Musical Discoveries: Can you fill us in on what you've been up to since the release of the Angelfire album?
Sarah Spencer: Since Angelfire, I've met a lot of milestones! After the album released, Steve and I toured a little with the Steve Morse Band and did three dates in California, three dates in Florida where my dad played bass for us and it was awesome.
I went to Florida State University and graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design. I had a small, quarter life crisis when I rediscovered that all I ever really wanted to do was make music, and six months later I moved to Nashville.
Since then, I've been writing every day, playing out at local writer's rounds and venues, pitching my material to artists, and loving every minute of it!
Before Angelfire what other recordings did you do?
Before Angelfire, I was pretty much writing by myself in a room in the upstairs of our house. It was my little safe spot, where I could close the door, open the shutters, fire up the computer and just compose. Back then, I was writing a lot of piano instrumental pieces and mini-orchestral pieces in programs like Cakewalk, Sonar, Reason, and eventually Logic.
I graduated to putting words to songs. I learned so much in those days alone in the studio! I wish I could share some of that older stuff, but we've suffered the loss of like, two computers and a bunch of hard drives since then, so most of it is all gone.
During the writing stages of Angelfire, that's pretty much what I was focused on! Steve and I would meet up after school, he'd play something he came up with, or start noodling around on one of his guitars until a song started to emerge. We'd discuss a concept, and I'd take home a disc with either sections of the song or a whole track with just the structure laid out. Then I'd focus on writing lyrics while he went out of town on tour for a week or so, and we'd meet up again to refine and record.
Before I moved up here to Nashville, I worked a lot with my good friend J.Cruz, a producer and writer in Tallahassee, Florida. We wrote a lot of fun, almost experimental pop, and he was cool enough to even bring me onto some hip hop projects. We recorded a few demos there, including my track "Mountains," which you can hear here. I spent a lot of time in that studio! Here's some of the amazing music that came out of it:
What kind of music are you writing and recording these days?
These days, I'm writing a lot and putting together a pretty awesome catalog of country and pop songs, if I do say so myself!. I came to country music later in life, and now I wonder how I ever got by without it! I've had the pleasure of writing with some good friends up here in Nashville, including singer/songwriter Melissa Miller, American Idol finalist Naima Adedapo, and amazing songwriter Steven Wild. You can hear all my latest tunes on my website at and on my SoundCloud.
What can we expect you to release?
I'm kinda throwing around the idea of releasing a short three to five song EP with new material. It'll have fuller production than the acoustic demos I've been recording lately. But we'll see! It's still just a fantasy at the moment.
What's a Sarah Spencer live performance like?
If you happened to be at any of the Angelfire shows, you would have seen that I'm pretty reserved on stage. I love performing and sharing my music, but at the same time, being in the spotlight makes me so anxious! Sometimes I even try to be funny and I'm just not funny. How un-funny I am might be entertaining in itself.
How important is image to a female recording artist these days?
The image of female recording artists, songwriters, players, and musicians of all types are incredibly important. They always will be. At the risk of sounding cliche, women in the entertainment industries tend to get stuck in the same roles over and over again.
I kinda feel like, at least in country music, we're starting to break the mold and are able to put out more honest material. Kacey Musgraves is an example of that. I think as long as songwriters, men included, keep striving for honesty in their art, the image of female artists will continue to evolve and progress the industry as a whole. That's been my personal mantra as a writer.
Be honest. Be yourself. Be fearless. Do what you do because only you can do it.
What about your online presence on the web and in social media?
I. Love. Social media. I use it every day. What I love about it all is that it's almost like sharing the same space with someone. You're free to have conversations with other like-minded people. It's less like, “Let's see how many fans we can rack up at this show tomorrow night,” and more like, “Oh, hey! I met that guy last night at the show. I'm gonna stop by his wall and say hey, thanks for coming.” It's less like making fans and more like making friends!
Thinking ahead, what are your hopes and dreams musically?
I just wanna keep writing music. Really. I want to write more with my friends, with other artists. I really would love to write with more young, female artists. I remember being that little girl who had to try to find music that was age appropriate but also cool. I'd love to write with young girls and mentor them as they become more involved with the industry side of things. The music industry is rough.
Professionally, I want to be a successful songwriter where I'm able to completely support my future family completely on earnings from my songs. Maybe have a little farm down in Leiper's Fork. In the meantime, I'm kinda letting the wind take me where it will!
What else rocks your world these days Sarah?
My day job is pretty freaking cool! Even with all these musical endeavors I'm embarking on, I have a part time job doing graphic and web design at a boutique creative firm, 12South Music. It's myself and our Owner and Creative Director, Michael Shoup, and our Marketing Head/PM, Bobby Dirienzo.
We're all musicians. We work with musicians and industry professionals to give them the best, most effective materials they need for their business; websites, photos, marketing, tour strategy, it's pretty awesome. You can check out some of our work here.