An Interview with Rachael Sage
Rachael Sage, skilled vocalist and Award Winning NYC based recording artist, returns to the UK once more...
Intertwining infectiously catchy melodies with beautifully honest lyricism, Rachael’s new single ‘Spark’ is everything that we have come to expect from an artist whose creative talent knows no bounds. ‘Spark’ is set to be released on the 6th of July, with the remainder of her 13th Album ‘Myopia’ premiering this fall. We caught up with her to discuss musical influences, the role of music in her life, and the inspiration behind her newest project.
Hi Rachael! I hope you’re well. Thanks so much for having a chat with us. We hear you are getting ready to release your new single ‘Spark’ on the 6th July. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
“Spark” is a song about that magical moment when someone brand new captures your attention and draws you in, before you know each other well...when anticipation is still the dominant emotion and you can’t help but be honest because the eagerness to connect is so strong. Basically I’m trying to capture “the honeymoon period” in a pop song - before walls have had a chance to build or expectations have gotten in the way.
So ‘Myopia’ (Your Thirteenth Album?!) is being released this fall, can you give us any hints as to what we can expect?
“Myopia” is a very eclectic album musically, with a lot of dynamics and different styles of songs including pop, folk, and even a punk-rock Yiddish song! Sonically, I think its also a very warm record. I wrote and performed most of the songs on either electric and acoustic guitar, so I think it has an edgier sound overall from some of my prior piano-centric work.
What are some of the predominant themes on the album?
The underlying thread tying this album together - embodied in the title track - is the concept of vision, the various lenses through which we view the world, and how that impacts the way we treat one another as well as ourselves. Of course it wouldn’t be my album if I didn’t touch on a few sociopolitical themes as well; there’s a song about the Native American water protectors (“This Darkness”), a song that deconstructs the traditional image of the proverbial ‘cat lady’ from a feminist perspective (“Maybe She’ll Have Cats”), and a tune that hopefully de-stigmatizes hoarding (“Haunted By Objects”).
So let’s go back to the start… How did your relationship with music begin? Have you always wanted to be a musician?
I’ve been playing piano since I was two and a half years old...so it’s less about having wanted to be a musician than having been told at some point as a little kid that I already was one! I suppose that’s the most literal definition of playing music - I was literally just playing around with the keys, discovering patterns, creating melodies and quickly discovering that all of these sounds I was getting grabbed people’s attention, and seemed to also give them joy. So yes, I was a very early music addict and haven’t looked back since!
When did you decide that music was something that you wanted to pursue professionally?
I think I was about 10 or 11. I had already been writing music since I was five, and was always fascinated by pop entertainers I’d seen on TV or older musicians depicted in movies like “Coal Miner’s Daughter” or “The Buddy Holly Story”...but it was around 7th grade when I recognized - mainly through learning about Carole King’s music and career - that I might actually be able to be a professional songwriter. The idea of being on the radio captured my energy completely and I fully immersed myself in “the craft” after I received a four-track tape recorder for my Bat Mitzvah. I became obsessed with demo-ing my songs and gradually began learning how to record, arrange and produce my own music. By my late teens, I was recording the material that eventually comprised my 1st album “Morbid Romantic”.
What artists do you think have influenced you most as a creator and performer? Have these influences changed as you have evolved and grown as an artist?
Carole King was a huge influence, as I mentioned earlier. Her songs were soulful, heartfelt, catchy and melodic and I also really identified with her because she was a “nice Jewish girl” like me. Learning about her career and music made mine seem possible and my parents also loved her songs so it became a unifying reference point - that goal I had of writing timeless songs like she had, on the piano...but with my own voice.
How is your new track (and subsequent album) different to your previous releases?
“Spark” has a pulse, a drive throughout the song that makes you want to move - but it’s also very intimate at the same time. The chorus hopefully makes the listen want to jump up and down like one would at a festival, because it’s a big musical release and very danceable...which is definitely different for me!
As a whole, I think “Myopia” is a very timely album that hopefully resonates with all different types of listeners. I really tried to push myself in some new directions musically, and the electric guitar ambience on songs like “Snowed In” (about Edward Snowden) and “Olivia” (inspired by ‘Law & Order SVU’ actor Mariska Hargitay) hopefully create more of a sense of mood and mystery than some of my past work, which has often been very acoustic.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who has just started out in the music industry?
Make music you love foremost, and surround yourself with musicians/producers who are also compassionate, uplifting people. Life is way too short to collaborate with people who don’t respect you or who cut you down - however talented or successful they be!
Can you give us any hints about your future plans...?
I’m always working on new material, writing new music and generally aiming to tour new places. Some destinations on my wish-list include Russia, Australia and India. I’ve always thought every plan was best begun by dreaming, so you heard it here first!
To Rachael, music is like a canvas on which the experiences of life can painted. As an artist she is honest, and truthful, and truly innovative. ‘Spark’ is set to be released on July 6th, with the release of her complete album ‘Myopia’ coming this fall.