DozenQ – Sabrina

This entry is part 7 of 20 in the series DozenQ 3

Sabrina Murdaugh (stage name, Sabrina) is based in Nashville but is making her mark not only in Music City, but well (well!) beyond. A singer/songwriter who, to-date, has released three CDs, Sabrina has played numerous times at the famed Bluebird Café (and even gotten a standing ovation there). As I said, though, she is not only performing in Nashville. In addition to Tennessee, Sabrina has played in 17 other states: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia. PLUS, she has played at the Regal Room in London (England) (and a few other shows there too).

01 How did you get started in music?

Well, I’ve been singing all of my life in school and church but it was after I’d moved to Nashville and lived here for a few years that I started doing music. The loss of a friend made me evaluate my life and I decided that I wanted to do something that made me happy. Music was that thing so I started out by singing at a coffeehouse and then writers’ nights around town. That evolved when I met a good friend who began introducing me to some industry folks. After that didn’t work out the way I expected it to, I decided to do music as an indie and that led to the recording of my first CD.

02 Where did your direction come from?

Living in Nashville, I saw many indie artists doing what I wanted to do and that’s where I started. As I grew and continue growing, I continue to read a lot and research what others are doing not to emulate them but to get an idea of what can be done and as an impetus to go beyond in my own personal expression.

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03 Who were your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

I grew up listening exclusively to a wide range of Christian and classical music so I’m sure that has influenced at the very least some of the content and maybe even the style. Artistry-wise, once I was introduced to general market music, I’ve always loved Bonnie Raitt because she’s an amazing artist and seems to say in her music and presentation, “Here I Am, take it or leave it.” It’s the fearlessness that I admire. I’m also a huge fan of Tuck & Patti. They take one guitar and one voice and strike so many chords inside the soul of the listener. I think that no matter the production or number of instruments on a finished product, if the song can’t make it as a guitar/vocal then it’s missing something essential.

04 What inspires you to make your current type of songs and sound?

I look around and see that life can be quite difficult. As an artist I try to use the gift/tool of music to lift people up, to encourage them, to give them permission to feel whatever it is they’re feeling and to look for the hope that lies beyond those emotions. Stylistically, I’m inspired by the great diversity of  wonderful music available to us now. With so many options I think it’s important to experiment and find your voice. I believe the character of the musical narrative I’m sharing dictates the voice I use.

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows then & possibly even now?

When I’m performing I’m going to come out and give you everything I’ve got in the execution of the music and the lyrics. One of my favorite things to hear is when a fan says, “I felt like you believed every word you sang.” That makes me feel like I really communicated and makes me very conscious of the songs I choose.

06 How do you begin your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

My songs come from so many places. Sometimes it’s a melody or a phrase that has popped up in my subconscious and once it comes to the surface, I try to flesh it out. I’ll repeat it over and over in a stream of consciousness sort of way until the story whole unfolds. Once the picture starts to take shape then I color in all of the blank spaces.

07 How did your music evolved since you first began playing?

I’ve grown a bit since I first started and have been exposed to so many kinds of music now. I believe that has broadened not only my musical knowledge but also my point of view. I’m not as afraid to step out of the role as the observer and share more personal things in my music. I don’t always write about autobiographical things; but when that story needs to be told, I don’t hesitate. I’m also constantly pushing myself to explore other progressions and sounds so that neither I nor the fans are bored during the set.

08 What has been your biggest challenge? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

My biggest challenge has been getting over social anxiety. I’m very comfortable in front of a microphone with a guitar in hand; but sometimes outside of that realm I feel, let’s say “uncomfortable.” I worry, like many artists, that this music which is so essential to my soul might not be accepted by some. Some days I still struggle with “not fitting in” but the pull of the music is stronger than that feeling. I know that I have something to offer and that I will fail if I let anything get in the way of that offering even if it’s just for one listener.

09 Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

I love playing covers, especially since I didn’t grow up listening to general market radio/music. It’s been really cool hearing and learning songs that the average person grew up with. Picking one song is extremely difficult because I have a large but diverse taste for music. I think I’d like to cover “Shape of My Heart” by Sting. It’s such an incredibly beautiful song that takes the simple activity of a card game and makes it a personal confession not only for himself but for the listener who lives and loves in this world. Additionally the guitar work is lovely.

10 Where did you envisage being in five years time?

In five years (or sooner) I’d like to be performing on bigger and even international stages: perhaps even sharing the stage with some of my favorite musicians. I’d also like to release more projects exploring specific styles outside of my current music; like swing or bluegrass.

11 Who would you most like to record with?

As a performer, I’d love to record with Bonnie Raitt. If you’re referring to who I’d like to have as a producer I think that Jack White would challenge me and bring out something unexpected just from his musical point of view.

12 What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

I’m currently working on a new CD that I hope to release in October 2013.

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Tour dates:

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Photo by David Hager

Originally posted 2013-07-16 13:11:25. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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