SARA graces 2020 with a spectacularly special slice of alternative pop – ‘Lovable Maybe’ – and a conversation with Kelly Munro for TheZineUK.
Kelly: Tell us how long you’ve been making music…
Sara : “I think I wrote my first (albeit terrible) song when I was twelve – so I guess it’s been eleven years now!”
What’s been some of your highlights so far on your musical journey?
“The first thing that springs to mind is last May when I had my first experience of recording in an actual studio. It really hit home that I could have big ideas and didn’t have to limit myself, and it was just nice to feel confident. Another highlight is playing my first London show and hearing my manager say we had really smashed it. To know you’ve done a good job at any gig is just the best feeling.”
Your latest single is called ‘Lovable Maybe’, what, apart from music, do you love to do?
“Whenever I have time to myself, I’m pretty much either reading or playing video games. Me and Toby (the keyboard player) play Minecraft religiously, and we also have a long list of films we’re currently working through.”
Tell us more about the single. Is there a meaning behind the song, or a story attached to it?
“It’s a coming of age song about growing up believing you’re straight only to realise you’re not.
A lot of my upbringing was very religious, and I don’t think I even knew gay people existed until my mid-teens. And by that point, a lot of people called me a lesbian in a way that made it very clear that wasn’t something you wanted to be. I tried to dress more feminine and take more of an interest in boys, and for a while I genuinely believed that’s who I was. At university I saw two girls on TV as a couple and this part of me that I’d silenced for so long just simply said “I want that”.
“In ‘Lovable Maybe’, I talk about meeting the girl who became my girlfriend and how our relationship is affected by my constant battle with OCD. Even though it was written a year ago it feels relevant to me every day, because in truth OCD can’t be completely cured. All in all, the song is pretty much a big warning label that reads: “are you sure you want to take all of this on?”.
Q. We hear you once lived in Mozambique. Whats your memories of there?
“I have so many really lovely memories of this really free childhood. Running around barefoot outside until it was dark and getting up to all kinds of mischief with my brother. We would also sing a lot together, practicing harmonies until they were perfect before performing them to our very patient parents. It was a very wholesome childhood in many ways, and I’m so grateful for it.
The most prominent memory of all was sadly the day when the arms depot explosions happened. It was a really hot afternoon and a lot of missiles and weapons started going off five minutes from where we lived. Around 100 people died in the end, and it was a horrific six hours or so of fully accepting we were all going to die as some of the missiles landed extremely near to us. Every day after that I would get home from school and check for smoke in the distance – and that’s when the OCD ironically started.”
What albums do you never get tired of listening to?
“It’s hard to narrow down but definitely ‘Carrie and Lowell’ by Sufjan Stevens, ‘Blonde’ by Frank Ocean, ‘iridescence’ by Brockhampton, ‘I Love you, Honeybear’ by Father John Misty and ‘In Rainbows’ by Radiohead. All of those albums are just so consistently strong and endlessly relevant.”
What can we expect from you this year?
“I have another single planned in May, and I’d love to get back in the studio at some point because there is so much I want to create, my mind is bursting with ideas. I really want to nail the performance side of things too. My confidence still holds me back a lot, and I’m aiming to kick my inner saboteurs butt by the end of this year. So, I guess you can expect a showdown between me and myself, and hopefully a lot more songs.”
Songs like this? Yes please, Sara!