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Interview with Sara Skinner - August 2013

First we would like to congratulate Sara Skinner on all her recent success stories and for earning our March 2013 Artist of the Month title! They are well earned and totally deserved! - We have been working with Sara for a couple years now and are always in awe over her performances and fast moving success in a really tough industry. Sara is an all around artist and we believe that she can take her music career in any direction she decides. We think it would be wise to offer Sara a deal before someone else does!


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The first thing we would like to know is how you landed the deal to work with Kurt Schneider to do the video "Demi Lovato Medley" and also what was the experience like?
Email. I've emailed several of the huge Youtubers, a few times & I think this time around I was more appealing, because my fan base was bigger. I've also had a song on the radio, VEVO, MTV, so this time I wasn't just asking someone to take me from zero to nothing & "make me a star." I think that's something that well known artists are skeptical of doing, they want to see that you're dedicated and that you've put in the effort for your music career, before they loan you their hard earned fan base. Anyone can upload videos on Youtube, it doesn't mean they're dead serious about music.

The experience was great, Kurt is a cool guy & we made a killer recording. The video has already been recognized by Teen.com, Huffington Post & many other blogs. It's also been tweeted out by Hollywood Records & Demi's sister, Dallas Lovato! So some funny behind the scenes facts.. When traveling to California, we hadn't planned the video out, so I brought this cute outfit with a skirt & my wedge-heel converse shoes, planning on an indoor performance type video. Then Kurt throws out the idea of a canyon, and I assumed it was probably just an easy to walk on trail… but I was very wrong haha. You can't tell, but I was holding on for dear life while sitting on that branch & the walk was pretty steep & uncomfortable in the shoes I was wearing. I wish I would have taken those shoes off, but when I choose an outfit, I'm usually dead-set about it. I'm already laughing about the situation though, it's just a funny story to tell. Working with Kurt was great & I think we're planning on doing another one soon!


Video: Demi Lovato Medley - Sara Skinner & Kurt Schneider


You have had recent stage time on Teen Hoot and your getting ready to head to London for Teen Hoot UK. We notice your fan support on Twitter for these events are amazing. How does that make you feel? Also, how did you become involved with the organization and has it lead to other opportunities?
I can't even say how much I appreciate my fans' support, all I can say is I wouldn't be able to do anything without them. I have a mobile fan club & they're so dedicated. Anytime I send them a text to help me out with a show or views on a video 100% of them start spreading the word immediately. (Anyone can join by texting the word: SKINNER to the phone number: 96362)

So I became involved with Teen Hoot, again, by email. I'm really efficient at searching the internet, finding people's email addresses. I used to have a job doing that for a music company. I know where to look & I use any email address that I can find for them. When I emailed David from Teen Hoot, I was just getting started.. I only had a little less than 5,000 youtube subscribers. I didn't expect to get on the show, because I had the least amount of fans of anyone there, but David's been in the business for a long time and I think was able to see my determination & my artistry, and I'm thankful for that.

I've had so many opportunities since Teen Hoot. I would say 50/50 it's between the Teen Hoot shows & my radio play that have gotten me these opportunities. I can't wait for Teen Hoot London, I already have so many fans there & I hear the people there are really appreciative of great music and art, so I'm extremely excited. I'm praying that my France fans will travel to see me, because I have so many & I'd love for them to see me live and I'd love to meet them all.


It seems someone might be helping you with all that you have going on. Do you have management or other support?
My management has helped me out a ton as far as industry introductions, radio play & helping me to get on shows with artists like Hinder, Hanson, Vicci Martinez, The Dunwells, Matt Hires. Other than that I am in charge of the creative things, including filming, recording and editing my videos, talking to fans, posting pictures, etc. I do that 100% by myself. I also still book my own shows, I recently got a booking agent to share that task with. I also write my own music. I have a few co-writers that I love, but mostly I like to write alone. Everyone in my family has been huge supporters of my music, and I'm thankful for that.


If you were offered a deal to sing songs written for you to sing, would you consider it?
I would have to be able to give my input, and I would also want some of my own songs on the album. I will never sing a song that someone wrote for me that I don't completely agree with lyrically or melodically, just because a label says "this will be a hit." If someone gave me a few songs that they wrote & I loved them, then yes, totally. I encourage people to email me their stuff. I'm just extremely picky & particular about my sound.


Being independent is great and it has its ups and downs we all know. Do you enjoy being indie or are you looking to sign to a major label?
It's fine being an independent artist. I wish I was signed to a major label, but then again I have friends who are signed to major labels & they aren't treated or promoted any better than I am. I would love to find a label that truly believed in me, otherwise I feel like it's worthless & actually ends up holding you back. Your fans decide your career & the magnitude of it.


