Check out our interview with talented singer/songwriter Sarah Barrios who just released her hit song “IH8EVERY1.”
Sarah won the New England Music Award for Best New Act of the Year in 2014 and was nominated the following year for Best Female Performer of The Year. She was also a CT Music Award Nominee for Best Singer Songwriter. Her music is described as acoustic pop with an indie/blues twist.
Follow Sarah @sarahbarrios
Hi Sarah, please tell us a little about you?
Hiya!! I’m a singer/songwriter and lover of all things music, I’m obsessed with books, tea, and coffee. I’m a part of the LGBTQ+ community, a professional over-thinker and I really want a cat but I’m scared it’ll hate me haha.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Curious, Thinker, Bookish
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?
Haha, it’s a long story but the short of it is, after finishing my first year of college I decided to pursue music full time and dropped out of school. I spent the next few years working a 9 to 5 and playing as many shows as I possibly could around the east coast until my current manager found me on Instagram and reached out! He bought me a one-way ticket and let me sleep on his couch, convinced I was going to go back home and 4 years later, here we are!
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Alive, Honest, Curious
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
In the least cheesy way, I think music chose me. I can’t remember a moment of my life without it. My parents were in bands and played music 24/7, so I owe most of my love of it to them. Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift were two people I really looked to for guidance when I first started writing. I think mainly because they focused a lot on storytelling, so the songs themselves felt like novels, and as a die-hard book reader, I loved that. But Paramore has been the thing that has driven me, inspired me, and grown with me since I was young. Hayley is someone I continue to learn with, hurt with, and heal with and I am forever grateful that they never truly broke up.
Do you play any instrument?
I play the guitar, though I’m still learning and a little bit on the ukulele!
Do you ever get nervous?
ALL THE TIME. I have pretty bad anxiety so nervous is my default setting.
Tell us about your new single “IH8EVERY1?”
I’m obsessed with this song. It’s upbeat, fun, and honestly very different from the other songs I’ve released, but it feels more true to who I am. It’s about not really liking most things, but finding that one person you wouldn’t mind spending forever with. A real opposites attract trope if you will.
What’s the story behind this single?
I have a series on Tiktok called, “You ask, I write” where viewers comment song ideas and then I write a lil song based off of their entry and this song was one of them. The fans got the video to almost 3 Million plays, which is insane, and asked if I would finish it. Two days and no sleep later, myself and a few friends finished the song and had it ready for release! I honestly was not expecting anyone to watch the video, let alone have it go viral but I’m so happy it did!
What is fun and rewarding about what you do? And what’s not?
The most rewarding thing about making music is knowing that it might help someone else, that it might fill a missing part of someone. Music has taken on so many roles for me: a listening friend, a parent, a teacher, a lover, a motivator, an escape to another reality. The thought that something that I wrote might be that for a stranger is beautiful. On the other hand, it’s no secret that this industry is a volatile one, so sometimes the business and inner workings of it can be difficult at best, but I still wouldn’t trade it for anything else.
What are the five things you can’t live without?
My family, a good book, music, a cup of tea or coffee, a notebook.
What’s next for Sarah Barrios in 2021?
More music that feels alive, a lot more shows which is exciting, and personal and musical growth. 2021 is going to be an exciting year and I can’t wait for everyone to see all of the things I’ve been working on.
What is you favorite song? And why?
My favorite song changes daily but right now I have two: Dreams by Fleetwood Mac because it’s classic and Last Hope by Paramore because it’s a reminder that, no matter how dark you may feel, there is always light if you’re willing to look for it.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
Oh boy, I can’t say I read many business books. I’m more of a sci-fi/fantasy YA novel reader. That being said, I recently read Leigh Bardugo’s “Six of Crows” duology and found it extremely motivating and reminded me to not let fear be something that breaks me down. While it’s not a business book, I find there are always truths laced throughout fiction.
What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?
