Sarajane Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Sarajane Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Music has many new fans throughout Europe who may be hearing about you for the
first time. How would you describe yourself and the music you play to someone
who has never seen or heard you?

Oh well, I am a tall woman with an undercut. If my face sees some sunlight my
face is full of freckles. My hair tied on the top of my head. I was going for a
Janelle Monae kind of look. In the summer I have freckles. My music is
powerful, bouncable, positive. Music that you can listen to on a Monday morning
for that extra kick of motivation or on a Friday night at the club. It’s a
vibrant mix of urban rnb sounds and pop music.

How was the last year for you? What were your highlights?

The last year was super exciting. I wrote and recorded my second album. So I
spend a lot of time in the studio or at the piano writing, singing, looking for
the right sound returning back to the studio. The last few months I spend
designing the artwork, choosing photos and rehearsing the new songs.One of the
highlights was to see the reactions of the people listening to it for the first
time. That was very emotional. On a side-note: I tried bikram yoga, that was a
special experience. And of course while I am super sweaty and wearing next to
no clothes I meet a booker from a club in Hamburg… that was very funny.

What is your latest CD and how’s it doing?

My latest CD is my second album „fuel“ it is coming drops on May 17 and so-far
the media seems to like it, we were invited to play a couple of tv shows one
very popular one: inas nacht. that was taped in a tiny pub, a very memorable
night. But what I really want to know is how my fans like it. The first two
singles are doing really well but I can’t wait for everyone to hear the whole

How did you choose the title for the CD?  Is there a story behind the

When I knew I wanted to make my next album I wanted to make a powerful record,
music that motivates and drives people. What do we all need to move forward?
Fuel! Be it good food, a workout, friends or music. I had the title long before
the songs where written.

Do you write the songs yourself? If not, how do you go about finding the songs
for your CD?

Yes I write my songs myself or together with my band or friends. I am
surrounded with a bunch of friends that are also very talented songwriters. One
song we jammed in the car while waiting in a traffic jam. A few I wrote on the
piano. Or I heard a beat and free-styled. Every possible way to write a song
happened in the making of fuel.

Please tell us about the songs on your album (influences, etc).

I am influenced by powerful women in showbiz. Beyonce, Janelle Monae, Alicia
Keys, I have been listening to them for years and followed their journey of
growth and also their evolution of songwriting. But my life is also a big
influence. Being underestimated is a fuel for me. I just really want to prove
people wrong. It makes me so much stronger. Relationships love and loss play an
important role.

What is the difference between your last CD and your current one?

Die biggest difference is the last album I recorded with a 14 piece band. In
one room just like the old Motown records. This album was made song by song.
Sometimes we only recorded some drums samples or a guitar sometimes it’s all
just electronic. I was a lot more free in the process of creating this cd. And
for the last song on the record we actually went into the studio as a band and
all stood in one room to record. The new album is really the best of both

Your current single is being played by radio. What do you feel is special about
this song that makes people want to hear it?

My song Diamonds & Pearls is very special to me. It is about the journey of
emancipating one self from other people’s opinions and just going for your
dreams. Walk there step by step. No matter who tries to stop you. Take those
stones on your path and build a castle! Take all the pressure and become a

What will your next single be?

Probably „The Boss“ when we flew to Spain to shoot the video for “Diamonds&Pearls” I played that song to the dancers and we suddenly started
working out visuals for the video and all..and „The boss“ is such a strong and
positive track. I think it would be great for the summer. I actually had a
meeting with the dancers today to figure out some details, wait for it!

What kind of songs do you like to record the most?

I really can’t say. Probably always the last one I recorded. In this case „Get
up 10“ it was challenging to sing but so rewarding once we had it. But I felt
about that about all the songs I just love being in the studio and showing
different facets of my voice and put all my heart and soul into the song.

You would like to do a Duet with?

I would love to duet with Stevie Wonder. He seems so lovely and positive. I saw
him live in London’s Hyde Park and it was magical! Also any one of his albums
would be fine for me if I could only listen to one album for the rest of my

What is your favourite song among all the songs you have recorded and what’s
the story behind it?

Hardest question. All songs are so new and so dear to my heart. I will go with
„Bullets out of Love“ my first single. I wrote that song in Hamburg during the
G20-summit and all the protests that came along with it. My flat was in the
middle of the storm where cars were burning in the streets. I was in my room
and got so angry with the state the world is in right now. I sat down at the
piano and wrote this song. I would like to shoot bullets out of love into
people’s hearts, make us all open up our hearts and be kind to one another
again. Reach out for those in need, treat each other with respect. For the
video I casted an army of love. It was great fun. It’s a song that everybody
gets right away. We recorded over 100 drums and percussion instruments for that
track to really give it the punch and force it needed. 

How much creative control do you have over your music?

100%. I founded my own label. Nobody tells me what I can or cannot to. Though
many people feel the need to, but I don’t have to listen.

Do you have any interesting stories about how fans have been affected by your

I get many messages of people working nights or just opening businesses, they
tell me my music give them that extra motivation to pull through. Or recently a
mother told me that her daughter comes home from school every day goes into her
room and listens to my music and sings her heart out to it. That is exactly
what I used to do as a teenager. I was so proud!

