We are pretty sure you remember Sarah from America's Next Top Model Cycle 8. (Remember, her model name was Moe.) But did ya know that aside from being a model and photographer, she's a musician too? That's right! We love this rock chick side to her and it totally suits her. Her debut album "Are You Listening Now" just came out this week and we're totally digging it!
*To celebrate, not only do we have an exclusive interview with Sarah, we're also giving away two autographed copies of "Are You Listening Now"! All you have to do is tell us about your favorite music moment. This can be about anything and everything MUSIC so go crazy! Leave your answer in the comments, I'll be picking the winners on Monday April 28th.*
Congratulations on your debut album! You've come a long way - modeling, photography, and music of course. And you're only 21! We are assuming that music is your #1 priority. When did you realize that music is the path you want to follow?
It really wasn't as hard of a decision as you might think. I do love modeling and photography but there is something so unique and special about music that the other two cannot compare to. I have such a personal connection with my music. Every song depicts a time in my life and I write directly from my heart. Every time I perform my songs it brings me back to that time in my life, whether it was good or bad, it's a beautiful feeling.
I was actually put in the situation where I did have to choose between my modeling & music. Around the beginning of August 2007, I received a call from my agent at Elite. An agency in Milan wanted me to come out to Europe to model for 2 months starting in September. I was scheduled to record my debut album in LA in October so I had to make the decision which career path I wanted to peruse. It was difficult, I had always wanted to travel Europe but I knew what I felt in my heart. Music was my true calling.
When you were first introduced on America's Next Top Model Cycle 8, you were the contestant that was labeled "The Photographer." Do you still pursue photography?
When I was asked what my occupation was on the Top Model application with out a doubt I put photography. That's how I was making a living at the time. Even though now I am focused on my first love, music, I still try to find time to do my photography. Currently it's more for personal enjoyment rather than a career but I do plan to document my life on tour
and keep my fans posted with interesting shots from all over the world.
How has your appearance on America's Next Top Model affected your life and career after the show?
It's still very strange for me to be recognized and asked for my autograph. It might sound silly but sometimes I forget that I was on a popular television show. It has been great meeting all the wonderful fans of top model, even dishing about the new season. I am still an avid fan of the show and watch it religiously (okay sometimes I DVRit if I have rehearsal or a show).
Top model has been great! I came out with memories that will last a lifetime & friends that I wouldn't trade for the world. Lots of people ask me if I could go back and do anything on the show over again, but I always say that I wouldn't change a thing. I had a blast, it gave me inspiration for songwriting.
I do believe that the show has helped me with my music & getting my name out there as a musician. There are so many artists and bands out there making great music and now with the internet and MySpace, you really have to find a way to separate yourself from all the others. The fans have been so wonderful as well, supporting my music from the day I relaunched my music MySpace page (after getting kicked off Top Model). Still to this day I speak to a lot of them. They hold a special place in my heart!
Tell us about what went into making your album, "Are You Listening Now" and the significance behind the title track.
There is no short answer to what went into making my debut album. I've heard people say you spend your entire life preparing for your first record and I couldn't agree more. I'll give you the somewhat summarized version.
I went to Los Angeles back in March 2007 to do some writing with a producer/songwriter Marshall Altman. The end product was two demos we recorded called "Over You" and "Sing Me To Sleep". We had so much fun and really enjoyed working together, so it was an obvious choice who I wanted to work with when the discussion of recording my full-length record was brought up. I spent a little over a month and a half in the studio recording, mixing, and mastering my debut album "Are You Listening Now". The time seemed to go by so fast but you know how the saying goes. I love being in the studio recording, watching a song that began as just guitar and vocals turn into something so much more. It's exhilarating.
When we discussed what the title track of the record was going to be, I was very tentative. I really wanted something with substance and meaning, not just the title of the first single or some random nonsense. The title track "Are You Listening Now" is the most personal song I have ever written. It took me over 4 years to finally sit down and write it. "Are You Listening Now" is written for my father who passed away May 2004 after a long battle with drug addiction. I let every emotion I ever felt, even the feelings I never knew I had, while writing that song. I hope that it can help other people dealing with the loss of someone close to them. Music was a great coping method for me and I really pray I can give that to someone else.
Since you have modeled, we know there's a fashionista in there! We know it's important to look great on stage. Do you have any style rules you live by as a performer?
The 1 thing I can't go on stage without is my favorite pair of Converse Chuck Taylors. They're beaten up & really dirty but I would say are my good luck charm. When I go up on stage I love to feel comfortable. You probably realized this on Top Model. I was never one to wear heels all the time, just my Chuck Taylors. I usually wear a killer pair of black skinny jeans, vintage tee & a skinny scarf. I love scarves. It's an easy way to change up an outfit in minutes & it gives me another prop to use on stage.
Do you plan to tour the country anytime soon? We'd love to catch a concert of yours here in NY!
I am looking to tour this summer and fall. I really want to travel and share my music with people all over the country. My band and I are so excited to meet all of our fans. Trust me New York will definitely be in our itinerary. I love the city and wish I could travel there more.