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"One thing I love about being a musician is the shoulders of giants on which we stand". - Sara Niemietz

Posted: December 3, 2022
On slinky and infectiously catchy songs such as "Keep An Eye," "Lovely Lies," and "Four Walls," Sara and Linda hone in on that sweet spot between jazz, pop, rock, and blues. The pair slip into hazy, neo-soul reminiscent of Voodoo-era D’Angelo on "Come To Me." "Four Walls", a quiet reflection on promise and healing, is being translated into Mandarin. Sara has reverently studied the language and culture since high school and released several videos singing in Mandarin.

How does the common individual express their feelings? Usually, through communication of words or actions. Sometimes those gestures, are just not quite effective enough. Sometimes, it literally takes words, and music to penetrate the hardest of hearts. There is a saying “Music has charms to soothe a savage breast.” That famous line was uttered by a character in William Congreve's 1697 play The Mourning Bride. They didn’t mention how difficult it would be to compose a song of that nature. Nonetheless, it was a quote that was ageless. It withstood the test of time.

Just like singing the blues. It's an ageless wonder. A marvel in many respects. To be empowered with such a gift, is unique. With such abilities, you should be able to charm the heart of a savage beast. A comparison between timeless quotes, and music are not to imply a specific type of person or trait. It is too prove the effectiveness of music, when done properly. If you are a savage or beast, that is not for us to determine. However, our focus is on an artist, that has an upper hand in communication. She uses it quite often, and there is no comparison. I have tried, and it the determination is that Sara Niemietz is her own person. Authentic to a fault, and is not afraid to admit it. Charming, and convincing our her lyrics. Her performance with the guitar, is unmatched. Sara Niemietz is also a performer. Combine all three, and she becomes a triple threat. Which is why I am glad that I do not have to compete against such talent.

I am always up for jumping right into the interview with our guests. However, it is important to review their achievements. Especially if your guest is Sara Niemietz.

ABOUT SARA NIEMIETZ

Sara Niemietz (born June 7, 1992) is an American singer/songwriter and actress based in Los Angeles, California. She has performed on Broadway, at Radio City Music Hall, and the Grand Ole Opry. A substantial portion of her YouTube offerings are live performance music-videos and her channel has surpassed 25 million views.

Sara Niemietz is a sonic storyteller. With a suitcase and a guitar, she brought her music to 40 countries. On social media, her videos have garnered over thirty million views, and a highly interactive approach has created a close-knit community of listeners. Now, she is drawing from this experience to create her most personal record yet.

When the pandemic put the world on hold, Sara learned to improvise. Her "twentytwenty" album was released during the height of the lock down and landed on the Billboard Albums chart. With canceled show dates and newfound free time, Sara threw herself into creating new music and videos. As fate would have it, Sara's last gig had been with Tony-winner Jason Robert Brown, where she met musician Linda Taylor (Whose Line is It Anyway). The two began to collaborate remotely and create what would become Sara's newest album, Superman.

"I love to reach. Whether it's language, technology, or literature, I'm always looking to expand my palate and stretch the boundaries of what I can create. During the last few years, touring vanished, and I was left with plenty of time on my hands... that time brought this album to life," Niemietz reflects.

From starring on Broadway (Carol Burnett's Hollywood Arms), to being a first call for vocal sessions (Disney, Queen Sugar, Under the Dome, The Exorcism of Emily Rose), to touring with Postmodern Jukebox, Sara Niemietz has spent countless hours immersed in music. Her collaborations with Scary Pockets, W.G. Snuffy Walden, and B.J. Thomas have resulted in countless singles and albums in an ever-expanding catalog. She has appeared at The Grand Ole Opry, at Radio City Music Hall, on The Ellen [DeGeneres] Show and on MTV UK.

From blues-tinged ballads to indie rock, she now combines all her musical history into Superman. Fourteen tracks of vibe and virtuosity, this newest release will be accompanied by extensive touring and alternate singles sung in Chinese, which she has previously studied.
Latest release called Superman by Sara Niemietz

"This album is about vulnerability and empowerment. It’s about speaking your piece, shaking off the past, and finding the superhero inside,” shares singer, songwriter, multi- instrumentalist and actor, Sara Niemietz. She continues: “As a kid, I used to run around with this blanket tied around my neck and call myself ‘Super Sara.’ This is a return to that, and it’s my most representative project to date."

