Sarah Troy is a 22-year-old powerful, pop vocalist originally from Bragg Creek, AB (a little town near Calgary in Canada). She studied music in college in Boston, Massachusetts and moved to Nashville in 2015 at the age of 20. Currently, she has released 6 EPs. Although Sarah considers herself to be a Pop artist, her music has some Folk roots as well. Her music explores relationships, the subject of Nature v. Nurture, and Sarah shares her own vulnerabilities through her lyrics.
A couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to hear some of her original music at a songwriters round with previously spotlighted artist, Pat Kiloran, and I just knew that Sarah would be a great artist to spotlight on Shine On Music City. Not only is she an incredible vocalist, but she has a sweet spirit and innocence about her that I love. Her music allowed me to see a different, darker side to her artistry that I found fascinating. I recently reached out to Sarah and we sat down and discussed her hopes for her career in music.
What led you to pursue a career in music?
Music has always been an outlet for me; a kind of self help. So in the beginning, I don’t think I even considered what it would mean to be a “singer/songwriter”. I just new that It was something I wanted and needed to do all the time, almost as a means of survival. As I grew up and began to understand the way lots of people look at their careers – a means to make money – I think I got a little spooked. I didn’t want my job, the thing I wake up most days to do, to be anything other than something I absolutely loved. I understood the appeal to stability, and even in moments questioned if I was better off working a job that I cared about a bit less so that I could be sure to make a little more money, but I don’t think I ever really saw myself doing anything else; I never really had a plan B. Whatever money I might not make in my life because of the career I chose, I’ll make up for in joy; a joy I don’t think I personally could have found anywhere else.
What is the most challenge part (to you) about being a musician?
I think the growing pains of a musician (or any creative person) can be painful. When we create we lace little pieces of ourselves and our identity into our work. So when it comes time to grow, we have to be willing to take criticism and improve on something that we identify with on a deeply personal level. For me, growing as a musician or songwriter, in many ways means being willing to be hyper-critical of myself and my little creative-offspring. That’s easier some days than others. On one hand, I just want people to tell me they love what I create, but I know that I there are lots of things I want to improve on and I will never improve if I only ever listen to people who praise me. On the flip side, I know I will never please everyone and can’t base my self worth in the respect or admiration of other people. So it’s a tough balance between loving yourself and also being willing to take criticism as an opportunity to grow.
What has been your most embarrassing moment on stage?
Oh gosh… I’ve had my fair share of these moments. (Haha!) There are two that come to mind and they pretty much tie for “most embarrassing moment on stage”. The first one happened to me when I was in middle school performing in what we called “Calgary Idol”. A bunch of young singers in Calgary all auditioned to compete and perform on a big stage in the middle of one of the shopping malls in the city. I made it past the first round of auditions, and when it was my turn to perform on the big stage in the mall, I was super nervous… so nervous that I forgot all the lyrics and froze in front of hundreds of people. They had to stop the music and walk me off stage. MORTIFYING!
The other time was when I was in High School. It was in my grade 12 Drama class and we were all performing our final scripts. I got through about 5 minutes of the 15 minute play (in front of a room of all of our family and friends) before I began forgetting all my lines. It got so bad that at one point I just kinda shrugged at my partner and we found a way to end the play. That one was especially hard because I was letting down my partner and our director. We had worked really hard to do well and take our play to competition …and I completely botched the entire thing. Yikes!
Where do you see your career in 10 years? What are your goals for your future in music?
In ten years, I hope to see myself super busy! Writing often, releasing records, touring a bit. Maybe living in L.A., but probably living in Nashville. I want my days to be filled with creativity and connection. My favorite part of my job is being part of the creation of something awesome with people that I admire… so I hope to be doing a lot of that. Maybe more than anything, I want my music to be heard and to impact people. My favorite artists have all had a profound effect on my life and have gotten me through some pretty difficult stuff. It would be such a gift to be able to do the same for others one day! I also want to be able to support myself with my music, but I don’t think I really dream of being rich and famous. I’m sure there are aspects of that I would enjoy if that somehow happened for me, but I could take or leave that part of this industry.
Oh…and I want to be happy… If that’s not too obvious to say. (Haha!) I don’t think my happiness will come from my career alone. Honestly, I think it will have a lot to do with the people in my life and how peaceful my relationship with myself is. In ten years, I want to be continuing to find new ways to love myself and accept myself, and I want my art to be helping others do the same.
Sarah Troy offers a valuable insight into the importance of loving yourself and creating something that can help others, which I believe any artist can benefit from. One of my favorite parts of being involved with artists and their careers is that I get to see each one grow individually, and Sarah is no exception. She has the ability to share her own life experiences through her songs that I believe many people can connect with. Her candid responses and willingness to share her personal feelings on her own growth is something that I find truly special about her as an artist. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for this talented songstress!
Be sure to check out more of Sarah Troy‘s music through her Soundcloud and connect with her via her social media links above.
(Photo credits: Alex Humphreys)