We're so excited to announce our next featured musician for Live365's Emerging Artist Interview series! Her name is Sage Bava, and she's a nomadic artist with unique music that falls into the R&B and dark folk categories. You can also hear undertones of Mediterranean and Spanish sounds within her production, and her bold, astounding vocals will make your heart melt.
The themes of Sage's work often touch upon the natural world, socio-cultural power dynamics, and most importantly, healing. Despite having only a few singles released publicly, Sage is a veteran of the music biz and has some pretty exciting plans for the future. We figured we'd get a head start on interviewing her now before her music blows up very soon!
For this interview, we asked Sage about her upbringing, her creative process, and also talked about her most recent single, "Stronger." Without further ado, here's Sage!
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where do you hail from and how did you get your start in music?
I grew up on a farm in upstate New York - a nature preserve & animal sanctuary called ‘Odonata Sanctuary.’ My childhood was full of tree climbing and playing on rocks with the goats and other animals. I feel really grateful to have had this childhood where I was very connected with the earth.
In our home, my Dad played a lot of jazz so I grew up on Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Miles Davis. This became the music I really loved, and loved to sing. When I got older, I discovered more contemporary styles and really admired artists who molded their own sound/genre by combining lots of different ones. I had a lot of amazing mentors growing up in music and some very harmful relationships that I learned a great deal from.
Writing to me started as a therapeutic tool and then blossomed into how I wanted to spend all my time. It took a while for me to find myself and the right collaborators in music but now I am very grateful for the relationships I have and the music I am creating. EP 2022!
You have such a rich and beautiful voice that compliments the healing messages of your music so well! Have you received any formal vocal training, and do you have any vocal inspirations?
Thank you! :) I grew up on jazz and singers like Judy Garland with such rich storytelling and expressive voices. I love storytelling in all forms and originally I wanted to be an actress, so I studied a lot of opera and musical theater. As I grew older, I discovered the voices I really loved were those that had rich but sometimes ‘flawed’ elements that lent to the humanity in them. I believe finding one's own voice/’note’ is a deeply healing and earth connecting journey. I try to express my truth when I sing.
You only have a few singles in your discography so far, yet you’ve already created a distinct sound within your body of work. What does your creative process typically look like, and how do you usually record new songs?
I appreciate that! The music I am drawn to is pretty eclectic, but has a foundation in R&B/soul which links it all together. I created demos, sometimes a few different versions, and arrive on the version I feel is most true. For the songs I have out, I had a wonderful collaborator - Harper James, who helped turn the demos into records.
You’ve had the opportunity to travel to many different places across the world. Have your nomadic experiences shaped the sound or lyrical content of your songs in any way?
Since I was little I was obsessed with the idea of seeing the world through different eyes. I took every opportunity to travel so I could do so. It has definitely shaped who I am as a person and therefore the music I create. My new EP is all about perception and how we see the world, which I’m very excited to share.
Tell us a bit about your new song "Stronger" and its music video! What was the inspiration behind the track, and what was the experience like creating both the song and visual?
I wrote this song at the start of the pandemic when everything I had been working for seemed to crumble in my hands and I felt very lost and scared. It was a love song I wrote to myself, saying that I will always love and protect her. The music video I shot with my lovely friend Cricket on her iPhone on a roof at sunrise in Brooklyn. I wanted the song to feel like a sunrise after a long dark night.
Do you have a favorite song you’ve released so far?
I think "Lions Den" is my favorite. I’m drawn to poems that have an ancient kind of sense to them in their flow but can exist in a contemporary world. The story behind "Lions Den" is a tale as old as time.
What would you say has been the highlight of your career?
All the incredible songwriters, musicians, and creators I have crossed paths with and got to be in spaces with has been my favorite thing. Being in containers with creative, open, ‘anything is possible’ energy is so wonderful.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from being an artist?
It is all about the search for truth. The closer to that truth, the better the music and art will translate.
Any advice for aspiring indie artists looking to break into the music scene?
I would say start and keep reinventing yourself in that search for truth. It is tricky to discover your truth, it takes a whole lifetime and sometimes many lifetimes, but the more we fail, we learn and we see.
Lightning Round! Don’t think too hard about it — first thing that comes to mind:
Describe your personal musical style in three adjectives:
Emotional, story-based, soul.
Favorite place you’ve traveled to so far?
Best place on Earth to grab a bite to eat?
Any Matthew Kenney restaurant :) Yay veganism!
Your favorite form of self-care?
Electric or acoustic guitar?
Can’t pick! Depends on the song. :)
Podcasts or Radio?
Also depends, sorry your girl is picky lol.
Musician you would love to collaborate with?
Moses Sumney, Lianne La Havas.
Blue, Green, or Gray? (Yes, we took this question from your song title!)
Lol green! Although I am blue on the inside.
Finally: favorite lyric you’ve ever written?
This is from a current song I’m working on called "ShapeShifter"...
I saw them
each a wish to die
a peaceful confession of transience
and yet none
it only transformed itself
I saw all
twisted in one
Moon and Sun
Watch Sage's video for "Blue Green and Gray" below.
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