The LA-based creative polymath’s fourth album, the indie rock Superman, represents a reinvigorated era in her artistic continuum born from small vulnerable moments brought on as a result of lockdown, and seismic, non-pandemic life changes. The album is also a showcase for a fresh collaboration with co-writer and co-producer Linda Taylor, the ace guitarist on the hit ABC show Whose Line is It Anyway?

The pair met fortuitously on Sara’s last gig of 2020, a showcase with Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown, and just three days after their meeting the world shut down. Sensing an intuitive chemistry, Sara and Linda began to collaborate, tossing wildcard musical ideas and playlists back and forth.

During the height of COVID, the two began to collaborate in earnest. A feverish flow of ideas went back and forth as Linda and Sara finished tracks totally self-contained with Sara handling all her vocals and vocal production, and Linda layering the tracks and mixing the recordings. Soon, the pair had six songs with Sara producing earthy and engaging videos for each one. Sara’s broad internet reach and her innate marketing savvy enabled the duo to become a buzzed- about collaboration.

The twosome quickly found themselves nurturing a signature blend of soul, sonics, and story with emotive vocals and prominent guitars. Some of their artistic touchstones included Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Janis Joplin, Brittany Howard, early Kings Of Leon and D’Angelo. Sara says: "I’ve never been happy being tied down to any genre. I grew up listening to Ella Fitzgerald, polka records, Led Zeppelin, and Steely Dan. When I was a little kid, I would plug in a Fender Squier into a cheap amp, tune down to drop D, and put on concerts bashing out power chords."

In 2021, Sara felt it was time she and Linda made a complete album. The two decided to keep their file-sharing creative process intact, fully realizing the songs with demos before they brought in musicians and booked a studio. Sara’s only stipulation was for the album to feel like an album, a whole work, not just a collection of songs cobbled together. How do you make such a broad palette of genres feel cohesive?

"It occurred to me as long as we’re telling the same story, the songs can be the chapters in the book. We kept this like a mantra - does the chapter fit the book? We can go anywhere we want sonically, stylistically, just keep the story true," Linda says. The pair booked Robby Krieger’s Horse Latitude Studios, confident they could make the album they wanted with no compromises.

The resulting album is a mosaic of soulful sounds, spanning sensual blues ballads, smoldering soul, snappy jazz-pop, and indie rock. Thematically, Superman grants privileged access to Sara’s life before and during the pandemic, much like the pages of a journal set to music. The 14-song album explores tumult, triumph, the freeing feelings of starting new chapters, and resilience. "There were times in the writing process that I wondered, is this too personal? Then I thought, nah, just go for it."

The bluesy "Locks" captures the bittersweet side of getting through life challenges. Here, Sara’s rich and sultry vocals imbue the song with a sense of burnished hope befitting the lyrics. One choice passage reads: Who’ s that looking out from the mirror/A little bit leaner, meaner/She figured it out/Can’t believe what I see/It’s almost hard to believe/This other side of the street I’m standing on. The seductively soulful “I Want You” boasts psychedelic organ drenched in Echoplex, and Sara’s sweetly gritty vocals. Her words here smolder as she sings: Whatever you’re doing, just keep doing it/I want the colors and the sounds of your love/All the power of your love/I can’ t, I can’ t, I can’ t get enough.

On slinky and infectiously catchy songs such as "Keep An Eye," "Lovely Lies," and "Four Walls," Sara and Linda hone in on that sweet spot between jazz, pop, rock, and blues. The pair slip into hazy, neo-soul reminiscent of Voodoo-era D’Angelo on "Come To Me." "Four Walls", a quiet reflection on promise and healing, is being translated into Mandarin. Sara has reverently studied the language and culture since high school and released several videos singing in Mandarin.

