Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, the 24-year-old singer and songwriter Sarah Bailey has just released the single “Unknowingly Said Goodbye” that will hit you in the feels. Having been releasing some of her own songs on YouTube from a very young age, she is no stranger to the songwriting and production process. Bailey spent three years educating herself on audio engineering and officially began to record her own demo’s at age 17. Her most recent release, “Unknowingly Said Goodbye” was written, composed, produced, and recorded by herself. Sarah Bailey makes use of a drum set, with a rock and roll style beat that includes snare rolls, from the very beginning of “Unknowingly Said Goodbye.” She immediately hooks you with her silky vocals, and soon begins to show off her extensive range as she belts out the chorus. Consisting of the traditional percussion beat combined with guitar and keyboard chords, Sarah Bailey has created a lively and youthful soundscape to complement her vocals and keep fans intrigued.
The melody is catchy and straightforward - it’s the kind of song you feel you can sing along to on the first listen. Lyrically, Sarah Bailey has reached into her own soul for an experience that meant a lot to her as inspiration for her songwriting. She woke up one day after a dream about a former lover with a new perspective on their relationship. Bailey ended up writing the entire song in one hour that morning since she held the experience so close to her heart; the words came to her naturally. Her passion and feelings of “what if” are clear through phrases like “I curse the night we drunkenly, foolishly, unknowingly said goodbye.” Sarah Bailey can connect on a deeper level with fans who have been through similar circumstances and have always wondered “what if” about past relationships.
We were captivated by the relatable message behind your lyrics! Can you tell us more about the story behind your lyrics and how they came to you?
I woke up on the last day of June after having a little bit of a drought of inspiration. I quickly remembered a dream I had that night about someone who is no longer in my life romantically but still is a friend. This was the first time I realized I missed this person and the romantic memories and past we shared. I instantly got up and wrote the first verse in about 45 seconds based on how I felt when waking up from that dream and the hazy effect that quickly fades. I decided to put the words to a production idea I started the night before and suddenly the song came together within about 2 hours. When writing further into the song, I remembered that person has someone new now. I have no intention of causing problems or telling the person how I feel so I figured it would be good to include that storyline in the song by basically saying “I miss you, but I know it’s over and that’s okay.” The song almost progresses more through their relationship rather than ours but how it affects me now left behind. The night in question I’m talking about in the chorus is the one when I think, looking back now, that the romantic relationship ended permanently, but we didn’t know it at the time. What is generally your inspiration for lyrics? Do you always draw from your own life experiences? Are there certain messages of importance to you that you try to share?
I do generally get my inspiration from my own life experiences; however, I have had some songs that have nothing to do with something specific I feel or a specific person. My main hope is that no matter if a song came from a current life experience of mine or not, it will be that for someone else. Maybe even myself, at a different point in my life. Also, I truly believe lyrics can be so universal; where you can take a single line in a song and portray it in so many different perceptions and personal stories. I think that is one of the coolest things about songwriting. You write, compose, produce and record your own music. Could you describe the whole creative process for “Unknowingly Said Goodbye?"
Yes, I do! Although it is nice to have outside opinions and collaborators, I’ve realized its really cool to be able to do songs from start to finish by yourself and see where they end up. It’s almost therapeutic because these are my babies that have grown so much since they began as an idea in my head and ended up fully done on streaming platforms across the world. This song came together pretty quick (one of the quickest ever for me). I felt like being creative and messing around with production one night in my room when I came up with the beat and main vibe of the song. The track actually started out with a low-pitched girl laughing ominously that I made (you can hear in the transitions from the verses to the pre-choruses). It’s funny to think that’s what the whole rest of the production wrapped around at first. There were no lyrics until I woke up and wrote the song in a few hours and by the next day I almost fully finished all the vocal recording. Recording myself has been extremely interesting because I can literally do or try anything. If it doesn’t work or sounds awful, no one knows. It also allows me to be extremely experimental and quickly layout my ideas as I think of them. I do everything myself from start to finish on my songs except for the last step, mixing. Then, I send the songs to my long-time friend and mixing genius, Brad Puette. He is the owner of his own studio Field Day Recordings in Cleveland, Ohio, and does incredible work for me and everyone who sends him tracks to be mixed. How did your three years of audio engineering schooling benefit you as an artist?
My audio engineering experience has allowed me to be proficient in so many different aspects of the industry. I’ve been messing around with recording equipment since I was about 10 and making songs, but the schooling definitely helped me realize all the cool things you can do and do well. I love being able to not only use the software and audio techniques but know how it all works on the other side of the microphone. Being able to produce and record myself gives me a little more of an edge in the industry as an artist, and especially as a woman. What has been keeping you inspired in 2020?
I’ll admit, 2020 has been rough since the very first day of January. But I think what has been keeping me inspired during this time is realizing how lucky I am for the family and support system I have. And music! I just graduated college in May amid these times and so many things are uncertain right now. But, the thing keeping me most inspired to make music, is all the other incredible music that’s coming out this year. It keeps a glimmer of hope alive in the industry and sort of connects us all together as artists, of every kind.