NOVEMBER INTERVIEW with the sensational Sarah Buddy and her debut album, Sparks Fly.
Welcome Sarah Buddy, to the Wire MEGAzine, which has been on the music scene 32 years since 1989, as a non-profit, and 1 of Canada’s longest-running online music tabloids.
Sarah Buddy is a native of New Hamburg, Ontario, who now lives in Kitchener-Waterloo. She isn’t new, nor is she shy to the stage, as she was raised around music with her father, Herb McNeill in a number of bands as a drummer, and her mother, Jean McNeill often sang, as well as her English Grandmother, who used to sing at Blackpool Tower. Also, Buddy cites her brother, performer John C. Malcolm, as a large influence as he is a trained actor and performer, “He does musical theater in Toronto and is in commercials and stuff like that. Anytime that we perform together I have to put my A-game on,” says Sarah.
DEB: Q. 1. Sarah, what was it like to grow up and now follow your dreams in the footsteps of your highly successful musical family? SARAH: It feels like I am finally on the right path. I have dreamed forever to make an album, and now I have done that. I am proud to tell everyone in the world about my family and the musical adventures we have had over the years. We are all proud of each other and our accomplishments. Mine is the best and most supportive family to be a part of.
DEB: Q. 2. What advice were you given about the ins and outs of music when you started in show biz back when you were just 12 years of age? Also, what advice would you give to young artists entering the music realm in these unprecedented times?
SARAH: I would make sure that my 12-year-old self knew that this will take a lot of work, and a lot of time to accomplish, but as long as you keep at it, it will come to you. My advice for the younger generation looking to enter the music scene would be to make sure they know they need to be doing it for the love of the music. Don’t expect to become famous overnight or make millions, because if that is your expectation, you will most likely be disappointed. If you do it for the love of music, you will always be happy.
DEB: Q. 3. Do you play any instruments and which would you say is your favorite? SARAH: Singing is my passion, and my voice is my instrument. I am never happier than when singing on stage or in the studio. I also play guitar a bit. I am not great, but i can carry a tune.
DEB: Q. 4. Take your fans on a stroll through your inaugural 2020 debut album entitled ‘ Sparks Fly’ and share your creative writing process and share details of those involved with your album, and how it all came to be?
SARAH: Originally, I was working with some songwriter friends, doing demos to help them sell the songs. Amazingly, we ended up deciding that we were actually going to release an album! Releasing an album in the middle of the pandemic was so unexpected and positive, it certainly made everything seem just that little bit better, during such unusual difficult times. We had been working on the songs for a few years, slowly, just in little bits at a time, and to see it all come to fruition is incredible, to be honest. ‘Sparks Fly’ features the songs ‘Dark Shadows’, ‘Head to Head’ and ‘Sparks Fly’ written by the By the Pool Music https://www.bythepoolmusic.com team based out of the UK. https://www.sarahbuddy.com/music
These tracks were co-produced by Nick Coler, a highly successful producer, who has previously worked, amongst others, with Alice Cooper and Kylie Minogue. I am so flattered that Nick loved my voice from the onset, comparing it to Taylor Swift’s voice! I was introduced to the By the Pool team through an old friend, the guitar player Bruce Irvine, from one of my dad’s bands. Every six months or so, Ross McGeeney from the By The Pool Team, would come to Canada, and he would have a song or two, and maybe some alterations on another song, and then Ross and I would go into Chris Colvin’s Studio A in Kitchener where we would record the songs. It was about two years ago when the By The Pool Team really started to talk to me about putting those songs out on an album through the label. Everybody really went hard at getting that done. We were so fortunate to have the support of Ryan Kerr from Record Store Day Canada, who helped and encourage us with the release of the vinyl album, helping get it into record stores. We only just managed to get it into the stores in time for Record Store Day, as the production process takes some time. I was also fortunate enough to be able to tour the record pressing plant as they were pressing my album, and watched the orange vinyl dropping ‘hot off the press’ – a unique experience!
DEB: Q. 5. Have you seen or felt a major shift in the music industry prior to Covid-19? SARAH: Prior to Covid-19, gigs were becoming all-important, and providing a major stream of income for many musicians, as there were diminished revenues from streaming for many musicians. Unfortunately, the pandemic put live work on hold, meaning that many musicians suffered financial losses, and found it difficult to make ends meet.
DEB: Q 6. Who would you say, then and now, inspires and influences your music the most? SARAH: I do have a lot of influences in music, but vocally, I would say I really gravitate towards fellow Canadians Jann Arden, and Alannah Myles with a club feel thrown in there sometimes.
DEB: Q. 7. If you had to pick one song that you wrote that you enjoy performing the most, what would that be & why?
SARAH: ‘Better Things To Come’ is such a hopeful, positive, uplifting song, with the capacity to lift everybody’s spirits, that I would have to choose this song.
DEB: Q. 8. Some of the most historical and revered music has always played a deep role in the transformation of society. Some consider how their art relates to the current social-political landscape or how their music can address these themes. Does your music touch on social or political issues? SARAH: Definitely! ‘Dark Shadows’ is a very moving song, addressing, as it does, mental health issues. ‘Better Things To Come’ became an anthem of hope for the end of the pandemic, echoing the words of Joe Biden, as the vaccination was rolled out: “There is hope and light, and better days ahead.” ‘Miss Understood’ deals with the problems of fame and the paparazzi.
DEB: Q. 9. Contrary to popular belief, making it is the art of music isn’t merely a game of luck, as it requires talent, strategy, dedication, and determination based on your vision and goals. Outside of your new Sparks Fly Album, released in 2020 amidst the worldwide pandemic, and the various singles you have released thus far like Sparks Fly, Dark Shadows, Enough Is Enough, Miss Understood, and your new electronic pop single “Better Things To Come”, released March 2021, and featuring guest artist, MC DT, and the late great Malcolm ‘Molly’ Duncan on saxophone, not to mention your recent release of “Blinding Lights“, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baICzXoCers a guitar-driven fem-rock cover version of the hit song by fellow Canadian The Wkend. Share how you have interacted with your fans throughout this new world of COVID -19?
SARAH: Social media has been all-important. Facebook and Instagram have both enabled me to reach out to fans all over the world, and hopefully to encourage and support them through these difficult times. I have many fans from South America, Mexico, and Europe, and I love hearing from them.
DEB: Q. 10. What does success mean to you?
SARAH: To me, I consider myself successful when I am happy with what I am doing. Music is my happy place so I guess that means I have been successful in that regard.
DEB: Q. 11. Last but not least, what is next on the horizon for Sarah Buddy?
SARAH: I am really excited to be working on another collaboration with MC DT, on a rap version of ‘Miss Understood’ called ‘Notoriety’. The unusual combination of an MC from the UK with my singing went down really well on the ‘Better Things’ Remix, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LirJ4fajYM so it’s awesome too be working with MC DT again. https://www.facebook.com/1mcdt
I’m really looking forward to the release of my first digital album, ‘Enchantment’ in 2022, which will include some of the favorite tracks from the vinyl album, as well as some amazing new tracks. Listen out for it! So there’s lots going on, and exciting new tracks to look forward to.
Thanks so much for your time today. Kudos to you Sarah for accomplishing great things during Covid-19, much success moving forward on your future endeavors my friend.
Stay in tune with Sarah Buddy by visiting her various social platforms below: