People are starting to pay attention to Sara Steele. After catching her latest single 'Follow' we knew it was a good idea to get to know her a little better.
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Growing up just outside of Stockholm, Sweden, Sara had plans to break free from the musical road she was heading down and the result was Steele. If you're not up on Steele yet they're made up of 3 artists: producers Charles Elmi & Dejan Sajinovic alongside Sara Steele herself.
They create heavy, progressive and cinematic music and we thought it was about time to find out some more about Sara's influences, her past and of course find out what's she's listening to at the moment. This is our interview with Sara Steele.
Tell us about how 2016's been for you so far.
The year started with the release of my debut EP ‘Opium’ in January. After that, it was an immense amount of anticipation to see how the public perceived the music, you know, if they liked it, hated it and so on.
Turned out that a lot of people really loved it and were asking for more, in tandem with blogs and big music magazines giving the EP the most amazing reviews and attention. So, I had 4 songs out – which, when performing live, results in a very short gig and I basically ended up in the studio recording the second EP ‘Hiraeth’ straight away. It’s being released in September and has 4 new tracks.
It’s been a roller-coaster really, and I’m very thankful for all the support we’ve been given from the most unexpected parts of the world.
We love the 'Follow' video! What was the creative process behind it.
I'm glad you like it! Well, I had a very strict piano teacher when I started taking lessons at the age of 6, and from there, there's always been a bit of a conflict when it comes to how much you want to invest in getting good. You question yourself and your performance constantly!
The girl in the beginning fronts as my young self, and the first encounter with the apprehension to music – its ominous magnetism. So in combination with my love for melancholy, music and a hint of Miyasaki, the video is about the artistic struggle most musicians feel from time to time; to follow ones will to create no matter your inner demons.
For those in the UK who aren't familiar with Steele yet, how would you describe your sound?
I’d say it’s a mix between cinematic, dark pop, post rock and trip-hop. Big landscapes, heavy beats, sultry vocals and eerie lyrics. I want people to feel like it’s a soundtrack to the drama we’re all starring in.
Tell us a little about your upbringing in Sweden, what sort of music would you hear as a child?
I grew up in the countryside, in a tiny, picturesque house, with my parents and two older sisters. Music was always playing in the house, either from the speakers or some of my relatives jamming. It was everything from Björk to Paco de Lucia really, but mostly jazz, soul, funk and bossa nova. I was obsessed with making my own mix-tapes and CDs and had this bright yellow Walkman which was always playing. So basically I grew up with music that might not be so similar to my own, but it has definitely permeated my way of creating it.
Who are your biggest influences musically?
There are so many aspects of my influences that don’t only apply exclusively to other musicians. It might sound a bit pretentious, but I get more inspired by things, quotes or moments that make me actually feel something. I get really affected by beautiful things - It can be my sister’s art, reading about Olbers paradox, watching a movie, going really fast in a car at night – anything. And so when I sit down at my piano, I channelize those feelings, and I try interpret them in to chords, melody and lyrics.
Which 1 artist has influenced you the most?
It has to be Fleshquartet, they’re a Swedish band who’ve written the most beautiful instrumentals and have had some of Sweden’s best artists as guest singers. Really mesmerising music.