Sarah is one of my first Facebook group connections turned friend IRL! Her passion for songwriting shines through in everything that she does, so today I want to put the spotlight on her for the first ever Designing the Row Bestie Feature. I hope you enjoy Sarah's interview below... and make sure to also check out her blog and Instagram for more songwriting inspiration.
Tell us about yourself! What do you do and what has your journey been like getting to this point?
Hi! I'm an Americana singer/songwriter, and a Country-Pop songwriter. I moved to Nashville in 2012 to pursue a career in songwriting. I got my BFA in Graphic Design from FSU (go Noles!) with the intention of having a Plan B should I wind up a homeless musician. That's turned out to be a good decision! I work during the day as the Creative Director for a boutique marketing agency serving the music and entertainment industries. Learned a LOT.
I've released a couple albums, had a handful of songs cut by indie artists, play frequently at The Bluebird, and have a handful of festival shows coming up that I'm super stoked about. My big picture goals include writing on staff at a pub house, having commercial success as a songwriter (hits!), putting out meaningful music that I love, and tour in the North Florida/southeast region.
By night, I write, play, and pitch songs to other artists. It's what gets me out of bed in the morning. Songwriting is my life blood, and I feel really lucky to get to do that inside of the incredible writer community of Nashville.
What’s a usual day-in-the-life look like for you?
During the week I work at the agency. So I get up, go to the office, and work with my amazing team helping to market other musicians and small businesses. At night, I come home and either have dinner with my hubby, write, go to a co-write, or work on my blog, SongFancy.com. It's where I write about songwriting, life as a creative, and offer beginning songwriters advice that I hope gives them the skills and encouragement to write their best!
Thursdays are co-write days! I usually have at least one co-write booked every Thursday, sometimes two. It works well with my work schedule, I'm lucky my boss is awesome and allows me to be flexible with one day a week. :)
Does community play a role in your career? How so?
Absolutely! The whole music industry runs on relationships. Meaningful relationships makes life so much richer. And when a bunch of friends can come together with another bunch of friends, and another and another, the "music industry" starts to feel a lot less anonymous and closed off and a lot more like... a bunch of friends!
The friends that I have made through music are some of my closest, most precious friends. I don't know what I'd do without them!
What’s your favorite part about the music industry?
The music. But that's the smartass answer, isn't it?
I really love Nashville's music industry. I've spent limited amounts of time in Orlando and LA and there's no real place like the Nashville songwriter scene. Everyone is for everyone. Everyone is open and honest. We all know we're in the same boat together and we have the same passion for writing and it's just a blast being a part of that.
Knowing what you know now, if you could go back 5 years and give yourself one piece of advice, what would that be?
Oh man. "Calm down. It's ok. You're going to make mistakes. But mistakes are the best way to become better. Don't worry so much what other people think about you. Just be yourself. Focus on finding who she is. Deep breaths. Write your truth."
I was such an anxious kid! I didn't really learn who I was until my mid-late 20's. I'm still learning. Maybe I always will be. But I feel like I missed out on a lot of life because I was always "playing it safe" and trying to be the person I thought everyone wanted me to be.
Teach us something! (Related to your expertise or something random just for fun)
Hmmm... Did you know that Tom Douglas came to Nashville in his 20's, didn't get anywhere with his songwriting, moved to Texas, worked in real estate, had a family, came back to Nashville in his middle age, and had his first hit when he was 43? That's inspiring to me. I hope that's inspiring to you, as well!
Do you want to be a featured Music Biz Bestie? Learn more here.
Katherine Forbes, Founder of Designing the Row
A Music City girl obsessed with creating confidence in my clients through designing, branding and marketing. In today’s world, your visual branding and online presence will either make or break you. I’ve got my Diet Coke in hand and am ready to get started on your next project.