- Hi Sandra, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country singer?
Hi! Absolutely. I’ve been singing and performing from a very young age. I started dancing when I was three, acting when I was five, and singing when I was seven. Performing has always been in my blood, and while I listened to many different types of music growing up, I always gravitated to country music. I remember when I was a child hearing Deana Carter’s, “Strawberry Wine” come on the radio for the first time. I remember exactly where I was—out in Chino, CA sitting at a stoplight with my mom—and that song just drew me in, both lyrically and melodically. It was then and there, and looking back remembering that moment every time I’ve heard that song ever since, that I knew I wanted to write and sing country music. I also loved writing poetically and lyrically throughout school, but it wasn’t until after college that I started sitting down with other songwriters to put melodies to those lyrics, and first headed to Nashville in 2010 to pursue a career in country music.
- How did you get into country music and how did you know you wanted a career in it?
As previously mentioned, it was hearing Deana Carter’s, “Strawberry Wine” come on the radio for the first time, that I knew I wanted to sing and write country music. I’ve always been drawn to the storytelling nature that country music is rooted in, as well as looked up to many female country artists like Trisha Yearwood, Dixie Chicks, Faith Hill, Shania Twain, and Sara Evans. In 2014, I released my first piece of music—my debut EP produced by Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts. Soon after, I released two singles, “Afterparty” and “Bar Hoppin’,” that received airplay on Sirius XM’s The Highway, while touring throughout the Midwest, performing in various venues and music festivals.
- Who are some of your musical icons?
Trisha Yearwood, Deana Carter, Dixie Chicks, Faith Hill, Shania Twain, and Sara Evans are female country artists I’ve always looked up to, and who’s records I’ve loved listening to from a young age. I’ve also always loved singer-songwriters, Sheryl Crow and Michelle Branch. All of these incredible female artists that were never afraid to be lyrically vulnerable in their storytelling—something I aspire to do myself in the music I write and create.
- What is the story behind your latest single “Hey California?”
“Hey California” is the first single out of this new music I’ve been recently working on. It debuted this June on Radio Disney during their ‘Country Spotlight’ hour, as well as lived on Spotify’s ‘Wild Country’ playlist throughout the summer. When my producer and I were writing the song together, I told him I wanted to write a country song that had a little bit of a Beach Boys vibe to it. My parents always had the Beach Boys’ records playing when I was a kid, and their album “Endless Summer” was one of the first records I remember hearing. I also wanted to write a song that gave a nod to my Southern California roots and that had a fun, feel-good vibe to it. I feel like “Hey California” is one of the lighter, more playful songs off my upcoming record (due out early next year) that I was excited to share with the world for their Summer jam playlist.
- Is there anything new coming up with your music for the rest of 2017?
Yes! We haven’t announced dates yet, but I will be releasing another single this Fall, as well as my debut full-length album early next year. We’ve got lots of exciting new content and updates happening over these next few months, so fans can definitely check all that out up on my website (www.sandralynnmusic.com) and social media pages (@sandralynnmusic).
- If you could sing a duet with a famous singer or group who would it be and why?
Well, there are lots of artists I look up to and would love to sing a duet with if I ever got the chance to, but I’d have to say one of those artists is definitely Bonnie Raitt. I’ve been a longtime fan of hers—she’s got the coolest voice, and always knows how to confidently command a song without overdoing it. One of her favorite songs of mine is “Something to Talk About,” and if you come see me play live, you’re likely to see me cover that song at some point throughout my set ;-).
- Where do you see yourself in the next 5 to 10 years with your music?
If I get the chance to continue creating music over the next 5 to 10 years, and so on, I would be one happy camper. I feel very blessed and grateful that I get to make music on a daily basis for a living, and would love to be able to continually create—always putting new music out into the world, playing various venues throughout the country and world, including both arenas as well as more intimate venues, like the House of Blues. One of my bucket list items is to play the Bridgestone arena in Nashville, TN as well as Angels Stadium in Anaheim, CA since that’s very near to where I grew up.
- What has been your favorite venue to play at?
Getting to play The House of Blues in New Orleans for a charity event back in 2014 was pretty awesome! I not only got the chance to play for a great cause, but also got to open for Kenny Chesney and a packed room full of country music fans. It was pretty epic and surreal…definitely one of my favorite live-show highlights thus far.
- What is one of your favorite quotes?
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” –Eleanor Roosevelt