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Sara Bareilles Interview: Kaleidoscope Heart

Sara Bareilles
Sara Bareilles

The first time songstress Sara Bareilles was in Buffalo, there was a huge storm and her show was a casualty. "We played to a room of about 8 people, but it wasn't that great for my ego," jokes the singer. "I'm excited to re-write my history with Buffalo." Now Bareilles is ready to redeem herself once again. With three, yes three, upcoming shows in the Buffalo-Western New York area she is ready for another go around with Buffalo and her second album of all new material entitled Kaleidoscope Heart. sat down with the song bird as she had much to say.

You have a string of Buffalo dates lined up including the intimate Shea’s venue, Canisius College, and later in the summer at Darien Lake. What draws you back to the Western New York region?

I have been very fortunate to be a part of tours with other artists that have exposed me to new places that I've never been before. Once you discover something beautiful, you just want to keep coming back.

Kaleidoscope Heart is an amazing album and is very melodic and is a bit of a departure from Little Voice. Would you agree?

Yes, I tried to dig deep on this record and push myself to grow as a musician and as a songwriter. I would like to look back on my body of work and be proud of each record in its own right, but as a whole, I want to continue to grow and move forward. Hopefully getting better each time.

You said that some of your influences are Christina Aguilera to Alicia Keys. That is a wide range of influences and it seems like you are in a category in your own. Who do you see as your competition in the music industry today?

I have been influenced by many different artists at many different stages of my life. Starting out, it was people like Elton John, Billy Joel, Ben Folds, and Fiona Apple. As I got older I got deeper into the work of bands like the Beatles, artists like Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, Etta James, and Joni Mitchell. From there, I fell in love with Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Ryan Adams, Bjork, and Bob Dylan. As you can see, my influences are very wide and varied. There is room for everyone. That has informed my current philosophy on the idea of competition. I think there's room for everyone. I don't need to compete. My music will speak to whoever it speaks to, and it's very powerful to just embrace that. The rest is out of my hands.

Who did you work with on the new album?

I only worked with one producer, Neal Avron, on Kaleidoscope Heart. He was spectacular. We had wonderful chemistry and a great rapport, which made the making of this record really really enjoyable. I have also been very lucky to have had the opportunity to spend time with and work many amazing artists and collaborators. I learned so much from each time, and I really think every experience made me a better artist. I'm grateful to have the chance to be inspired by the incredible artists that are out there.

“Love Song” was huge for you. Take me back to when you first heard that song on the radio.

Do you like playing old material still or do you feel that your old stuff is expired?

I still love Love Song. Almost every door that is open for me is because of that song. It sounds silly, but I think of that song as my little buddy. We go everywhere together. I will always think lovingly on my past work, but as an artist I always am intrigued by new material. It feels fresh and different to play and there is something exciting about the unknown. But I will always love my songs that are more familiar too.

You play a lot of instruments. Do you try to encompass that in your live shows?

Yes, I play piano, guitar, ukulele, harmonium, and a little tambourine in my live shows. I want to have fun up on stage and running around jumping on different instruments is very entertaining for me.

What do you think of the music landscape today?

I think I'm sort of an old-soul in the sense that the records that I tend to keep coming back to are a little bit older records. Abbey Road by the Beatles. Graceland by Paul Simon. August and Everything After by Counting Crows. But, that being said, there is a lot of really beautiful, inspired art that is happening out in the world musically. As I said earlier, there is room for everyone. There is room for Lady Gaga to be celebrated and adored, and for Eperanza Spalding to win Best New Artist. I'm grateful that the musical landscape still makes room for me too. I like being here, so I'll stay as long as they'll have me.

Do you think it’s hard to stay relevant in today’s ever changing music industry?

I don't worry too much about that. I think my job as an artist and a songwriter is to make the very best music I can make. There will always be somebody who changes the game, so I don't spend too much time trying to figure it all out. I'm happier that way. I spend my energy on trying to connect with my fans, and make music and concert experiences that makes them happy. They are the only ones I really care about.

For all tour dates and more info. on Ms. Sara Bareilles please check out her web site:

You can catch Sara Bareilles at Canisius College this Sunday.


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