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When I heard this new singer's voice, chills ran down my spine. I thought to myself, My God, what a great voice. Why haven't people heard about her? That's why I had to tell you all about new singer/songwriter, Sarah Dashew. If you like a folksy-style of singing and really good quality music, I highly recommend her.
I had to find out who she was, tracked her down and had the opportunity of interviewing her:
Sarah, I heard your single, Where I Belong and I fell in love with your voice. For those who haven't heard your music before, how would you best describe it?
Well thank you! First I would describe my music as lyrically driven: I'm a lover of words. But not too many words. The music is earthy, a little raw. My voice is not classically trained--there's smoke in there (though I'm not a smoker) and some ache, hopefully some soul. I started out singing in a gospel choir, which explains my love of harmony. I like major keys and I like resolution, so the melodies are usually light. I've been compared to Janis Joplin and Sheryl Crow and Carole King, all of which I take as compliments.
So that's how I would describe my music. But I'd rather not. I'd rather just play it and have people listen.
You're now touring the Pacific Northwest but you've toured all over. How are the crowds different in each part of the country?
Ah, good question! Well up here people tend to be very polite, very knowledgeable about microbrew beers. The crowds at shows are super nice. The weather seems to influence the culture: outdoorsy but a little quiet, from all the rain. ...Whereas in Texas for example, shows can turn into one big drunken singalong! It's true that everything is bigger in Texas: noisier, prouder, more upfront, bigger hair. (Ha ha.) If I want audience participation down South I almost don't even have to ask for it.
New Yorkers are extra hip, but exceedingly sweet, probably the nicest folks I've ever played to. And of course down in Los Angeles people tend to swivel their heads when someone walks into the club, just in case the new arrival is a celebrity. But they're also very fun and attentive. I have yet to play in the Midwest. My apologies. It's on the list!
Do you write all your own music? What inspires you?
I do write all my own music. I guard it pretty jealously, actually. Writing is the thing I love the most about music, and of course the thing that is most torturous. Hmm, what inspires me? Lovers. A full moon. My dog. Driving. Sleeping. Other music. The swirls cream makes in my coffee. I remember hearing Maya Angelou talking once about starting out with her writing, and someone asked her what she wrote about and she said something along the lines of, "Everything. Diamonds in Arkansas. Everything." I heard that and I sat down and wrote a song called "Diamonds in Arkansas."
Then there's the sea. I grew up sailing around the world with my family and that has inspired my writing from the beginning: the rhythm of waves, the force of ocean, the vastness of all that space, the hellos and goodbyes of constant travel...Several songs on my album are influenced by those elements.
What's your writing process like? Do you have to force yourself to sit down and write? I mean, do you suffer from procrastination?
There's an interesting balance to strike with writing: I find that I have to be both disciplined and relaxed at the same time. I treat it like a job in that I try to exercise and write and practice most days. My mentor Chuck Plotkin taught me that. But I also try to give the work enough space for inspiration to seep in. Hemingway used to talk about stopping his work for the day when he knew what was going to happen next, so that there would be something left for the subconscious to work on during the night and refill the well. That's what I try to do. But there is sometimes a fine line between leaving room for inspiration and falling into procrastination.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
I see myself happy, healthy, writing good music, maybe living abroad, and playing sold out shows wherever I go! Not too much to ask, is it?
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