Sara Overall is a pretty new ultra talent to me ... I've seen her live just a couple of times, but I'm already smitten with her songs and her voice. With a recently-released EP - Dandelion - to promote, she'll hopefully be performing more shows around town, and you'd be crazy to miss her. Indie Sounds got the backstory.
Indie Sounds: So, how did you get your start in life and music?
Sara Overall: Well I believe I got my start in life and in music because the creator of the universe chose to put me here and chose to bless me with these gifts :)
So, I was born in San Antonio, TX and grew up in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. I knew at age four that I wanted to sing and somehow got it in my head then that I wanted to be "a famous singer." So I payed attention as much as possible to what it might take to make that happen someday.
I spent a lot of time locked up in my room perfecting my vocal performance. I would take albums of singers whose songs were difficult for me to sing and practice them over and over until I could sing them with ease and then I would move up to the next level of difficulty and hone that and so on. I tried many different styles in search for my own unique voice.
In Junior High, I started to experience a lot of emotions that were difficult to manage so I started channeling them through poetry. But it wasn't until Alanis Morrisette came on the scene that I knew I was going to write songs. I identified so much with how she put her honest emotions into the songs and I knew that was what I was meant to do.
IS: And what's your quick music career history?
Sara: Pretty much right out of high school I was determined to pursue a career in music. I expressed my desire to my dad, who is a legendary guitar player as well as a singer/songwriter, and he decided to help me take my first steps into the industry.
Recording a demo and getting some promo shots done led me to almost getting the lead role in a feature film, which led me to start pursuing a film career as well, and that led me to Los Angeles. More writing and demoing songs would eventually result in playing several showcases and landing a record deal with Velvet Hammer/Sony/Columbia, where I was provided lots of tools to hone my craft and become a better performer.
Unfortunately over time I lost the interest of the label and they dropped me but I took away from that time period a confidence in my craft as a singer/songwriter ... though my confidence as a performer still had a long way to go.
IS: When did you settle in Austin. What have you been doing here musically?
Sara: After three years of trying to heal from the let down of getting dropped ad experiencing more build ups and let downs along the way, I was burnt out and losing hope in my dreams. My Dad, who had been living in Austin, offered an extra bedroom to give me a chance to regroup and figure stuff out, and I took up his offer two and a half years ago.
Since I've been here I've had the privilege of connecting with musicians and creatives who also share my faith. I've recorded an EP, been singing at Gateway Church about twice a month, I sing in a gospel band, been focusing on my solo project, playing shows, continuing to write songs, etc. I feel like I have found my nitch but haven't even begun to do all the things musically that I foresee doing.
IS: You recently released your EP Dandelion. How would you describe its sound? Do you have a favorite track?
Sara: I would describe it as pop with a non-contrived 30s, 40s vibe to it. My favorite track would have to be ... hhhmmmmm ... probably Holding On To but my favorite song is Charming Me. I just feel like it emulates my heart in it's rawest form.
Download Dandelion @ iTunes.
IS: Tell us about making the album. Where did you record it, and who was involved?
Sara: We recorded it at the house of my producer, Remy Antoun. The sessions were very spread out over time with a lot of creative freedom. We were kind of allowing it to speak for itself and let it take its own form.
All the players on it are incredibly talented: Ramy Antoun, Jacob Hildebrand, Sergio Andrade and Fred Mandujano were there almost all throughout. I learned so much from just watching them.
IS: How are you going about promoting Dandelion? Is anyone helping you?
Sara: Actually we are still nailing down and deciding on strategy and direction for that. My label, Creative Arts Group, is helping me and I hope to have a full on team at some point, but I know it is going to take the right people who believe in this project and understand the vision for it moving forward.
IS: And what's next in the musical plan?
Sara: Playing more shows and writing more songs and making more records! Traveling and song placement are high on my wish list.