California native Sandra Lynn is ready to make her mark on country music. Currently, she is busy readying her debut EP, which is being produced by Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts. Sandra graciously took some time to talk about her EP, her new video for "You Belong" and what's ahead.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Definitely! I was born and raised in California. From a very early age I always loved music and performing; it has always been in my blood. My parents always had records on in the house and music playing all the time. I was singing since I was seven years old, dancing since I was three and acting since I was 5. I performed at festivals, fairs and sang the National Anthem for major league baseball games. I went to Pepperdine University and majored in theater and television production. Once I graduated, I knew I wanted to write, sing and perform country music.
For two years I worked with different writers in LA, spent time in the studio and recorded demos. All the while I was a tap dance teacher for kids and an actor in commercials and independent films. In 2010, I met producer and songwriter David Foster and he introduced me to different collaborators in Nashville. That was the first time I came to Nashville and started writing with people. I was offered a publishing deal, but I felt that it wasn't the right time for me. In 2012, I started working on my current project.
Being from California, are you based in Nashville now?
My husband works in film and so his career keeps us in LA part of the time and my career keeps us in Nashville part of the time. We have a place in both cities.
Why did you gravitate to singing country music as a profession?
Throughout middle school, I really grew to love different singer songwriters like Jewel, Michelle Branch, and Sara Evans. I really enjoyed listening to Trisha Yearwood, Faith Hill and Shania Twain. l loved female powerhouse vocalists; their songs resonated with me on an emotional level. I wanted to grow up and sing songs like them. They impacted me and the music I am making now.
In college, I watched the country music channel and started listening to Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, and Tim McGraw. I also was introduced to more traditional artists like Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash and the Judds. I really grew to appreciate their music and honest storytelling.
Do you have a specific artist that stands out as a major influence on you professionally?
It's so hard to pick just one! But I would have to say Sara Evans, Trisha Yearwood, Faith Hill, The Dixie Chicks, Michelle Branch and Jewel all impacted me. Those are the records I would listen to the most. I loved their songs and videos.
Tell us a little bit about the EP you are working on.
I am working on the EP with Jay DeMarcus [of Rascal Flatts]. We met last year, which was really exciting for me as a fan, and we just clicked. I felt like he understood where I was coming from and what I wanted to do. We sat down and heard a bunch of songs then narrowed it down to the ones which emotionally resonated with me and I personally connected with. We went into the studio with some amazing musicians and now we are getting ready to release the music very soon.
Were you involved in writing for the EP?
I was not involved in writing for record. For this record, the songs are written by all different talented Nashville songwriters. Although I do write, it is somewhat of a new frontier for me and something I'm continually doing. I love writing. I always wrote in high school whether it was poetry or lyrics. I wrote more after college when I knew that I needed to start writing, putting lyrics to melody, creating my own music and finding my own voice.
It has been inspiring to come to Nashville and write with people. It's such a different format to go into a session and get a song written in three hours. Everyone here in Nashville really wants to work to make good music, get songs written and support one another while doing it.
Talk about your song "You Belong" and the video you recently completed for it.
It is the first track from the EP. I had an idea for a story for the video, so I wrote a treatment. I was really hoping to have Trey Fanjoy direct it. Trey has worked on some of my favorite videos, like Miranda Lambert's "Over You." I knew she could take the idea I had and build on it to create an amazing story and visual piece. My management sent the treatment over to her and within a few hours she called and said she wanted to do it. Trey took the initial vision I had and really made large scope video. We shot the video in January in Malibu, which was just really exciting. I cannot wait for it to be released and for everyone to see it.
In addition to the album and song, what are your plans for 2014?
I am busy, but it's good. We will release a lyric video for "You Belong" to support the music video and we are in rehearsals for exciting events which we will get to announce soon. We will also play local shows in town [Nashville].
Is there one album you are listening to now that you cannot get enough of?
I really love Sara Evans new album and her single "Slow Me Down."
For more information visit Sandra Lynn's official website
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