She was born and raised in the Lone Star State and marks a new breed of country music with her powerhouse vocals and music that welcomes edge. Country singer SaraBeth has been making great strides in the music industry with her latest EP Full Speed Ahead, which debuted at No.1 on the iTunes Country Album Charts in the UK and number 11 in the U.S.
She’s an independent artist who’s already been recognized as Female Vocalist of the Year by Nashville Universe and has been one of the few independent artists of any genre to be selected for the Virgin Produced Channel; her music videos appeared across the Virgin Produced platforms all over the world. With a career already filled with so many successes, SaraBeth’s only direction she can go now is up and we can’t wait to see what 2017 hands her.
We had the honor to talk with SaraBeth during Country Radio Seminar (CRS) held in downtown Nashville about her success, performing with powerhouse artists and what’s next for her. Read the interview below:
Beyond the Stage: Your latest EP ‘Full Speed Ahead’ went No.1 on the iTunes Country Chart in the U.K. and number 11 in the U.S. That must have been so exciting. Were you expecting such major success, especially in the U.K.?
SaraBeth: It was so exciting for me. I put the EP on preorder and so many people said they were going to buy it, and I, of course had my fingers crossed. I stayed up until it hit 11 o’clock here in the U.S, and it was so exciting to be able to watch it all happen. Being at number 11 is so cool and is such an honor, and learning about being No.1 in the U.K. the next day was even more amazing.
I’ve done a lot of touring in the U.K. so I have a following there who were really excited about the EP. “I Want It That Way” was the song that you got when you preordered the album, and it was on the Country Singles Chart in the U.K. the day the EP went up for preorder, so I knew people were buying it but I had no idea how many. It was all super exciting for me.
BTS: The EP has been out for awhile now, what’s been your favorite part of having these songs out in the open?
SB: You write so many songs and you perform them, and for me, it’s just really exciting to share your vision for your songs that you write. Most of the time you’re just writing it with writers and co-writers in the studio so, once the song comes to life, it’s kind of like a piece of you that you get to share with the world. It’s been really cool to see that with this EP.
BTS: You covered “I Want it That Way” on Full Speed Ahead. It’s so fun that you covered the Backstreet Boys. What inspired you to do that?
SB: I was out on St. Patricks Day where a friend of mine was playing at this bar in Nashville, and I went with my friend, had some dinner and listened to his cover band. They were singing the song and that’s where it all started. It’s always cool to cover songs, especially this song because it’s from a different genre. I got to put my own spin on it and it’s been really great to see how everyone’s been reacting to it. Since everyone’s been loving it so much, we decided to release it as a single.
BTS: You got to play at the BCMA Awards in the U.K. How was that? Were you nervous?
SB: It was a blast. I closed out the show and played alongside of my friend Glen Mitchell. We played a 9-song set and went back and forth with each other. It was really fun and the awards were amazing. It was an honor to be able to get invited, present an award and be able to close out the show. The whole night was kind of like a big party.
BTS: You were featured on WSM 650 for the Music Row Show? What was that experience like?
SB: It’s always an honor to be on that show. I was on it once before during CMAFest. It’s such an iconic station, and being next to the Opry is such an incredible thing. I was with amazing other songwriters on the show. We talked about the songwriting process and performed a song on the air. Honestly, it’s always an honor to be a part of the Opry whether it’s performing in the circle on WSM Radio.
BTS: You won Female Artist of the Year for the Nashville Universe Awards, and being an independent artist, that’s a big deal. What’s it been like for you seeing all of this success an what do you hope for the future?
SB: I think that you work so hard for everything and when something like this comes along, it’s nice to take a step back and reflect on everything that you’ve worked for. It’s an honor to be nominated in the first place but actually be the one that wins the award is really humbling and really exciting. I hadn’t even prepared a speech for the award in case I had won it. Honestly, I was even thinking about winning because I was surrounded by such amazing talent in the category. After winning, I actually cried and I’m not a crier. It was an honor.
As for the future, I hope to keep putting my music out there and to keep recording and working hard at everything I do.
BTS: What’s it been like for you personally to be a woman in country music?
SB: I think it’s a lot of fun to be a girl in country music right ow. I’m really lucky to be able to do this everyday. To see so many strong, amazing new female artists make their mark and have their songs on country radio has been so much fun to watch. I’m all about empowering other females, and I think it’s great that country music is finally recognizing that.
BTS: You’ve performed with some really talented artists like Glen Mitchell and Kelli Pickler. What have you learned by performing with them? What kind of advice have you received from an artist you’ve performed with or have opened up for?
SB: I try to take something from every performance that I do. Performing and opening for some of these bigger country artists is amazing to me. These people interact with the crowd and you watch how they move on stage and what their band does. With that, I try and take something from their performance and ask myself how I can add that and incorporate that into my set as well.
When it comes to advice, I think you have to stay true to yourself. If you’re trying to be someone you’re not, people can see through that. You don’t want that, so all in all, I think you just have to stay true to who you are as an artist and individual.
BTS: What’s next for SaraBeth in 2017?
SB: There’s a lot of different things in the works right now that I can’t announce quite yet. “I Want It That Way” is my new single, which is super exciting. We’re also hitting the road in the U.K. in May, and we’ve been in the studio. New music is coming sometime in 2017, we just aren’t sure when yet.