Keep on Moving

Alt-Nation: Interview with Sara Azriel


In this week’s Tuesday edition, I reviewed the entrancing new EP from Sara Azriel.  After enduring a decade of not having a user-friendly Motif website, I may be glutton because now I’m apparently trying to throw as much stuff as possible on the interwebs. I did an interview with Sara Azriel about the new EP, the release show tonight at Fete, and her journey. Check out this great show featuring Sara, The Silks, and Moon from Boo City! The first person who emails me at with Sara Azriel as the subject gets two free passes at the door for Sara’s show at Fete on Friday.  Now … here is more from Sara.



MC:        You grew up in Michigan. Could you talk a little about your travels and how you ended up in Providence?


SA:         Sure. I left Michigan for Boston to attend Berklee when I was 18. Boston was amazing, but after graduating, I wanted to try out Los Angeles. I did some cool things professionally, but L.A. wasn’t a great fit for me in many ways. After seven years there, I moved back to the east coast, eventually house-sitting outside of Providence. I started coming to town to hear live music, and fell in love with the city and its people pretty quickly! It was a no-brainer to move here.


MC:        After graduating from Berklee, you went through a six-year period of writer’s block.  How did that affect you and how did you eventually overcome it?


SA:         It was painful. It’s a similar feeling to having a broken heart. I questioned my whole identity and purpose in life. Overcoming it was a process of learning to accept it and not judge myself. When I did get back to writing, I went in without expectations, goals or pressure. Focusing purely on the enjoyment of sound is absolutely key.


MC:        When you write music, what usually comes first? Is it a vocal melody, piano, the guitar part?


SA:         Usually I start by playing a chord progression on the piano, and improvising vocally on top. Some melodies are stronger – they keep coming back – and those are the ones that end up becoming the song. It’s important to mix it up, though, and write from a different approach to keep the songs from not sounding the same. Co-writing is very helpful in that regard, too.


MC:        What was your favorite part about making this EP?


SA:         If I had to choose one favorite part, it would be when I went to New York to master the record.  It’s an incredible feeling to hear all of your work culminate in the final stage, alongside the people who worked so hard on it. I got to meet James Wisner, who did an amazing job mixing the record.  It was also my birthday. Such a celebratory day!


MC:        For the show at Fete, do you have a full band lined up or are you performing solo? What should a patron expect?


SA:         I’m playing with a full band, and I’ll also be doing a few solo tunes. The Silks and Herrick Bain (Moon from Boo City) are also playing. I’m excited about the diversity of the line-up and the soulfulness of all involved. It’s going to be a great night!


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