Feelings can be some of the strongest things we possess and Sarah Proctor makes this a priority in her music.
"My grandad got me my first ever gig,” Sarah laughs, recalling her first gig, aged just 16, in her native Billingham in the north east of England. Then followed a few years performing her bedroom-penned original songs around local venues. Armed with an initiation of winning over gig goers in the North East, and the desire to appease her own music-making goals, Proctor made the move south to London to discover and create music outside of her relatively-limited environment, before eventually heading further afield to Los Angeles to continue her search.
Every move she's made until now has contributed to the music she’s now creating. “I did a lot of my growing up in LA,” she continues. “At the time I hadn't come out yet, and it played a huge part in helping me to feel comfortable with my sexuality by being in a city where it is so widely accepted. It really gave me the courage I needed to never apologize for being exactly who I am, and I think that honesty shows in the music I'm making now."
Having previously shied away from using he/she pronouns in her lyrics, Sarah embraced this when she wrote “Show Your Love.” "It's the most open I've ever been," she says of the song. “I wanted to talk about my early experiences and how scared I was the first time I fell for a girl. This is the song that I would have wanted to hear growing up, when I needed to relate to something.”
Arriving into an increasingly diverse pop landscape, Sarah draws inspiration from today’s artists such as Daniel Caesar, Jessie Reyez and Sam Smith, who similarly allow their openness to permeate through their music. “I like honest, real songwriting,” she explains. “Artists where, when you strip the production away, the songs stand on their own two feet — just pure and beautiful.”
Her first collection of songs have a loose theme of love, ranging from platonic to romantic, the emotions of which are captured by Sarah’s classic songwriting and expressed through her stunning vocals.
"You could send it to your mum," she says of “I’ve Got You”, a calming centre piece of the EP. “It's there to tell someone that you care unconditionally". Meanwhile, both "Lay Down" and "Say Too Much" delve into the knot of emotions felt when things aren't working out in a relationship.
“Trust me saying nothing’s harder than just leaving you" she sings on the latter. “That’s me saying you could stay and say something you don't mean, whether thats 'I love you,' or argue and say something hurtful.' Sometimes it's better to cut ties and end things peacefully."
Ultimately, music is Sarah’s driving force, specifically connecting with people who can relate to her songs or are going through similar situations and just need to hear it. This transformation of the deeply personal into a shared wider experience is part of her drive. “For me being successful is having my music reach people and affect them on a deep and emotional level. That’s the ultimate accomplishment."