interview with sarah catharine
sarah began her songwriting journey in early 2020, putting her diary entries to music, and started posting original songs on tik tok. while most artists write and record in the studio, sarah catharine puts ‘indie artist’ to another level by doing it all in her car. after exploring music production through youtube videos, sarah 100% independently wrote, recorded (in her car of course), and produced her first official single ‘that’s a lie’ in february 2021. sarah's musical influences include taylor swift, gracie abrams, olivia o'brien and madison beer.
following the success of ‘that’s a lie’, sarah continued posting originals on tik tok and later released 'i'd be dead too' in may 2021 - a melodramatic piano ballad which both lyrically and musically follows the emotional rollercoaster of hating someone, yet needing them at the same time. the song was also independently written and produced by sarah, and features a powerful bridge that was originally teased on her tik tok, reaching over 40,000 views.
while almost all of sarah’s songs feature somber stories and pessimistic feelings, she continues to explore different sounds and styles, with the goal of creating music that brings the listener through a mosaic of emotions in a single song. sarah's debut ep, 'thank you for the content' released september 24th, 2021 and features a range of breakup pop songs - all fully written and produced by sarah.
tell us the story behind your track "i'd be dead too".
i wrote i’d be dead too because i was so frustrated and confused over this guy who was constantly ‘keeping me on the line’. the lyrics and melody basically just poured out of me, and bringing it to life with the orchestral production with strings and vocal harmonies was really emotional. it’s essentially about how someone can hurt you so many times and probably should be ‘dead to you’, yet you still keep going back to them because you feel like you need them and you wouldn’t be where you are today without them. “with everything you did to me, you probably should be dead to me. but if i had lost you, i’d be dead too.” it goes through the different stages of regret, anger, sadness/longing, and acceptance.
which of your songs is the most meaningful to you?
i love this question because it’s so hard to choose. "i’d be dead" too was so special to me because it’s definitely my most popular song that has allowed me to connect with so many people all around the world. the most amazing part of being an artist is when you see other people connect with something you wrote, especially if it’s something that helps them heal. and these are people you probably never would’ve had any interaction with if it wasn’t for your music. there’s this one line “and the worst thing is that i’d imagine an accident just for the hope you might call” that so many people on tik tok seemed to connect with. it is sort of an embarrassing, intrusive thought, but crazy to see how many people could relate to it. i feel like i literally poured my soul into this song and it feels so special to be a shared experience with anyone who listens. most of the times if i ask someone how they found my music, 90% of the time it’s through my song i’d be dead too.
who are your favorite artists?
my favourite artists are taylor swift, gracie abrams, olivia o’brien, olivia rodrigo, billie eilish, rex orange county, lennon stella, madison beer, and so many more.
which albums did you listen the most to last year?
probably sour by olivia rodrigo, red (taylor’s version), and life support by madison beer
who is your biggest artistic influence?
my biggest artistic influence is 100% taylor swift. i am such a lyrics person and am in awe of taylor’s ability to storytell through her songs with such intense imagery. it’s almost like every song is it’s own little movie. i think one of the most fascinating things is how her songs paint such detailed memories or scenes, yet they are so relatable to millions of people.
when have you started doing music?
i’ve always loved singing for fun but i wrote my very first song in late 2020 during quarantine boredom, so it’s all pretty new to me! i released my first song in february 2021 called ‘that’s a lie’.
tell us something about the idea behind your latest ep "thank you for the content"
the title ’thank you for the content’ is actually something i coined after i wrote my first couple of songs. i had never expected to ever release an ep, let alone even release a single, and had a folder in my itunes with my original songs called ‘thank you for the content’. i would even joke that if i ever released an album that’s what i would call it. i just think it’s a little bit petty (which i love) and turns a sour situation into something hopeful. i honestly am thankful for everyone who hurt me because it inspired me to write.
what is your favorite song on it?
exclusively nervous is probably my favourite because i’d say it’s the most truthful of my experiences. some of my songs are made up stories, some are exaggerations of situations, or i tend to change little details because i don’t want people to know my songs are about them. but exclusively nervous is pretty much 100% the truth, so maybe the person even knows it’s about them. either way, it definitely sparks the most emotion in me and means so much to me when people say it’s their favourite from the ep because i honestly didn’t think anyone would like it. i just included it because of how much it meant to me. i think the reason people resonate so strongly with it is because it’s quite relatable. the meaning behind the term ‘exclusively nervous’ to me is how i can be a pretty talkative and open person, but with this one person i was literally so nervous that i couldn’t speak or just say how i feel.
choose a song and tell us the story behind this track
‘write a good song’ is the intro track, and i randomly wrote the hook of it in the shower and had to keep singing it over and over so i wouldn’t forget it. i love this song because i wanted to open the ep with something fun and upbeat, but it’s also quite sarcastic and a little petty which is very much me and the theme of the ep. it’s essentially about how i purposely put myself through situations just so that i can write a song about it (or at least that’s what i tell myself every time i get hurt). i feel like this song perfectly sums up the entire theme of the ep.
give us some spoilers on your upcoming music
i’m planning to release a new single in april (it’s called ‘that night’). it will be the first release since my ep in september!
it’s about a secret relationship where it’s all fun and games to have this secret until it’s at the point where you’re just confused want more. It’s
also this snippet on tik tok: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMLyYY2eo/
describe yourself in one word
i’m extremely passionate about everything i do to the point where it can become a bit extreme. i’m a very ‘on’ or ‘off’ person, there’s no in between.
if you could go back to the day you first made music, what would you tell yourself?
to not be so hard on myself and not worry about whether it sounds good or if people will like it. just write!! and finish your songs before moving on to another one.
what's your favorite lyrics from your songs?
this is honestly so hard for me to choose because the lyrics are my favourite part and i feel like they are literally a part of me. maybe the lyric from exclusively nervous,
“the autumn walking, and false belonging, i can’t describe but those were the best nights of my life”.
it brings such a sense of nostalgia to me, like those times of ‘false belonging’ where it really feels like you belong to each other but you don’t and it ends.
thank you for the interview, sarah!
24th of february 2022
review on ep
"thank you for the content"
sarah's dreamy voice tells us her story and thoughts in her ep.
she really sparks and connects to us with her music.
all her songs in the ep are very exceptionally different.
cheerful songs or deep emotional songs about letting go,
you can find it both in her ep.