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Conversations with Sarah Paige

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarah Paige.

Hi Sarah, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Music has always been a big part of my life growing up. A lot of my interest stemmed from my dad. We would listen to classic rock on the way to school every morning, he would tell stories about his college band, and he would sometimes play the guitar for my family after dinner. I found everything about music so intriguing.

It was Christmas, I was 12 years old at that time, my parents got me one of those basic beginner guitars. I tried playing other instruments in the past, like the drums and piano, but I never really stuck with anything. The guitar was different-I couldn’t put it down. My dad taught me all of the chords he knew, and I continued to teach myself.

There was a point when my parents realized that the guitar was going to be permanent and not just a temporary phase, so my dad took me to the Guitar Center one day, and together, we picked out a Fender Acoustic-Electric.

Towards the end of middle school, my anxiety disorder began to surface. Day after day, I would experience a continuous cycle of having anxious and dark thoughts, then becoming so overwhelmed that I had a panic attack.

I became depressed at a young age with no explanation why. I had a great life, yet I felt so lost and empty. Although I could break out of that cycle, I continued to struggle with my mental health in high school. Music is what got me through it. I would turn my unexplainable thoughts and feelings into songs, just for myself to hear. My passion became my therapy.

It was always difficult to perform in front of friends and family. Whenever a family member tried to record a video of me singing at home, I would immediately stop and become so embarrassed. When I played in front of a crowd of strangers, however, nothing could feel more natural.

I joined a music program where I got vocal lessons and performed with other students at different venues. Covering 80s rock was not for me, but it definitely got me out of my comfort zone. I began playing solo at the different recitals my music program held. Over time, I was able to get myself paid gigs at restaurants and different local events and festivals.

I was introduced to producer Bob Novak at a festival, and he shared that he would love to record me. So in 2018, I released my first single, “Sunshine,” into the world. The song slowly grew traction, and then I started to receive messages from listeners who shared how much the song meant to them and how they could relate.

To read an individual explain how my song was able to help them through a difficult time in their life was an incredible feeling. My passion was becoming a therapy for others, and I want to continue making music that will help others just like how it helped me.

Since the release of “Sunshine,” it has reached 600,000 streams on Spotify, my second single, “Loving You,” was released in 2019, and I continue performing in local gigs that are discontinued due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I have been writing and creating more music that I intend to release by the end of this year.

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I was in a relationship with another musician at one point, where I felt that my music was insignificant and not worth working towards. So many people would encourage me to continue with my passion, but I dropped my life for the other person in that relationship.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I gave up so many opportunities, barely wrote any music, and all of the self-confidence and strength I built within myself over the years was gone. Since ending that relationship, I know my worth and that my music can help others. I became upset thinking about the missed opportunities, but now it motivates me to write and work more on my music.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
I feel that I have a simple style of songwriting that’s genuine and will resonate with listeners. I don’t really write in a storytelling manner because I want the listener to interpret and feel the song related to them and their own experiences. Just as music is my therapy, I want it to be therapy for others.

I am still discovering my sound. My first single, “Sunshine,” was acoustic singer/songwriter, which I find myself most comfortable writing and performing. I experimented with a more pop sound in “Loving You” while still keeping the songwriter aspect of the song. When I perform with a full band, the music has a more alternative feel, which I want to focus on more for future releases.

Can you share something surprising about yourself?
I always laugh when I think about the moment in my life I knew for certain I wanted to be a musician. I was a huge Taylor Swift fan growing up (I still am), and I constantly watched this documentary about her second album tour. I would see her perform on stage and think to myself,

“I want to do that one day.” I can’t imagine a better feeling in the world than having a crowd of people sing your own song back to you.

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Image Credits
Cara Malfi Nicole Caracia

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