We sat down with up-and-coming artist Sarah Close following the release of her debut, synth-pop EP ‘Caught Up’ and ahead of her upcoming UK tour to find out about her musical influences, YouTube beginnings and on-tour memories.
With an upcoming tour in September, including two sold out shows, what are you most looking forward to during your journey across the UK?
I’m pretty excited for all of it! Everything is a new experience for me as I’ve never been on tour or played any of these venues before.
I think the sold-out shows will be really special and I’m looking forward to playing Dublin - I’ve never been to Ireland and lots of my friends and family are coming out for [the gig] as it’s the last show! Performing some of the new songs is going to be awesome as well.
This is your first tour of the UK, how do you feel about being out on the road?
I think it’s going to be so much fun! I don’t get homesick that often and I’m easy going. I’m excited for the challenges that going around the UK in a tour van brings!
You recently played Bestival and House Festival, how does performing at a festival differ from the more intimate gigs? - And do you have a preference?
I love both! I love interacting with the crowd at an intimate gig and chatting with them.
I enjoy chatting in between some songs and telling the crowd some of the stories behind them. Festivals can be a bit more nerve-wracking, because when you’re walking out you don’t know what you’re going to get, but if the energy is good then it’s incredible. I couldn’t choose between the two, they’re both special.
What has been your favourite memory so far whilst performing?
I’ve got two memories, both from my Camden Assembly show in April. The first is when I realised people were singing along to ‘Call Me Out’ - that was a real ‘wow, someone pinch me’ moment, and then when I performed ‘Perfect After All’. Everybody was so quiet and I just felt so blessed for people to listen [to the song] like that.
Who are the main musicians and artists that have inspired your song-writing and the creation of your latest EP ‘Caught Up’?
I listen to such a wide variety of music and I take in so much that I don’t really ever feel inspired by select musicians or artists. I always pay attention to songs that connect with me and the feeling they give me, then I try and put that into my own music in the hope that someone will connect with one of my songs.
Lyrically I love rap and how conversational and specific the lyrics can be. Sonically, I love the feeling that a good pop melody will give you and that irresistible urge to dance or sing along. In making my own music and the ‘Caught Up’ EP, I guess I look to both genres.
On a day to day basis, which artists are you currently loving? And is there anybody up and coming that we should look out for?
Recently I’ve been loving Raye, Siba, Chelsea Cutler, Aminé, Elohim, Elley Duhé and the new Mura Masa and Haim records! I think Elley is super cool and I’m excited to see what else she releases.
Not only are you a singer-songwriter, but also a YouTuber with over 700,000 subscribers that has collaborated with Dodie and Conor Maynard. What was it that inspired you to create YouTube videos and how does the interaction between you and your fans differ between the online world and live shows?
I was born on the Isle of Wight and I felt really cut off growing up there. I thought maybe if I started a YouTube channel it would get my music out and help me meet people in the music industry that I couldn’t because of where I lived. Though my channel didn’t really grow or gain subscribers until I moved off the island in 2013!
I talk to my fans pretty much every single day online and I know quite a lot them now. There’s been a couple different times at shows where I’ll look into the crowd and recognise someone from the online side of things. I always think it’s really lovely!
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