A common misconception some of us have when discovering so-called ‘new’ artists is assuming that they’ve suddenly appeared out of nowhere, like unseasoned rookies making their first attempt at musical. In general, this couldn’t be further from the truth. And when you think about, it’s somewhat condescending on our part to ignore all work an artist has done prior to the moment we first hear of them. About one month ago, Bon Iver won ‘Best New Artist’ at the Grammys. While many of us were very well aware of the music Justin Vernon was writing for several years now, he was however new to the Grammy world. By the same token, many artists live the independent grind daily, and when comes the first light of recognition; we callously define them as ‘new’. The fact that we’ve just discovered them doesn’t make them new.
New Jersey-born singer-songwriter Sarah Miles is currently working on her first full-length record, but as many artists will tell you, what can sometimes seems like the beginning is in fact a result of years and years of effort. Having already released three EPs, Sarah is now keen on sharing her first full-length record with the world. “My independent music career has actually been a long road, almost my whole life,” says Sarah. “Although I just graduated from college last year, I’ve been writing music and performing since I was in high school, and I started singing when I was a little girl in Princeton Girlchoir. People sometimes think music careers are made overnight, but most of the time they take time to grow. I am still growing as an artist.”
Sarah recently started working on pre-production with New York City producer, Dave Pittenger, and describes it as an experience completely fitting into her element. “He really gets the vibe I am going for,” says Miles about working for Pittenger. She also had the opportunity to collaborate on some of these songs with artists such as Matt Duke, Ingram Hill, Chris Ayer, Todd Carey, Amy Dalley, Steve Mandile, and Jason Spiewak. “The end result has been rewarding and I feel lucky to have worked with them. I wrote some of the songs on my own as well; the writing process is always cathartic for me, especially when I write about personal experiences.”
As far as the new record is concerned, Sarah can barely contain her emotions. “I am more excited about the new CD than I can even express in words. This will be my first full-length album and the quality of my newest songs feels better than ever. My previous EPs have allowed me to grow and evolve as an artist and songwriter, but now I feel totally ready to let out who I really am, creatively speaking. I just feel more confident in my sound and I’m not afraid to put my thoughts out into the world.”
“My upcoming album is my main concentration at the moment and I am bursting with excitement over it. I really am! I tend to write about love and heartbreak…a lot. What can I say, I’ve had my heart broken a few too many times and the songs tend to pour out during emotional times. This album has a bit of that, but also some new themes about breaking out, gaining the confidence to standing up for oneself and start a fresh new life.”
Despite sometimes drawing comparisons to some country artists, Sarah insists that it’s not intentional. “I’m a Jersey girl with a bit of twang, but I really don’t consider myself a country artist at all.” Instead, she credits her musical background as an explanation for her indie-pop genre. “I love adding tons of harmonies to my vocal tracks, which comes from years of singing in choirs and a cappella groups as a child and while in college. I’ve been living in NYC for the last year and I’ve met and played alongside of so many super-talented independent singer-songwriters from Brooklyn and the lower east side.”
“I had the good fortune to meet NYC musician/producer Brian Cassagnol the summer between my junior and senior year of college. He performed with me at The Bitter End and Rockwood Music Hall. We wrote together and he ultimately produced my Middle of Nowhere EP.”
Although Sarah agrees that being an independent artist these days can sometimes be difficult, she points out that it also can also has its advantages. “I really like having total control over my music and the final product that gets out to the public. There are so many outlets now on-line for independent artists, that if the music is good, opportunities will open up. It’s hard work for sure. I work seven days a week on my music, but the rewards are there and I am so happy doing what I am doing. I can’t imagine at this point doing anything else. Having a great manager certainly helps a lot too. Having Rock Ridge Music by my side has opened up so many opportunities. I think the hardest part of being independent is keeping up with expenses. Recording studio time, travel/touring costs, websites, videos, photography, all of these cost money. I am still trying to figure it all out.”
Sarah Miles’ new album is due out by the end of the year; no specific date has been given yet.
Please visit Sarah Miles Music for more artist news
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