INTERVIEW: Sarah Wolfe releases debut single 'Devil U Know'
Australia’s Sarah Wolfe has spent the last three years working as a video director interviewing some of the biggest names in the music business. She has now made a switch to the other side of the microphone and today releases her debut single ‘Devil U Know’. Written and produced with her partner Xavier Dunn (Jack River, Graace), it is a driving, broody, synth-electro track with killer melodies and a delicious unpredictability that effortlessly switches the mood from laid back chill to dancefloor banger. Add in Wolfe’s smooth vocals and smart lyrics (our current favourite: “Hello 911? I’m on FIRE”) and it is clear this is a new artist who has something very special indeed. We recently caught up with Sarah to find out more about her career, the new single and what she has planned next.
Hi Sarah, so great to be chatting to you! How’s life?
Thank YOU for taking the time to chat with me! Life is pretty cool right now!
Your debut single ‘Devil U Know’ is out today – what does it feel like to release your first single?
So surreal! It is something I’ve wanted to do for the longest time, and now that I am doing it, it doesn’t feel real.
It is an absolutely killer track, what was the inspiration behind the song?
Thank you! I was lucky enough to write this song with my partner Xavier Dunn, who also produced the track, what an ICON, and when we sat down to start it I brought out this saying that had been playing on my head for a while: it’s better the devil you know than the devil you don't. I had come out of a previous relationship a few months before meeting Xavier, and the song is about no longer being scared to feel emotions for someone, and having no fear in letting them know that. The devil you know in this case was admitting you were starting to fall in love. Cute and gross, sorry!
Is it a song you have been crafting for a while that has gone through a number of different iterations, or is it a more recent creation?
Different lyrics for this track had sat in the notes app on my phone for a few weeks, but when we actually sat down to start the song a few months ago I think it only took us a day to write it!
You previously worked as a video director and have interviewed a number of big musicians and no doubt learnt a lot about their own creative processes along the way. How has that background helped – or hindered – your switch to becoming a musician yourself?
It’s this weird sense of imposter syndrome. I’ve been working behind the scenes since I was 19 and watching, and trying to help I hope, people do what they want to do in music, so to reverse it and tell myself that I am also an artist has been a strange journey.
On the flip side though, meeting so many of my favourite musicians and getting to chat with them about their life and their music really helped kick me in the arse to get my own music going!
And how are you finding the change from being the interviewer to the interviewee?!
Haha, it is super strange!! I thought that having been the interviewer I would be somewhat better than this, but here we are!
Can you tell me a little about your creative process? How do you like to work when writing and creating?
I absolutely always start with lyrics. They are the first thing that connects me with someone else’s song, so when I began writing my own music it made the most sense to me to start with that. My notes app is FILLED with (incomprehensible) sentences that I draw from when starting something new.
Do you have any goals or ambitions for your music career?
To make music that I love, and hopefully have that music resonate with others. Making a full time career out of music would be truly incredible beyond belief.
There has been so much talk and debate over the last year or so about gender equality in every part of society. What are your thoughts on sexism and women’s rights within the music industry?
Personally, I was lucky enough to be able to work with some incredible women for this project. My friend Georgia did my photos and single artwork, my friend Bianca helped me write my bio, my manager Bree is one of the strongest and most incredible people I know, and the two ladies on my PR team, Nat and Lara, are so phenomenal at their jobs. If people ever say that they can’t find a woman that could do the job as well as a man, then they most definitely aren’t looking hard enough. I wanted to work with people that inspired me and could help me grow as a person, and those people just happened to be mostly women.
I found so often when I was working as an interviewer that women who were showing their passion and love for music and the industry behind it were labelled as just being ‘fangirls’ or ‘too excited’. Why would you get into this industry if you weren’t first and foremost a fan of music? Those are exactly the kind of people who deserve to be working on what they are passionate about, not getting torn down.
When men and women work as equals, everyone reaps the benefits.
What else is on the cards for you for rest of 2019 and into 2020?
I’ve just finished the production on my second single, so I will hopefully be setting that free before the end of this year! Keep your eyes peeled - such a disgusting saying but I want everyone to have to read it.