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Sarah Miles on music, influences and future plans

Back in July, singer/songwriter Sarah Miles released her debut album, One.

Sarah Miles' One
Rock Ridge Music

The collection of sincere folk-pop songs was inspired by the simple, but bold decision to follow her heart and a tale of her move to New York and her journey through love and heartbreak.

This week Sarah was happy to sit down and talk about her inspiration for the album and what she has coming on the horizon.

Q: How are things going for you?

Sarah: It's going well. It has been going really, really great. It has been an exciting time because this is my first full length cd so it's been fun to see all that's going on. It's cool.

Q: Did you have an idea about where you wanted to go with the album when you first went into the studio?

Sarah: I didn't have an exact idea going into it but I had just started working with Rock Ridge Music and they introduced me to a lot of other singer/songwriters and we did a lot of co-writing. I was writing with a bunch of people I met along the way. Then as I was just writing more and more it kind of just came together. The songs had a similar vibe and overall theme so it just kind of worked.

Sarah: I would say that it's a blend of, well it is always hard to explain, but I'd say folk-pop if I was going to categorize it. I tend to focus on my lyrics a lot and I tend to really tell a story but the production is pretty poppy. It's a blend.

Q: Is there a song on this album that you feel closest to?

Sarah: Well I really do love the song "One", which happens to be the title of the album. It's about my journey to New York and never having lived here before and just trying to make a name for myself. You know, just trying to do music full-time. It's definitely an inspirational song and is very close to home.

Q: Where do you draw your biggest inspiration from?

Sarah: Usually love and heartbreak. [laughing] That definitely seems to come easiest but I've been trying to branch out a lot lately. I'm actually a part of a songwriting group and we write once a week and it gives me the opportunity to write about things that I wouldn't normally think about. So it's been pretty interesting.

Q: You have the lyric video out for "Stand Up". Do you plan on filming your own video?

Sarah: I am. I'm actually filming it tomorrow. That should be really fun. I think what I'm gonna do is go down to Washington Square Park, which is a park that's pretty busy in the middle of New York. I'm gonna bring some sidewalk chalk and I'm going to go up to people and ask them what they stand up for. So it's not going to be all about me. I want to make it about everybody else. I'm excited about it. It should be fun.

Q: You did some cd release shows and have some dates coming up. Have you seen a good reaction to the new songs?

Sarah: Yeah a lot of people have come up to me and are telling me that they like the song "Take The Lead", which I co-wrote with Matt Duke. That seems to be a popular one. I also have a song called "I Don't Want To See You", which is the last song on the album and is just really a fun, upbeat song. People get really into it when I sing it because most of my songs tend to be a little slower. I think they enjoy the upbeat pace of it.

Q: What do you want people to take from your live shows?

Sarah: I hope that they can relate to my music and I just hope that they really enjoy it. I hope that it's something they want to take back with them and listen to later on. I just hope that they really love it. I just get so excited and thrilled for people to just be there!

Q: Do you have more touring plans coming up?

Sarah: I definitely want to try and book some more shows on the East Coast and then I'm also starting to do more online shows. That's something I am going to start organizing. I did one a couple of weeks ago and I want to do them more regularly.

Q: I noticed that you post a lot of cover songs on your website. Do you enjoy putting your own spin on your favorite songs?

Sarah: Yeah I just posted one this week. I did a cover of Lorde's "Royals". It's a song that I just think is really cool and different so I kind of did my own twist on it and I did a little video with one of my friends. I hope people watch it! It was fun and it's really cool.

Q: What were your biggest influences?

Sarah: My family just always played music in my house so I was constantly surrounded by music. My parents used to play James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon a lot so that was something that I grew up listening to; a lot of singer/songwriters. Then in high school I started getting more into indie-pop stuff like Ingrid Michaelson. I love Sara Bareilles. Then I also started getting into country as well. I listened to a lot of Dixie Chicks when I was younger. I feel like I kind of combine all of those influences.

Q: Is there someone you really hope to work with?

Sarah: I mean if I could ever work with Sara Bareilles I'd probably die and got to heaven! She is so awesome. It'd be the best day of my life.

Q: Now that the album is out, where do you see yourself going from here?

Sarah: I definitely just want to keep promoting it and playing these songs out on shows. I've actually been writing so much that I'm kind of looking forward to recording more songs. Instead of doing a new album I might release some singles or do an EP. I just want to keep the music flowing.

Q: What are the plans for the rest of this year?

Sarah: I have a bunch of college shows coming up which I'm looking forward to. I'm 24 so I can still relate to the college students. I'm not quite out of the loop yet! It should be fun to play for them. Other than that, I'm just writing a bunch. I'm working on more videos and that kind of stuff.

Q: Is there a goal you set for yourself that you haven't reached yet?

Sarah: It's a very tough industry. That's for sure. I'm trying to think of something I haven't accomplished yet. I would really, really love to be able to possibly license my songs to a movie or tv show. I think that would be pretty cool. I think that's probably my next goal actually. It would be nice to hear my music on tv.

Q: What do you feel is the best way to get your music out there?

Sarah: It's so tough but I feel like these days so many artists are getting discovered through a commercial or something like that. That would be pretty awesome if that were to happen. It's even tough with like Youtube. There's just so much out there. You just got to be creative.

Q: What do you find is the best thing about being in the music business?

Sarah: I'm just thrilled to be able to do what I truly love. I don't think I could see myself doing anything else but writing and playing my music. I'm so really lucky to be able to be doing that. I just love how, especially in New York, how I've learned that the music scene is actually pretty small. Smaller than you would think! Everybody is very supportive and it's great to network. It's a very special scene for sure and that's really been really neat.

Q: Do you have a favorite New York venue to play?

Sarah: I love Rockwood Music Hall. It's a very cool and intimate venue. I tend to play with just a guitar and sing and they have a really small stage which is nice for my music. I really like playing there and The Bitter End is the other one.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do outside of music?

Sarah: I love to cook. That's one of my favorite things to do. I try to cook for my boyfriend as much as I can. That's really fun. I was actually thinking about making a food blog but I don't know if I actually have time to do it.

Q: What's your favorite meal to make?

Sarah: I'm trying to think of something that I've made recently. I did make a really delicious sweet and sour chicken the other night. That was pretty fun to make. I love making homemade pizza too. It's so good!

Q: Got any final words for your fans?

Sarah: Just thank you so much for your support. Stick around because there's a lot more coming your way!

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