Interview with Sarah Close — the Isle of Wight singer with a million Spotify streams

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NOT many artists can boast a million Spotify streams on their debut single.

However, this is the feat that has been achieved by former Ryde School pupil Sarah Close, who released Call Me Out just under three weeks ago.

The 21 year old wrote the song in October 2015, however, it was only after the song was produced in November last year that it became a contender for the lead single from upcoming EP Caught Up.

Taking a break from the studio, where she’s currently writing more songs, the singer-songwriter told yoppul: “It’s been so unexpected, but obviously welcomed. I hoped that from building my YouTube channel it was going to get a reaction. I thought it’s gonna be okay and that someone was going to listen to it!”

Posting her first video on YouTube at the age of 14 — an original song called Yesterday — the singer has amassed over 700,000 subscribers, and has since collaborated with other YouTube stars such as Dodie Clark and Conor Maynard.

 

“It feels very surreal, I almost can’t quite visual it, everything up to this point has been numbers on a screen. I haven’t really done anything where I’m seeing the numbers online.

“I feel the same as I did when I saw the hit the first 10,000 mark. I try not to pay attention to the numbers that I hit, you have to stay grounded, but every little helps in the sense you hope someone will hear the music.”

The single has been released under her own label, The Kodiak Club, which has been named after the first song Close wrote that received a ‘truly positive reaction’.

“I’ve always been interested in business — owning my own record label has been something I’ve always wanted to do. First of all, it gives the artist more creative control, to have more ownership of your music,” she said.

“But I wanted something that’s also something long term which I can build, I’d love to one day be signing producers and other artists, and be investing money in their careers. Maybe, in fifteen years time, or less than that, I’ll want to take more of a backseat role in the music industry and that gives me the option to do that.”

Though Sarah now lives in London, as an Island teenager she was constantly gigging, attending Rob da Bank’s music club and playing monthly music nights at Cowes Yacht Haven — she encourages young Island musicians not to see the Solent as a hurdle in getting into the music industry.

“It can feel cut off, but it’s not as much of a hurdle as you would think. You don’t have to be in London to be getting involved in the music industry.”

Keen to give more advice, she added: “Just equip yourself with as much knowledge about the business as you can. Find out who the management companies are, research the labels – the most important thing is to practise whatever you’re doing, so if you want to be a songwriter, write as many songs as possible, find other songwriters on the Island and start practising so that when it does come to meeting people in London, or moving, that you are the most perfected product that you can be.

“I think that the island has quite a rich music scene so playing gigs and getting comfortable on stage is equally so valuable.”

Sarah will be releasing her EP Caught Up on April 14 and is performing headline gigs at Camden Assembly and Heaven later in the year.

The last time the singer played the Island was at Bestival in 2013, however she hopes she can soon return to play the IW Festival.

“Obviously, playing a home festival is the dream.”

Thanks for speaking to us, Sarah! Keep up with her on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.