Interview with Sara De Sanctis

Italian born musician Sara De Sanctis stopped by MoggBlog to chat about her latest anthem ‘Serendipity’, preference on performing live or recording, what’s in store for the rest of 2021 and a lot more!

What’s your writing process like? Do you write the music or lyrics first?

Although it may vary, depending on how I feel, I normally write the music first. As a matter of fact, sometimes I get inspired for the lyrics from the music itself. I create the main harmony and chords progression on the piano, and then I try to build different arrangements for the vocals and other instruments. Sometimes the most difficult part is to assemble all the ideas together and create a consistent structure. For that, I listen to my favourite songs and analyse their form and try to implement it in my songs. 

Do you prefer performing live or recording, and why?

I do enjoy both, but I think I prefer recording, because of the creative process behind it. I loved working together with my producer on my single, as we saw the song slowly change and evolve. I also love the intimacy of writing music alone, as I can focus solely on the compositional part, without having to worry too much about other people watching. Now I like performing as well, but it has been a gradual process, as I used to feel really uncomfortable when singing or playing in front of other people. I still remember a video of my performance on the piano, where my leg was shacking so much I couldn’t even use the pedal properly.

Who are your main musical influences and why?

Because of my studies, I have a varied musical background, and while it could be considered an enrichment, that is still giving me a hard time choosing which way to go, as I love very different styles of music. Classical music would be my first source of inspiration, as I graduated at the Conservatoire; in particular, I love the style of late Romantic and modern composers. However, I have never considered myself a ‘classical musician’, as even when I was studying at the Conservatoire I started becoming passionate about songwriting, musicals and film scoring. My taste has changed over the years (looking back at my teenager’s playlist I’d say luckily!), but my biggest influences are Diana Krall, Thom Yorke, Bjork and in general North-European music (such as Sigur Ros, Aurora, and Agnes Obel). 

Serendipity artwork

What’s in store for you for the rest of the year?

I spent many years studying and working, so before Covid came I was ready to start focusing on the recording of my first album. However, as we well know, the plans have changed for everybody, and even though we had more time, I wasn’t feeling creative at all. This year I am going to finally make up for that, and I am going to finalise some projects I had in store for a while. Also, I really hope to be back performing live soon. 

Tell MoggBlog viewers about your latest release! What’s the inspiration behind that?

I released my first single, ‘Serendipity’. I wrote the song some time ago, but I didn’t think I would have recorded it, or even released it. As it happened before, it was supposed to be one of those songs I put down just to get rid of thoughts. However, after some time, and with the support of all of my friends, I decided I wanted to start releasing some of my music. I have been experimenting with my style since then, but I really wanted Serendipity to be my first release. The title comes from a movie my first flatmate introduced me many years ago. I didn’t really like it, but I liked the meaning of the word, something beautiful that happens unexpectedly, and that’s more or less what happened to me when I wrote it. I was also listening to a lot of Sondheim’s musicals, and I was struck in particular by ‘The Road You Didn’t Take’ from the show Follies: the lyrics are actually a lie, and this was the starting point for my song as well when I wrote ‘I don’t remember you at all’.

Follow Sara on Facebook and Instagram.

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