Who inspires you musically and how deep do your musical roots run?

My parents loved music. We had all kinds of genres at home but next to
everything from classical to popular my parents loved soul-music. I grew up
with Stevie wonder, Whitney Houston, Aretha franklin all the great Motown
artists. And my parents wanted to stay current, they had Beyonce’s solo album
before I did. So my musical roots lie there in the soul-music. The warm and
emotional vocals inspired me a great deal. I also love newer artists like
Janelle Monae or Lizzo.

What do you think about today’s music scene versus its post and where do you
see it going in the future?

Well due to streaming people seem to care more about songs than albums. I used
to have to buy a Cd with 12 songs on it to listen to that one favourite tune,
now I just search for it and listen to it. One rarely listens to the whole body
of work. That is a downside, but on the upside artists can just out a song out
and see how it is received before they have the budget to be able to record a
whole album I really wonder how this is going to change in the next few years.
I think it gives us creative people freedom to choose how many songs we want to
put out at a time, and that is a great thing.

What do you think about today’s music industry?

I founded my own label McNificent Music, because I couldn’t find a label that I
felt would represent me the way I am and
because the contracts that I saw didn’t feel fair to me. I think a lot
of things need to change, but since it’s easier for an artist to just put music
out there I think label structures will be forced to change or else artists
will just do their thing on their own terms.

As an artist, you so many tasks such as recording, touring, interviews. What do
you like best, what’s your favourite activity?

Performing or making new music. Performance is like a dialogue a conversation.
you get a reaction to what you put out there and it is just there for a moment
(yes I know everybody records it on their phoned) but you have a new chance
every-night to create something special. it is the best

Are you doing anything to take music beyond its current borders or are you
happy where it is?

My dream is to play a world tour! Right now my music is being heard by many
many people in Canada and the u.s. so that could just give us the chance to
play abroad more..

Before you became a star, were your friends and family supportive or was it a

😉  Love the question! All I can say is
that my parents were very supportive when I decided to go into music, and most
of my friends are in the creative business too, so they understand. Just older
family members seem to find it hard to understand what exactly it is that I do,
but as soon as they saw my face on the tele it was all right for them.

What inspired you to become an artist?

I needed to express myself and music was my favourite language.

What inspired you to become a songwriter?

I felt like I had something to say. It was like a therapeutic means to sing and
soon I started to write songs, too. I didn’t consider myself a songwriter till
years later though..

What drives you?

Excellence. People that take things a step further. Artists who shattered glass
ceilings and redefined live shows and videos and production! E.g. when I live
streamed Beyoncé’s Coachella show, I was so motivated to up my live game. It’s
positively contagious.

What’s unique about you that will differentiate you from other artists?

I am fuel. I am your big sister who gives you pep-talks and is also on your
favourite playlist.

What has been your greatest challenge in music business?

Founding my own label and really stepping into the business side of the

What moments in your career stand out in your memory as highlights and
achievements which you are proud of?

I flew to Iceland with a piano and my drummer and we played three off-venue
gigs on the huge Iceland airwaves festival. That was an amazing experience.

Who is your biggest critic, yourself or others?

Most definitely me.

When you get time off, how do you like to relax?

I sleep in, drink tea in bed and then I walk to the river through the sunshine.
I do yoga and most recently discovered my love for playing frisbee.

Is there anything in your life that you would change if you could?

Answer: I
have love and family and my health. I would change the amount of money in my
bank account.

What hopes and desires do you have?

To spread love with my music, and positivity. I’d love to people to listen to
my music in the morning and to get their groove on and be like: right lets do
this. I’d love for people to bug me like Rihanna to release new music again!

What has been the biggest disappointment in your life?

Being dumped after just having spent all of my money to visit my boyfriend at
the time who had an internship on another continent just to find out he was
cheating on me. I was 22 at the time..but then again, all these situations give
us stories to write about so in the end I made a song about it and all is

Many European fans travel to the United States to attend the several of the
music festivals for the opportunity to see so many of their favourite artists,
bands and celebrities. Will you be participating and how will the fans be able
to find you?

Not this year but I would love to go to Coachella one day! Much rather play
there myself of course.

What can your fans expect to see when they see you in concert?

We will shine together. We will open our hearts, laugh, dance, sing. We will go
home with a full tank of good fuel.

When you’re on tour, do you have time to play tourist?

mostly not. But I do try to see things and try local food!

Many music fans today get their information about artists online. Do you have
your own website and what will fans find there?

Yes I do. My website is just a collection of my Tour and Release dates with a
few pictures of events. If you want to find me in person online head to my
instagram page @officialinstajane

What’s the best compliment a fan has ever given you?

One woman works night shifts and listens to my music to get through it!

What’s your favourite song that you wish you could have recorded?

Oh I think that very often. One that comes to mind in this moment is Aretha
Franklin’s „A little prayer“

What message would you like to send your European fans?

Buy my album so I can come on tour to visit all of you! I would love to
celebrate this new album with y’all!

Describe what a perfect day is like for you.

Love-making and good food. 

Lamitschka ( for Country Music News
International Magazine & Radio Show

Photo (c) by Anne Monee

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