This past year really did a number on my mental health and recently I decided to seek out therapy! I think I spent a long time thinking that I could handle my anxiety and depression on my own and that, if I couldn’t, that I wasn’t strong. But there is strength in being vulnerable and asking for help and I’m really proud of myself for taking the first steps into it.
Any loves other than music?
I’m sure you couldn’t tell from my last few responses but I love books. Reading and escaping to other worlds, becoming other people, it’s one of my favorite things to do. I hope to have my own library one day so I can sit and drink tea amongst hundreds of different storylines all at once.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would love to meet Hayley Williams to talk about her experience in growing up in the industry and how she writes. Stevie Nicks would be cool as well, both strong women, born in different eras of music.
Best advice ever given?
“If you look for light, you can often find it, but if you look for the dark, that is all you’ll ever see” – Uncle Iroh, Avatar The Last Airbender
How’s a typical day in your life?
It changes daily but usually I wake up at around 7:30-8 AM, listen to an audiobook or a podcast while I get ready, make a cup of coffee and then dive into emails, TikTok editing/writing, talking with listeners online, going live etc. Someday’s I’m in a writing session or filming TikToks/YouTube videos, other days I’m streaming on Twitch, filming a music video, or having band practice. It just depends on the day!
Name one your strengths?
I think I read people well. When I’m in a room with someone, even if it’s for the first time, I feel like I know the emotion they are feeling at the given moment. It’s helpful, especially when I’m writing with others because I know when someone is feeling down and wants space or if they need to talk about it. Being aware of others’ emotions is super important and I feel like it helps both myself and the other person understand each other more.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
I would wake up and walk down the street to get a coffee and then peruse the local bookshop, where I would buy a few books even though there’s a stack of unread ones on my desk at home. Then I’d grab some goodies from the Farmer’s Market, go home, eat and read in the sun.
What is you favorite song to belt out in the car/for karaoke?
There are way too many car songs but “Misery Business” by Paramore is a must and maybe “Africa” by Toto
What is your own definition of happiness?
I think my definition of happiness changes all the time, but right now happiness is loving and being loved, finding the beauty in the small things, and sharing life with others.
Do you support any charities?
I don’t have any in particular but I try to give whatever I can to as many charities as possible. There’s a lot of people in need and in pain and I try to do my best with what I have to support anyone who needs it.
What is your favorite healthy food?
I make a mean vegan tofu parm that is to die for. I don’t know if it’s healthy but it’s good haha! I also really love snacking on veggies.
And your favorite cheat food?
Lasagna or Jack in The Box HAHA
What would be a deal breaker on a first date?
Someone mistreating the restaurant staff. If they’re rude to strangers, I will not be an exception down the line. Also any type of mansplaining or misogyny. I have anxiety so going anywhere, let alone a date is a big deal for me. Don’t waste my time if you don’t think I’m worthy enough to understand the conversation.
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
Playing lots of shows, making music that helps me heal, hopefully, more confident in myself and healthier mentally.
How would you describe your fashion style?
It’s a mix of a lot of different things. I like mixing masculine and feminine together and I like my outfits to be comfortable. I’m learning how to be more confident in what I wear too. If we only have one life, why am I bothered by anyone else’s opinion on me?
What do you think of Social Media?
I love that I can connect with so many different people across the world and that social media gives them a safe space to be themselves and find support if they don’t have it at home. Like anything, it has its downsides. there’s a lot of negativity, and social media often lends microphones to people who should not have them. It creates false realities and makes it hard to know what real life is and who people are. But the pros outweigh the cons for me. I feel like I understand people more and I’m grateful for that.
Where we can follow you?
Quote: “Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage, against the dying of the light”. – Dylan Thomas
Movie: Pride and Prejudice/Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban/Ready Player One
Travel Destination: Scotland/Ireland
Sports Team: Patriots
Photo Credit: Jamie Rosenberg (Jar photo)