Superman is indeed a heroic effort as it is both uncompromising genre-bending, but also cohesively musical. It’s a rare feat. Linda says: “Sara was very clear when we started this album about what she wanted, and how she wanted it to sound. We didn’t set out to find a style; we just wanted an honest reflection of Sara’s diverse music palette.” In closing, Sara says: "It was freeing, letting what was in my mind out into the world without any self-editing or second guessing. This is the record I’ve wanted to make for a long time."

Sarah is truly unique and outstanding in every way. Just to interview her is remarkable. We are fond of many genres here at Guitar Thrills Magazine, but have an interest in blues and folk music. Sara is a master architect at both. Needless to say, it was a delight to ask some questions to one of our favorite artists.

Interview with Sara Niemietz and Guitar Thrills Magazine

Guitar Thrills: That is a lot of information to remember. That is ok, as you can book mark our interviews to your internet browser. You can also purchase a printed issue of Guitar Thrills Magazine. Either way, you will always have the opportunity to reflect back upon this interview with Sara Niemietz.

Guitar Thrills: Hello Sara, it is our pleasure to have you interview with Guitar Thrills Magazine. We are true fans of your work. We talked a little bit about your start in the music industry. However, I am sure it goes back further than what was mentioned. When and where do you recall wanting to become a musician?

Sara: Music is my earliest memory. I recall singing in the car with my parents while they drove me to daycare, singing along with the Beatles and home, learning “harmony” with Rubber Soul. At a young age, I sat in at clubs and learned songs at karaoke spots! I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a singer.

Guitar Thrills: You have a wide range of music genre, that you could be great at. Is it ok to classify you as a blues artist? How would you define yourself?

Sara: I define myself as a musical story teller. This album is very much an indie rock album. To me, genre is something to explore and learn from, not to be ruled by.

Guitar Thrills: When you stepped on the stage for the first time, what was your expectations? Where did you see yourself headed?

Sara: My first experience on a stage was singing with the great BJ Thomas. I went to his show at four years old. I’d listened to all of his music beforehand and sang along from the audience. Amazingly, he saw me in the crowd and invited me up to join him on “Hooked on a Feeling”! That sparked such an immense love of live performance. I wanted to spend my life chasing that.

Guitar Thrills: Who were some of your favorite artists? Who gave you that lift, the inspiration for what you are accomplishing now?

Sara: There are so very many. One thing I love about being a musician is the shoulders of giants on which we stand. There is a rich tradition of learning from other musicians and learning tunes; and I love studying. Some of my influences include Aretha Franklin, the Beatles, Bill Evans, Ella Fitzgerald, Janis Joplin, Paul Simon and so many more!

Guitar Thrills: I know the music industry is not easy and can be a challenge. Despite how talented you are. How have you managed through some of the most difficult days?

Sara: There are so many facets of the music industry that are not remotely musical. I maintain internal peace by keeping my love of music at the center. It is passion for creating that drives me on — also knowing there is a lot of rejection. It’s endemic. It’s not personal! No one is a fit for everything!

Guitar Thrills: Tells us about your greatest accomplishment as an artist? What is your most disappointing experience?

Sara: Oh wow! There have been so many key moments. Releasing my new record “Superman” has been one of the highlights. I am so excited to share this music with the world. It is so me.

Guitar Thrills: We talked in the introduction about the effectiveness of communication. Conveying it through words and music. How important is it for you to connect with fans on this level?

Sara: There is no specific disappointment that stays on my mind. I like to keep moving forward.

Guitar Thrills: Tells us about your latest release Superman. We have some background on it already. However, tell us from your perspective, what it means, and how it has been embraced by your fans thus far?

Sara: Superman is the most “me” album I’ve made to date! It is fearless, unapologetic, and so sincere. My listeners have responded very positively! It’s been such a joy to see kind responses and to hear that this music resonates.

Guitar Thrills: It has been a huge pleasure to ask you a few questions. They are few, because I had many more to ask. However, I thought I would save them for a future topic. Would you consider an interview in 2023?

Sara: Certainly.

Guitar Thrills: Excellent. We look forward to it.

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