11 Questions to a Nashville Musician: Sarah Clanton

Sarah ClantonI’ve never met a singing cello player that I didn’t like, and singer-songwriter Sarah Clanton is no exception. While remaining serious with her musical message, Sarah also adds some fun and bills her lively performances as “Part-Comedy, Part-Concert.” She aims to “bring people together and build a feel-good machine” with her musical blend of classical and pop.

Sarah shares her social consciousness speaking against division in “We Belong,” her latest single for which she also released a gorgeous video. “We’re not going to make any progress being divided,” she says. “If I can get some of that mindfulness out there to negate some of the hate, that would be so great.”

Sarah’s national debut record “Here We Are” was funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign and comes out this Friday. She is a fresh and exciting artist and is certainly one of Nashville’s up and comers to keep an eye on.

Thanks for Sarah for giving such a great response to the usual eleven questions, and we look forward to seeing her live in 2019 when she tours in support of the new record.


Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?

I like to say that I am a tumbleweed blowing in the wind! Though I wasn’t a military kid, my dad is a recently retired nuclear engineer, so we moved around a lot. I was born in Maryland, moved to Denver when I was nine, Atlanta when I was 14, South Carolina for college and spent a little time living in France and Nashville before making the full-time move to Nashville in 2014.

My first job in Nashville was writing music for commercials at Hummingbird Productions. It was my first time really experiencing the music world outside of the orchestra, and I was hooked. It took me almost another ten years to move to Nashville full-time but since that internship, my trips to Nashville became increasingly frequent from Greenville, SC until I was here a week or more a month before making the final move in 2014.

While living outside of a music city when someone would ask me, “What do you do for a living?” I always replied, “I am a musician.” Until I moved to Nashville the response most of the time to that reply was, “What do you really do?” Living in a place where creativity community is encouraged is a dream come true. Moving to Nashville, as I had hoped, has continued to inspire me and motivate me. There is so much talent in this city and I am grateful to be surrounded by such a supportive community. However not without challenges, my experience in this town has been an uplifting one. The first week I officially lived in Nashville I had a gig where the sound engineer welcomed me to town and gave me a piece of advice that has stuck with me: “The best way to be successful in this town is to help other people be successful.”

What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?

Wow! This one is tough, and I apologize in advance for the lack of thoroughness in my answer. I can’t remember for sure!  First CD I bought was The Lion King soundtrack. The last album I bought was Beyoncé’s Lemonade, a digital copy because it came with the AMAZING music video/film. I do love buying vinyl, but the last one I bought was before I moved to Nashville. I think it was Norah Jones’ Chasing Pirates. However, I do listen to lots on Spotify. I am grateful for things like my Discovery Weekly playlist because I have found a lot of new artists and songs I am not sure I would otherwise hear.

First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?

The earliest concerts I remember (though since my mom was an opera singer, I am sure these were not my first) are Sandi Patti, Amy Grant, and Aerosmith. The last shows I have seen were here in Nashville over the past few weeks: Sunday Night Soul at The Five Spot, Skyline Motel at the Basement East, Lucie Silvas, Arrow Kids, and Rachel McCann.

Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?

OMGEE I have no idea, too much pressure! Truth be told, I am just now learning of such a thing. Will have to go investigate and get back to you.

Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?

Dose in East Nashville for coffee. I am gluten intolerant, so believe it or not, my fav pizza (pineapple & bacon) is Dominos.

What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?

At the moment…Lucie Silvas’ E.G.O.

Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?

Have not found the best spot yet–nothing is open late enough!

The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.

Mary Bragg, Joe Pisapia, Kacey Musgraves

What are your favorite music venues to play in town?

Of the venues I have played so far: 3rd and Lindsley, Rudy’s Jazz Room, The Five Spot, and The Family Wash (such a bummer it’s closed now!). So many great places to play for so many reasons, so many places yet to play!

Name a musician who you’d like to see move here?

My friend Heather Mae!

Finally, what’s in your musical future?

This Friday, November 16, my new album, Here We Are, comes out! It is my first full-length release in six years. After that I will be “cello-brating” around town playing music for the holidays and getting the CD release tour all lined up for 2019. We are building a feel-good machine with this record, and I hope to spend the next couple of years sharing the love with the world, meeting amazing people and continuing to write and grow along the way.


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