We really enjoy your StageIt shows and wonder if you plan to do them again and do you think it's a good service? Also, can you describe the process of getting setup and what is required on the artist side of StageIt?
I like StageIt. They make it really easy, you can just join and set a show up. My fans were the ones to set up my first show for me, and I was contacted by StageIt the second time, so that's how I got on the Featured Shows list both times. The only thing required on the artist side is that 40% of the total amount earned goes to StageIt. It's still totally worth it. They even have an online sound guy that will help you get set up & if you have any difficulties during the show he'll fix them for you. I personally think they deserve 40% for the customer service that comes with a show that you aren't charged anything to put on.


Which one of your original songs do you like to perform live? How often have you had the opportunity to perform your originals live?
I really like to play all of them live. I probably prefer the newer ones, just because they're new. I play live originals every time I perform. I throw in covers, but I'm mostly an original artist. The covers are mostly for gaining Youtube subscribers & fans. Some of the songs I REALLY like, but others are obviously not songs I'd normally choose to sing.


Can you describe your local music scene? Are the venues in your area supportive of independent music and are any of them paid gigs?
I think my local music scene is mostly country & hardcore/metal music, so I don't get to play here much. There is a country club here that let's me do paid gigs sometimes, but I mainly focus on playing shows online, or in the bigger cities where there is a bigger pop/rock scene.


What is coming up for you Sara?
Another radio single, this time with a proper music video! I'll definitely get together a little US tour for it. Right now I'm trying to get another EP together, it's just been a slow, expensive task. I know it's pathetic, but there is a tip jar on my website SaraSkinner.com where fans can help me out. Every dollar helps. Starving artist here.


You have a few sponsors who are supporting your music career, would you like to mention them?
Yes! Kurzweil supplies me with keyboards, so many cool sounds to choose from, I have an SP5-8 model. Blue Microphones all the way, they give me the clearest vocals - I have the Blue Bird, Yeti, Live 200 & I want to get the Baby Bottle soon. Clayton Custom Guitar Picks provides me with the guitar picks with my face on them, love to give them away at shows. They're high quality picks, haven't broken one yet. I just signed a contract with Gorilla Ears for in-ear monitors so that I can start hearing myself during shows. I'm so excited to get my first pair in a few weeks. I'm also about to try out a new headphone company to see if I want to sign with them too. I love all my endorsements, people don't realize how expensive it gets as an artist.

Enjoy Music from Sara Skinner



Any final words you would like to share? This is your time for shout outs and self promotion!
If you like my music please tell your friends and family about it! Don't be stingy with the music haha. I'm not on a label so I'm depending entirely on word of mouth. Please come to my live shows, and let me know what cities, states you would like me to come to! I appreciate all my fans so much. Talk to me on my Twitter, FB, Instagram, I try not to ignore anyone. Join my email list for weekly updates on shows, videos, funny stories.

Visit Sara Skinner

Twitter.com/SaraSkinner
Instagram.com/SaraSkinner
Facebook.com/SaraSkinnerMusic
Youtube.com/SaraaaSkinner






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Bio

Sara Skinner is an alt/pop singer, songwriter with self taught abilities on guitar & keys. Vocally similar to Lana Del Rey & Ellie Goulding, her voice has been embraced by press as aggressive, but soft and eerie at times. Apart from her first pop rock EP, her upcoming EP is musically similar to electronic alternative radio music, inspired by bands like Imagine Dragons, Grouplove & Foster the People. Sara's first single "Break" is played on XM/FM radio, Vevo & MTV.

Sara has toured with & received compliments from established & upcoming bands including rock band Hinder & folk/rock band The Dunwells, who announced during their show "Sara Skinner is probably one of the best vocalists on the planet." After opening for Vicci Martinez in California, the first season Voice winner invited Sara to share the stage in singing her first hit "Come Along ft. Cee Lo Green" during a festival in Portland, ME.

Sara has co-written with various Grammy winning writers, including a 2013 Hall of Famer, Holly Knight. Knight, the original writer of Pat Benatar's hit "Love Is a Battlefield" asked Sara to perform vocals on a recent remake of the song.

In February 2012, Sara released her first EP, but exactly one year later Z-Entertainment Records re-released a single from Sara's first EP. “Break”, the ballad single, landed on radio the following month. Sara continues to promote her radio single while writing and recording for an upcoming EP.