Sarah Darling is a Nashville based singer-songwriter. She has opened for Carrie Underwood and Kacey Musgraves and is playing several dates in the UK over the summer. GIGsoup caught up with Sarah at BST (British Summer Time) in Hyde Park.
How has your day at BST been so far?
This has been one of the most beautiful days. It’s the blue skies, the warm weather. I mark this as an important show for me. Three years ago I started coming to the UK, nobody knew me at all. Just to be able to have a presence on the same bill as Paul Simon and James Taylor, just to be able to have this opportunity is a ‘pinch me’ moment. For me as an artist from another country, just the reception that I get with my music is great.
You have built up a loyal fan base, but tell us a couple of things your new fans should know about you.
I grew up in the Midwest of America. I’m a small town girl from Iowa, it’s where ‘Field of Dreams’ was set, if you’ve seen that film. I fell in love with country music because of my Grandpa. I actually didn’t start writing songs until I moved to Nashville. I wrote poetry as a kid. I’m a blend of country music and wide open spaces meets Fleetwood Mac.
Let’s have a chat about your new track ‘Diamonds’ What’s the story behind that song?
Diamonds is a very special song – I wrote in Nashville with a British songwriter named Jess. We wrote it on my front porch. We were admiring nature over a glass of wine. This whole concept that we are all a work in progress came through and it’s so true. I don’t anyone who can say ‘I am exactly where I want to be right now.’ It’s all about how time and pressure can give you really beautiful things. Sometimes you’re going through a storm but there’s going to be sunshine on the other side. It’s all about finding the silver lining and not being so hard on yourself. People are so hard on themselves these days.
What was your approach to song-writing for your album ‘Dream Country’?
I considered ‘Dream Country’ a very therapeutic project. When I started writing it I had just become an independent artist. It was my ‘you can do this’, keep going album. A lot of the songs are uplifting and about chasing dreams. If you listen to that thread you can actually hear my story. It’s really my story.
That thread of being uplifted is apparent in your songs. What makes you hopeful?
I pray and I am somebody that puts a lot of faith in God. I am hopeful for the future and what’s in store for me. It’s not just about what’s there at the moment. It’s about seeing the big picture. It’s really a beautiful connection for me and actually that’s why I sing in the first place.
Talking of opportunities and being blessed, you’ve played over eighty times at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Tell us about that.
My last time there marked number eighty six. It’s absolutely incredible. The first time I played there Vince Gill introduced me. I am so grateful that the Opry has really got behind my career. I love being there, it’s like a family. They are a family of musicians. Every time I get to be there, on stage or watching, it makes me a better artist, soaking up all the magic.
Talking about performances, what do you remember about the first time you played in public?
I remember one of my very first official shows, I was thirteen. I played the Iowa State Fair. I was born and raised in Iowa and I got this opportunity. It was all covers, I did Shania Twain, the Dixie Chicks, Patsy Cline. I remember wearing sparkly trousers, it was quite funny.
You career is going from strength to strength, for example you are on the same bill as Paul Simon today, in the midst of this what would be your definition of success?.
Success, when it comes to music … I feel I am starting to tap into this really beautiful place in my life where I’ve got a lot of peace. I’ve done music that makes me happy. There’s something about being uniquely you and putting that out into the world as your art and just enjoying your family and friends. To me that’s a measure of success. Just finding and enjoying. It’s really the whole journey. I don’t think that ever ends.
Quick Fire Questions
Fish or chips – chips
Fashion or passion – that’s so hard for me but I’m actually going to say fashion
Mickey Mouse or Minnie Mouse – Mickey
Steady or ready – I’m steady
Rhyme or reason – Reason