Following your dreams requires a very big courage and determination. It’s even harder when you need to leave all your life behind. Sara Hartman – American artist knows what it’s like. She took her chance and decided to move to Berlin where she’s making her music dreams come true. She creates and records her music. This is what she told us about during our phone call. Read the interview below to learn more.
TDGM: I can’t not start with this subject. You’re American and you moved to Berlin. Most of the time we hear about artists moving to the USA – New York and Los Angeles. You did the opposite.
Sara Hartman: I’m not gonna say that’s always kind of way me doing things, but for me it was just an opportunity. I was playing in a restaurant in Sag Harbor one night and I happened to play in front of the right person who introduced me to Toby Kuhn, who just happened to be based in Berlin. And I fell in love with the city and also musically with Toby. I think it really wasn’t even a choice for me. It was kind of the next chapter of life creativity. I’m very happy that I did it. I didn’t even think it was kind of the opposite of what a lot of people do. Whatever gets you to the finnish line there’s no reason to think about it.
TDGM: Was the opportunity to record with Toby the only reason why you decided to come to Europe?
Sara Hartman: To be honest, there was nothing for me at home. I mean, it was comfortable but I felt like there must be something more up there. And I think Toby allowed me to start a life on my own in Berlin. And to follow my dreams, to be honest. I don’t want to be get cheesy on it but I’ve always wanted to play music and I can play music in Berlin. And it’s a very inspiring city. I really love it. It’s becoming a second home. It’s becoming home which is really, really beautiful. And there’s a lot of stuff going on!
TDGM: Yes, Berlin is a very good place for artists.
Sara Hartman: And it’s got some legacy, you know. Many artists were there. And it’s a place that harbors creativity and that’s what I want to be surounded by right now.
TDGM: Has living in Berlin and creating there taught you something new when it comes to the music and the process of creation?
Sara Hartman: Absolutely! At home it was beautiful and I loved it. My family was there and I love them, and I miss them but Berlin is so exciting. And for me personally, I learned probably too much (haha!) about myself and maybe about life and I think I would never have learned such things or even been able to begin a lot of those thoughts if I haven’t moved to Berlin. I think I was able to put it right back into the music which is quite incredible. The songs became a diary in a way. It’s how I like to put it. Cause when I felt really sad I would put it into a song. When I missed my sister I would put it into a song. When I felt so overwhelming great cause someone liked the song that I wrote I would put that into a music. Now, looking back, it’s actually incredible. I’m really proud of myself but I think it’s just a beginning.
TDGM: You should be proud of yourself. You decided to leave everything to follow your dreams. I wouldn’t believe if you said that it was an easy decission to make.
Sara Hartman: I don’t think I really realized what I was doing until I was right in the middle of it. But I think it paid off. Seeing how people respond to what I’ve done is really rewarding and deeply fulfilling.
TDGM: Having this perspective of the time you’ve spent in Berlin so far, does recording your songs is mostly releated to your experience from moving from USA to Europe?
Sara Hartman: Yes, and all of the expected things that come from that and all of the unexpected things. It’s just whole contradiction. Like I’ve never felt so lonely but I’ve never felt so connected to something. I’ve never felt like I’m fighting for something. It’s everything. And it makes you feel alive, I guess. But this is what emotions are. This is what the record („Satellite” EP) is about for me. It was written from very away so there are different images so people hopefully don’t get bored with my music. It’s like being young and living the nest. Going to college for example. It’s discovering yourself. It was a lot o things. But yeah, it was about the move and the things I’ve learnt.
TDGM: This way, with your songs you let your audience to come very close to you. You let them into your world.
Sara Hartman: Yes, I’ve put everything into them. They’re very close to my heart so they’re very personal. But sometimes getting so personal isn’t that bad. It’s about my experience but I can see it as a basic, primal human emotions as well. And people are responding like I’m not alone which is great.
TDGM: And people can find some values and emotions in the songs for them. Your songs become very universal in a way.
Sara Hartman: Yes, and that’s all that I hope for these songs. It’s the exact thing. It’s for people to interpret and to kind of fit it into their own lifes. Help them with their experiences. That is the ultimate goal.
TDGM: And what is it like to work with Toby?
Sara Hartman: His production world is so fascinating. It’s what I would like to do lyrically I suppose. It’s so very organic like rock but doing kind of modern electronic things. I’m very inspired by him.
TDGM: And You can play a lot of instruments. Does it mean that you are kind of self-sufficient? Are you gonna record everything on your own?
Sara Hartman: Yeah, maybe. But you know, I think people have different voices on their instruments and I’m very happy to have my live drummer – Sebastian. He’s on my record as well. I love the way he plays. But yeah, it technically may be, maybe I’ll do it one day but I love to collaborate. I love to listen to creative people and know what they’re thinking and make something new.
TDGM: So who would you like to collaborate with, then?
Sara Hartman: I would die if I was even near Patti Smith, I think. She’s a legend, you know. Lately, I’ve been listening a lot to Jack Garret. I think he’s really cool and I think he’s doing lots of interesting stuff. I would really love to make something with him. But Patti would be my real dream.
TDGM: Is there anything you consider as a breakthrough in your career?
I don’t know. For me it’s not really about that. It’s about sharing what I felt. That’s what keep me going. Playing an opening for Ellie Goulding was an absolute ridiculous dream but for me it was about sharing the stuff that I made and having people feel it with me. If I can do that maybe all over the world that would make me break.
TDGM: How do you find yourself in a place where you are now? You were playing before Ellie Goulding on her tour, earlier before MS MR. People could see you in Poznań at Spring Break Festival. Sounds like a dream came true.
Sara Hartman: Honsetly, I think it is. I’m attempting not to think to much and enjoy this amazing thing I’m able to go through in my life. I’m just glad music is taking me to those places. It’s living a dream.