Her Story: Local Singer/Songwriter Sadie Anderson

When asked about the person who inspires me most in the world—my answer is always the same: my best friend Sadie Anderson. To give a very brief synopsis of this vibrant feminist powerhouse, Sadie is currently a senior at Utah Valley University and is double majoring in commercial music and vocal performance. As of her recent stats, Sadie has released one EP “Halfway There” in her music career (and is currently in the process of recording her second). Along with that, she has been invited to perform at countless local events in the Provo music scene and has even starred in her University’s opera “Die Fledermaus”—making “musician” a term that barely grazes the surface of who Sadie Anderson really is. Besides being wholeheartedly invested in her craft, Sadie is a singer/songwriter who keeps her feminist ambitions in mind, at all times. She is deeply dedicated to empowering all women in music, whether locally or globally (but very specifically, Taylor Swift). And if I had to summarize the woman I’ve known for over 15 years of my life, I would have to settle on “incredibly big dreamer,” because unlike the other hundreds of songwriters that reside in the city of Provo, Utah, this one has invested in her passion for music since the ripe age of six years old, and would never dare to let a personal struggle, a societal obstacle, or even a man get in the way of her aspirations of being a well-established and well-known songwriter in her very near future. So without further ado, here is a little interview with the woman who is nearest and dearest to my heart: the one, the only, Sadie Anderson (a name to remember, in case any of you were wondering).

When did you start singing/songwriting?

 We're starting these questions off with a very cliche answer, but I've been singing for as long as I can remember. 

Who/what inspired you to start songwriting?

 When I was younger, I would write a lot of poems and stories. I also loved singing, so I think I just realized I could do both things I loved at the same time. 

 Do you remember the first song you ever wrote, if so—tell us about it.

When I was about 9 years old, my cousins and I started a "band" we called the Krazy Kousins (yes, with K's.) I wrote most of the songs for the band, featuring titles such as "We're Crazy" and "We ARE Crazy." Yes, it is as adorable and cringey as it sounds. I started my first songwriting journal when I was in 4th grade. The first page of that notebook is a letter to "Future Sadie" giving me permission to make any edits to my songs. (How kind of me) 

Who is the artist that has inspired your writing/music the most?

Definitely Taylor Swift. Sure, it's a cliche, another white girl who is inspired by Taylor Swift, but she was the first women I listened to who made me realize that maybe I could make a career of the songs that I am writing. 

What empowers you the most as a musician/what is the most rewarding part of songwriting?

 A couple months ago I performed at a songwriting showcase, I sang a song I've written called "I Am The Flame." Afterwards, a man approached me who is an artist and designs stained glass windows. He showed me something he had designed, and told me that my song reminded him of his artwork and that my song had inspired him. It made me very emotional. Moments like that are the most rewarding. 

What do you hope to accomplish in the next 5 years with your music?

I hope to move to Nashville after I graduate to pursue songwriting full time. I also have a vision/concept for an album that I hope is completed and released by then. 

What advice would you offer aspiring musicians/songwriters?

I am definitely still an "aspiring" songwriter/DIY musician. So, my advice to my fellow musicians and friends would be to allow yourself to take yourself seriously as a musician. 

What changes would you like to see for women in music in the next 10 years?

I hope to just see MORE women. More women songwriters, women producers, music engineers, etc. 

What is the thing that makes you, uniquely Sadie?

My life experience? My personality? Sorry, my passion for women in pop music, and just my advocacy for pop music in general. (Advocacy is a weird word, maybe?)

What is your greatest strength?

I think my greatest strength is how passionate I am. (Listing strengths makes me feel weird)

What is your favorite part of being a woman?

That I have something in common with my fav pop icons? Sorry, All the amazing example of amazing woman that I have in my life. Women are strong, and unique, and badass. 

If you could describe your style as a musician in three words, what would they be?

CUTE, genuine, and pop?

What is the motto you like to live by in your life?

  "What if I wasn't afraid to be great?" I have BIG problems with impostor syndrome. This motto is something I've adapted to remind myself that I can be great, and to stop holding myself back. 

What’s the most valuable life lesson the music world/community has taught you?

To trust my instincts. 

What’s the thing in life that makes you the most excited to be alive? 

This is cheesy, but just the possibilities of the future. And true love, another cheesy answer. 

Why would you advise aspiring musicians to earn in a music-related degree, rather than pursuing music without any education? 

First, I want to preface with this answer that I understand that not everybody has the opportunity to attend a formal university. I also know MANY amazing musicians who didn't need to get a formal education, to become an amazing musician. However, this was the best thing that I could have done for me. There is a lot of, let's say controversy about the benefits of going to school for the arts. But it has given me opportunities to work with amazing mentors, make connections with people, and has given me the option of exploring many different aspects of music. I've been able to learn how to arrange jazz songs, I've been in an opera, and have produced my own songs. It's given me a great foundation and I feel so much more confident in considering myself a competent musician. 

In your opinion, how do we increase representation of women in music? 

A couple years I realized that I was being a hypocrite as an aspiring women in music. I was a hypocrite because even though I expected others to listen to my music and treat me seriously as a musician, my Spotify playlists were almost completely dominated by men artists. I think the biggest thing we can all do (and it's so easy, that EVERYONE can do this) is to take the time to listen to women's stories through the music that they make. Call yourself out! Look at your playlists and who your favorite artists are. How many of them are women? How diverse are the women that you are listening to? Then, LISTEN TO MORE WOMEN. I am very proud to say, that since I called myself out, I listen to basically only girls. 

I grew up hearing people say things like "I love country music, except I HATE women country singers." OR "I just don't like listening to women's voices." Or there are so many people who love to hate on "generic" pop music (a genre that tends to be women dominated) when in reality, these women pop ICONS work hard and are incredibly talented. Hating any type of music (especially on the basis of gender) is quite frankly, so boring- find a new way to be interesting. 

Women in the music industry, work just as hard as any musician, and on top of that have to deal with the struggles of sexism and as even being taken seriously as a musician, the least we can do is take the time to find these talented women and listen to and SHARE their music. The world needs to hear their stories.

If there's anything Sadie has taught me in the last decade and a half, it has been to one, recognize that the best way to support women in music is to actually listen to women in music (no more whiny white boy bands for me). Secondly, never be afraid to admit that you genuinely enjoy pop music, because it was actually designed to be POPular, and FYI there's nothing noble about degrading women in the arts. In fact, it's actually super sexist to demonize/discredit the talents of women in pop, simply because it's cool to be "different" (almost a direct quote from Sadie herself). Lastly, Sadie Anderson has taught me to never downplay my talents with negativity, to love life, and to be unfailingly optimistic--because your success as a career woman depends on it. 

With these sentiments in mind, please support your local pop princess in-the-making by following her official music Instagram @sadieeesings, where she posts weekly videos of her original songs. Because sometimes the boldest feminist move of all, is uplifting women and their art. 

 

All Photos are Owned by Sadie Anderson herself