Name: Sarah Klang
Occupation: Singer, songwriter
Current Release: Sarah Klang's Virgo is out now on Pangur.
Recommendation: Okay so here are two albums - “Jaime”by Brittany Howard, the whole album is just epic. Everything about it. And “Rare Birds” by Jonathan Wilson. THAT’S a hot album for ya.
If you enjoyed this interview with Sarah Klang, visit her on Facebook or Instagram. Or head over to her website for more in-depth information on her and her work.
When did you start writing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences? What was it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?
I started writing in my early teens. I used to listen to just about everything when I was younger. Nirvana, Cardigans, Oasis. Can’t say what drew me to music. I just need to do it I guess.
For most artists, originality is preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. What was this like for you: How would you describe your own development as an artist and the transition towards your own voice?
You just have to test different stuff, do what feels right in the moment. Everything changes, so does the music.
How do you feel your sense of identity influences your creativity?
Isn’t my identity the same thing as my creativity?
What were your main creative challenges in the beginning and how have they changed over time?
I guess not knowing exactly how to sing or use my voice the way I wanted it. It comes with age and singing a lot. I feel more comfortable now.
As creative goals and technical abilities change, so does the need for different tools of expression, be it instruments, software tools or recording equipment. Can you describe this path for you, starting from your first studio/first instrument? What motivated some of the choices you made in terms of instruments/tools/equipment over the years?
The only thing really changing during the years is probably the location of the studio.
Have there been technologies or instruments which have profoundly changed or even questioned the way you make music?
Nope, don’t think so? There are sounds that I often use and need to add to make it sound “right” but that’s all.
Collaborations can take on many forms. What role do they play in your approach and what are your preferred ways of engaging with other creatives through, for example, file sharing, jamming or just talking about ideas?
I wouldn’t say I’ve done a lot of collabs, I worked with the same people for six years now. But I don’t think I’m that hard to work with, I don’t mind letting people listen to only half done songs.
Take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work, please. Do you have a fixed schedule? How do music and other aspects of your life feed back into each other - do you separate them or instead try to make them blend seamlessly?
During COVID there’s hardly any routine in my life. I try to wake up relatively early, I drink coffee, clean the apartment (I have some cleaning ocd) then I take the dog out for a walk. When I don’t have anything on my schedule like going to the studio, or recording, I try to do some writing. I feel like my life and my life “as a musician” is all blending together.
Can you talk about a breakthrough work, event or performance in your career? Why does it feel special to you? When, why and how did you start working on it, what were some of the motivations and ideas behind it?
My first album album opened up a lot for me as an artist. I wrote the lyrics when I was 18-19-20-21-22 so it covered a span of things that happened to me as I stepped in to adulthood.
There are many descriptions of the ideal state of mind for being creative. What is it like for you? What supports this ideal state of mind and what are distractions? Are there strategies to enter into this state more easily?
Nope this is not something I’ve mastered yet. My life just chases me and sometimes I write about it on my cellphone.
Music and sounds can heal, but they can also hurt. Do you personally have experiences with either or both of these? Where do you personally see the biggest need and potential for music as a tool for healing?
I use music to relax during traveling, or to sleep. And of course I listen to music when I’m drunk with my friends, dancing and so on. But I have never (or at least for a long time now) been able to listen to sad music when I’m sad. It gets too dark adding the music.
But sometimes when I feel depressed I play all my rocknroll favorites and feel a lot better.
There is a fine line between cultural exchange and appropriation. What are your thoughts on the limits of copying, using cultural signs and symbols and the cultural/social/gender specificity of art?
I feel like copying and cultural appropriation are such different things in the way that while CA is actually hurting people, copying can be fun/silly/stupid/boring. I’m all for copying, I’ve done it a lot I guess. But it also depends where you draw the line between copying and being inspired.
Art can be a purpose in its own right, but it can also directly feed back into everyday life, take on a social and political role and lead to more engagement. Can you describe your approach to art and being an artist?
It’s hard to talk about your own “art” or music in that way. I write and make songs about things that happens to me and about my life. Once the song is released, it’s not mine anymore.
What can music express about life and death which words alone may not?
I guess the actual feeling? I feel like music and art in general can amp up all feelings. When I’m sad I rarely listen to music, it gets too heavy for me.