind that dark bob?
It’s all me, just different aspects, which are based on my interactions with all the people in my life, going right back to the beginning. I wanted to embody different women with their different stories for each song, with a common thread of emancipation and confidence, but each with a distinct and different personality. I’m filming each song as a cross between a pop video and a short film, like chapters in a book.
Can you give us an insight into the album? It’s called ‘Unbroken’,what does unbroken mean?
It means – like so many of us are suddenly realising – that you have to set your own boundaries, define yourself as a woman in your own way, and not in a way that makes us feel silenced, threatened, or ‘pushy’ – that wonderfully dangerous word that makes us all shut up and sit down. No more acting like peace-keepers when it goes against our own needs and desires. Surviving all that, coming out the other side, and still wanting to say something and fight for it and for the people we love – that’s what the song is about.
What can we expect to find musically on the album?
A mixture of the styles I love and which have kept me going when times were difficult: John Barry soundtracks from Bond scores to the Ipcress file, all that suspense and sexiness, the power of Gloria Gaynor doing “I Will Survive”, the catchy quirkiness of Goldfrapp and the intrigue of Portishead, the soothing beauty of Zero 7, the class of Dusty Springfield. The songs that I can play when driving down the motorway I the middle of the night letting off steam, singing at the top of my voice. That’s what I hope you’ll find.
Your first single from the album is called ‘Glad You’re Gone’, what’s the story behind that?
It was written about someone who gas-lighted me when I was younger and how it affected my confidence for years. It was such a relief to identify what had happened and realise that I wasn’t crazy after all. Writing it was a joyous release and I hope people can enjoy the sound of that - I know there are so many of us who have experienced it.
What does 2018 hold for Sarah McGuinness?
As much performing and recording as I can cram in! It’s such a joy to do this now, I don’t want to miss one single moment.
The debut album ‘Unbroken’ from Sarah McGuinness is released on 17 November on
Right Track Music through Universal