Words by Keane Fletcher
Singer-songwriter-instrumentalist Sarah Rose knows a thing or two about writing great songs. I mean, she's been doing it since she was 4 for crying out loud, so she has well and truly earned her stripes. Case in point her bristling new folk-inflected pop single 'Break The Rules', which takes its inspiration from the most unlikely of sources.
[Break The Rules] is a bit of fun - the story of a high school girl falling for the geek - I've probably watched too many trashy American movies! I hope this song will put listeners in a good mood when they hear it!
Full of sparkling production and tongue-in-cheek lyrics 'Break The Rules' is the latest in a long line of releases from the artist who splits her time between Winchester in the UK and right here in Tazzie. That's a helluva flight people! But despite her prolific output, frequent flyer milage, and general high achiever-ness, she even manages to find the time to mentor up-and-coming songwriting students through her position as lecturer at Winchester University. And all I've done is put on pants today. Lets hope that all these singles she's been spitting out can coalesce themselves into a longer release, because Sarah, I know you're busy but...we want more!
To celebrate the release of 'Break The Rules', we sat down with Sarah Rose to talk all things music, inspo, and what being an songwriting wizard means to her. Check it out below!
1- How did you get started in music?
My parents listened to a lot of music which I soaked up in my childhood. The Police, the Eurythmics, Joni Mitchell... I started experimenting with songwriting as a child, and recorded ideas on a 4-track as a teen. However I didn't take this any further until my early twenties - following a classical musical education I knew this wasn't my path and that songwriting and performing in the contemporary music world was the path for me.
2- How would you describe your sound? What are your musical influences?
For me its about the song - I fuse different genres and have my own songwriting style, which I recognise even in songs I've written for other people. I love Kate Bush and Imogen Heap for their melodies. I was moved by Jewel's debut album - the simplicity and honesty, and currently I'm inspired sonically by Caroline Polachek - singer songwriter meets modern pop.
3- How does the songwriting process usually work for you? Do you have a routine when it comes to writing and recording or does inspiration usually take you by surprise?
Often a melody with a key lyric comes to me in the night or when I'm not expecting it - when this happens I record it and put it to one side until I have the time to immerse myself in the idea and craft it into a full song. I also enjoy co-writing with other writers and producers where you sit down and say, 'let's write something!' you find a source of inspiration, have a laugh and go from there. My duet 'Doing It for You' co-written with Eric Walker, was initially inspired by a piece of art.
4- Can you tell us a bit about your latest release ‘Break The Rules’? How did the idea come about? What are you hoping listeners take away from this song?
This song came to me as a chorus idea... It's a bit of fun - the story of a high school girl falling for the geek - I've probably watched too many trashy American movies! I hope this song will put listeners in a good mood when they hear it! Sonically its inspired by an influential song from my past - 'Crash' by The Primitives.
5- Not only are you a singer-songwriter in your own right, you also and teach up-and-coming musicians as a lecturer at Winchester University. How did you get started with that? And how important to you is passing down your knowledge to the next generation?
I started out working with the university through a local music charity I was involved with. I love sharing my knowledge with the next generation - especially when it comes to songwriting. Through my own experience, numerous books and songwriting camps I've built up a wealth of knowledge about the craft. I wish I'd had access to this when I started out - perhaps it wasn't available then, or perhaps I just didn't know about it. You don't 'teach' songwriting but you can talk about the craft, and ways of finding inspiration in places you might not expect.
6- In your opinion, how do you feel the Internet has impacted the music industry? Are streaming and video services like YouTube, Spotify and Soundcloud making things easier? Or is it harder than ever for new artists to get their music out there and be noticed?
I think it works both ways - in some ways its fantastic because anybody can get their music out there and share it with the world - without gatekeepers standing in the way. On the other hand there is such a wealth of music being released all the time it can be hard to stand out. I guess you need your other focus - gigging / songwriting / producing to go alongside releasing your music. It also seems that owning your own masters is becoming more important than ever - this may deter independent artists from signing deals, unless they're sure the label is going to work for them.
7- You’ve been releasing a steady stream of singles over the last year. Does this mean we can expect an album sometime soon?
I am definitely going to release a concept album - something that really connects with my musical roots. I'm sowing the seeds of ideas at the moment so watch this space
8- What's next for you? Where do you hope to see yourself in a year’s time?
I'm working on a variety of projects currently including a singer/songwriter meets EDM track (I love this stuff). I hope by Autumn 2022 however my album will be well under way!
Thanks for stopping by Hipland!