I caught up with SaraBeth recently for a chat and she kindly took break from Song writing with her best friend Glen.
Best friend is Glen Mitchell (http://www.reverbnation.com/glenmitchell) who moved from the UK to Nashville about 14 years ago and Glen has toured with the many artists, playing lead guitar and on many occasions taking the role of band leader: Darius Rucker, Billy Currington & Lonestar to name a few.
So you are originally from Texas, but now living in Nashville
Yes I moved to Nashville in last November, but it was really hard to leave Texas.
Are you enjoying the Nashville experience?
I am, Nashville is like a small town in a big city, so much fun stuff to do, but it’s so much smaller than Dallas
We’ve recently learnt that the ACM Awards (Academy of Country Music 50th Awards) are going to be held in Dallas in 2015, being a Texan, does that make you proud?
Yes, Texans have a lot of pride and its really cool that’s it going to be held in Dallas. It means that I get to go home, see family and have a work trip that I can share with them. If there are shows I am playing (fingers crossed I’ll be on the ACMs) its really exciting, friends and family can be part of it.
Well I am hoping you can show me around!
I was reading in a recent interview (with our friends gugigguide), that you like travel, can you tell me a bit about that
Oh yes, I love to travel, and I have done lots of travel both outside and inside the US. I am also a keen runner, my aunt did 12 marathons in 12 months raising money for cancer research, and I joined for ½ a marathon in Lisbon.
I really like international runs; my whole family did a France run from Nice to Cannes
I actually also studied in the UK at the Imperial College, my first trip to the UK was in High School and we visited England and Scotland, I fell in love and had to keep coming back.
I think I’ve been to about 25 different countries, its cool to get a different perspective other than what you are used to. You realise world is a really big place and there are so may different way of doing things, it really inspires me
How is song writing for you? Does it come naturally or do you need to work at it?
It really doesn’t come very naturally to me, it does more and more as I work at it, song writing can be really intimidating, and you really have to come out of your shell.
Sometimes it like, you think an idea is so dumb, so you don’t say anything and then someone else says what you are thinking and it’s a brilliant idea and your like why didn’t I say that!
I really owe a lot of my songwriting, songwriting sessions and the reason I have gotten better to Glen, he has been really great at explaining & walking me though how to write a good song. He also introduced me to some phenomenal writers I wouldn’t have met without him.
So, you are songwriting right now, how does that work for you? Is it planned like a days work and you think ok today I’ll write a song, or are you always noting things down?
Actually it’s a bit of a combination; if we are on the road we are always writing. When I’m in Nashville I view songwriting as a job and I try and set up as many writing sessions as I can.
I try to come with ideas and I journal everyday, even if its only 10 minutes. I write what I am thinking, whether it sounds dumb or bizarre. But, sometime you come back a few days later and think that it could have an interesting spin and make a great song. Sometimes someone can make a comment and I’ll make a note in my phone and I’m like I’m taking that!
I am really enjoying Kickin’ & Screamin’ you must be proud of that
I wasn’t sure at first if it was a song I wanted to cut for the project, I was cutting 3 and I thought, ok I’ll cut it as a 3rd song, I liked the lyrics and then it ended up being my first single!
You first hear a song just with an acoustic guitar and you’re not always sure how its going to turn out, then you hear it with drums and base and a fiddle and that fun stuff, you get into a studio with all the musicians and it takes on a life of its own
I was reading a Blog your brother had written, and it mentioned seeing you on CMT on Christmas day! That must have been cool, what was it like filming video?
Once you have decided on a your single, people want to see videos, and many to go to YouTube (often the only way international fans can see my video)
The video process is a lot of fun, but its very different, you have to go into acting mode and I’m not an actress! For videos its not just performance it’s acting out a scene whether you are fixing a truck, falling in love you have to get into a character.
It can be hard work; it took a lot of takes and a really good director! To get all of it out of me
Watch Kickin’ and Screamin’ here
It must be hard work, just because you are a singer doesn’t mean you can be a good actress, You cant be good at everything, everyone has their own strengths
I think people forget, in this day and age, people try to do too much, I feel like focus on what your really good and ask for help on things your no so good at.
I am a Singer and a songwriter and I try and focus on those and being the best I can be
So SaraBeth what’s next?
It’s really exciting I have a 6 track EP, which I have just done the photo-shoot for and the tracks have just been mastered, and it should be out in the summer (no release date yet)
Also, Glen & I have just demoed 5 songs of ours, I am really excited about that
Both project have that a little bit of attitude!!
Who do you look at think that’s the kind of career I want, who do you look up to in the music industry?
That’s a much better way to word it, people normally just ask who are your musical influences, and I have loads of them from all different genres.
I would say Faith Hill is someone I look up to, she is so talented, for each album she has grown, and she a great business mind.
Country music changes, you have to learn to keep your own style and stay true to yourself, but at the same time understand what the industry wants.
Faith has had great country albums and when country went pop and she had pop influences throughout the albums, she is a great performer, talented, she is the whole package.
What music to do like to listen to? If we looked at your iPod what would be the most played?
Ok let’s go and look on my most played right now! OK we have Timber by Ke$ha, Friday Night by Eric Paslay, Compass lady A, also Thomas Rhett, Katy Perry… a real good mixture
What’s your view on rapping on a country music song – does it bother you?
Well Yes & No, depends how much I think about it! Sometimes it can trick people into liking country! They hear the song and like it and then start to listen to other country music.
What’s your Style? How would sell your sound?
I would say contemporary country, I’m not super traditional & some of that comes from not having a real twang in my voice even though I’m from Texas
You probably lost that twang from travelling…
Yes and I also did classical music most of my life, and you get trained to sound a certain way.
What’s happening this summer?
It’s going to be a busy summer lots of travelling with shows, TV morning shows, songwriting.
Are you in CMAfest?
Yes I should be not sure where yet!
Thank you SaraBeth it’s been great to chat to you and I look forward to catching up with you in Nashville.
From the moment SaraBeth answered my phone call, I got a feeling that I was talking to the real deal! She was so friendly and totally honest about her music and songwriting. I look forward to following her career and listening to the great music she is bound to release. See you in Nashville SaraBeth (and maybe the UK.)