It’s seriously exciting to see young up-and-comers find their unique voice, break into the music industry and continue to slay the game and that is what the nineteen-year-old singer/songwriter from New York – Sarah Gargano – is doing. I cannot stop raving about how adorable Sarah is and how her talent of storytelling in her music can resonate with such a wide audience. I got to chat with Sarah about her passion for music, her new single “Deadline” and what fans can expect to hear in her anticipated new music.
TYF: For our readers who aren’t too familiar with your music, how would you describe your sound?
Sarah Gargano: As I draw inspiration from multiple genres, I would categorize my music as indie-pop. My sound tends to be cutesy while also grappling with deeper issues.
TYF: I read that you’re from New York City. Has how living in New York inspired your music?
Gargano: I think growing up in New York has given me a sense of cultural awareness and perspective that my friends who’ve grown up in homogenous suburban towns don’t have. I think this perspective is something I carry with me everywhere, whether it be in my music or other places. My specific experience of being part of the NY private school system for ten years and then the public school system for three (two completely separate worlds) has largely shaped the stories I tell in my music. And now I’m in college in the middle of nowhere Ohio, which is its own beast.
TYF: Speaking on experiences, what sort of challenges have you faced so far as you enter the music industry as a new artist?
Gargano: If you want people to listen to your music, you have to really put yourself out there on social media, in person, etc. As more of an introvert, that’s not always the easiest feat for me – especially in a world where it’s frowned upon to be an ambitious woman.
TYF: What made you want to get into music?
Gargano: I always loved music but I think I started feeling indebted to it in seventh grade when I was getting bullied a lot and became depressed. Music became my saving grace; it was what kept me going, specifically, Taylor Swift and her music at the time. I knew I had to try making music in the hopes of saving someone else, the way music saved me.
TYF: If you could collaborate with anyone in the music industry, who would it be and why?
Gargano: Oh wow, this is a hard one – so many people. I’d definitely love to see where working with the renowned Max Martin would take my music. I’d also love to work with artists like Bon Iver and Ed Sheeran as I’ve always been mesmerized by the way the sound of their music makes me feel, but don’t feel I have enough technical music background at the moment to create on my own.
TYF: With that said, who inspires you when it comes to writing music?
Gargano: I’ve always listened most to lyrically focused music. I love cutesy/sassy female artists who write about common female experiences in eye-opening ways – along with Taylor Swift, this includes artists like Kate Nash, Kacey Musgraves, Ingrid Michaelson, Lucy Dacus, Dar Williams, and much more. I also love angsty indie groups – my favorite artist is Conor Oberst (also known for his band Bright Eyes) and other indie music that has inspired me includes the Front Bottoms, the Head and the Heart, Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s, Mumford and Sons, and Crywank.
TYF: Do you ever experience writer’s block when you’re writing new music? If so, how do you overcome it?
Gargano: I experience writer’s block all of the time. It’s super frustrating, but I see it as a period of time in which my subconscious is still in the process of working through things I’ve experienced. It’s sort of a mysterious but vital process to go through. Something that’s helped me overcome it is free-writing — I love going to cafes or wherever and not putting my pen down even when I don’t feel I have anything interesting to say – eventually, something of substance will probably come out.
TYF: Can you describe your writing process?
Gargano: My writing process is different for each song. Most often, I come up with the lyrics and tune at the same time. Sometimes I think of a short tune or lyric and record it or write it down and use it that day or years later. For example, “Paper Girl,” the title song of my EP is a song title idea I wrote down in 10th grade after reading the book Paper Towns by John Green, but I didn’t turn it into a song until my first year of college.
TYF: Speaking of your writing process, you recently released your single “Deadline” – what is the story behind the track?
Gargano: “Deadline” is a song I wrote about saying goodbye to the person I was dating due to heading off to college – it was one of those songs that sort of wrote itself because there was such a rich storyline.
TYF: What was filming the video for “Deadline” like?
Gargano: My lyric video took me about six hours to make as I’ve never done stop-motion before and I made the video all by myself – it was just a bunch of taking pictures in the same spot for hours. My lip sync video took a few months to make as I let people independently send me their videos in their own time – but so rewarding to watch friends and fans get excited about my music!
TYF: Will you be releasing more new music soon? If so, can we get a hint as to what the new music will be about and what the sound will be?
Gargano: There are four more songs on their way from my EP. I’m currently in the process of filming a music video for “Paper Girl” with two cinema studies major friends in college, so when that’s finished, that song will be the next to be released. “Paper Girl” is an upbeat ukulele song about hookup culture and how it perpetuates the idea that bad communication is okay, so I hope the song incites conversation. The other three songs will come out shortly after, hopefully by the end of 2017, but possibly early 2018 – stay tuned!
TYF: Will you be playing some shows soon? If so, where can our readers catch your shows?
Gargano: I just played a show in Westlake, Ohio and am in the process of scheduling shows in New York (and hopefully a couple other cities) for December and January when I’m on winter break from school.
TYF: With the talk of upcoming new music and shows, where can our readers find your music and stay up-to-date?
Gargano: “Deadline” is now available on all streaming services. You can also follow me on Spotify, follow me on Instagram, like my Facebook page, or visit my website for more information.