Singer Sara Hartman moved to kick start her career. Like many who want to move to The Big Apple to find some sort of record deal, Hartman did the exact opposite and moved to Germany—Berlin—to find inspiration. Following a brief European tour with electronic star Ellie Goulding, Hartman is already gearing up for a second stint, but this time with the X Ambassadors. The singer admits that playing NYC’s Terminal 5 was one of her biggest aspirations to date. Consider it a goal checked off her bucket list, as she will be playing there on Friday May 13.
byteclay.com’s Robert Frezza sat down with Hartman to talk her gorgeous new EP called Satellite (out this Friday April 22), Europe, and her upcoming tour all from her apartment in Berlin, Germany.
As many Europeans dream of making it big in the United States, you decided to go the opposite route and leave the United States and leave for Europe. What made you decide to move? What have your experiences in Berlin been like?
For me there wasn’t really a choice. I had an opportunity to follow my dream and it happened to land me in Germany.
I was playing in bars and restaurants in the Hamptons (where I grew up) and played for someone who introduced me to a producer in Germany. I had made enough cash playing gigs over the summer to afford a plane ticket and the rest is history. I never really thought about how I was moving in the opposite direction of many others trying to make it in music but I am very happy I get to live in Berlin. It’s a deeply inspiring city.
Is there a difference in your European fan base versus the one stateside?
Opening for Ellie Goulding introduced me to a whole bunch of people all over Europe. I get quite a few messages in delightfully broken English saying how much they appreciate my music. So I gotta say I love my European fans. it’s really amazing for me to play for people who are so different from myself and have them respond to the music. I can’t wait to play some more in the states.
The Satellite EP is a gorgeous ethereal diary, lyrically speaking. It seems like you were drawing from very personal experiences from this EP.
To be honest these songs are a diary for me. I have never felt more excited or more scared than I have in this past year. Moving far away from home really hurt but I will never forget the first time I heard my single “Monster” on the radio. I put everything in to the songs so it really means so much when people respond so emotionally.
Musically I feel like you draw a bit of influence from just about everywhere with the EP and your style.
I was raised on everything from Radiohead to System of a down. I later discovered on my own the likes of Nina Simone and Patti Smith women who sang with their whole heart about their truth. Sounds cheesy but I was inspired by them to make something all my own. I am inspired by artists who are unabashedly themselves.
You have made a lot of progress in the past year and not just in Europe, either. You have toured with Ellie Goulding and shortly embarking on a tour with X Ambassadors. What do you think is your biggest accomplishment to date is? What else would you like to accomplish?
The beginning of this year has been a dream. Opening up for Ellie and playing in front of so many people is definitely a highlight. It was really emotional for me to have a crowd of so many react so well to the songs. I cannot wait to open for X Ambassadors. I have ALWAYS wanted to play Terminal 5. I think this year is going to be a lot of fun. I can’t wait! Moving to Berlin was really scary and I felt very alone for a long time. I put everything in to these songs and my real hope is that I can make someone feel less alone with my music.