Photo Credit: Hana Adams (@sywyndom)
By Alissa Arunarsirakul // February 10, 2021
Last year, we were so genuinely blown away by Sarah Barrios… and this year is no different. Not only does the Connecticut native have one of the purest voices we’ve ever heard, but she’s a natural songwriter here to drag out our emotions from within. For those of you who haven’t been fortunate enough to familiarize yourself with Barrios quite yet, we invite you to indulge in her mesmerizing sophomore EP, Conversations With Myself.
On Conversations With Myself, Sarah Barrios reflected,
“‘Conversations With Myself’ is alive and ‘Happy’ is yours. The songs on this EP are of some of my most honest feelings, fears, and thoughts. While book one was about love, heartbreak, and self realization, book two is about introspection, rethinking, and reapproaching life. Existing is strange and makes no sense, but I’m so HAPPY to be able to do it with all of you. Thank you for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself. I LOVE YOU.”
To celebrate the release of her new music, we recently chatted with Sarah Barrios about her amazing fans, Hong Kong buses, and of course, Conversations With Myself.
HH: The last time we spoke with you was in July, so there must be LOTS of new things happening in your life! How have you been dealing with the ongoing pandemic? Would you say it’s affected your songwriting?
SB: It’s been too long!! This year has been so crazy and strange, but I’m so grateful to be able to make music through it all. The pandemic definitely affected my mental health in a negative way, but I also think it gave me a new perspective on life, who I am as a person, and had helped me open up and be more honest in my songwriting, which is so rewarding. Music really is therapy.
HH: You were so thrilled to unveil your debut EP, Letters I Never Sent. How does the release of Conversations With Myself compare to back then?
SB: I think with the first EP, I was really excited for people to hear what I had been working on and connect with them in the world I had created. With Conversations With Myself, I feel more excited to be seen. This EP has some of my most personal fears and thoughts on it. I feel like I’m unveiling more vulnerable parts of myself and looking to connect with others who might feel the same way.
HH: The opening track on Conversations with Myself is “Somebody I’m Proud Of.” Would you say that the future Sarah Barrios would be proud of where you’re currently at?
SB: 1000%. Life is strange and can be confusing, but I think I’ve really started to take the time to learn that there is strength in vulnerability. I might not have everything figured out, but the fact that I am trying to love myself for who I am and write about it is a big step that I’m proud of now.
HH: What inspired the idea behind the “Happy” music video? How does it feel to have your listeners play such a huge part in your creative process?
SB: This year was really tough on my mental health and connecting with the listeners online was really a main source of happiness for me. It only felt right to have them be a part of the video and give the world a reminder that there is always light in the dark if you look for it. It’s so moving to be able to create with them and see what makes them happy. They mean the world to me and I can only hope that the video will make someone smile.
HH: We’re so obsessed with your constantly changing hairstyles! What look are you going for next?
SB: Thank you!! I can never really stick to one color; I’m pretty reckless when it comes to dying my hair, haha! I’ve been obsessing over shag haircuts and the peach color so I’ll probably do that! A split dye would be cool too!
HH: What was it like to see yourself on a bus in Hong Kong?!
SB: ABSOLUTELY INSANE!! I started releasing music during quarantine so I haven’t been able to meet people, play shows, or travel… so the fact that people in Hong Kong are listening to the music and manage to get my face on a bus???? Insanity. I’m so grateful that I get to create music that connects with people across the world.
HH: You’ve already shared with us who your dream collaborators are, but what are your dream concert venues? Once it’s safe to do so, where in the world would you like to sell out a show?
SB: Oh god… literally anywhere, haha! Just the idea of selling out a venue is crazy. I’m from the east coast, so Madison Square Garden would be really cool! I’ve also always wanted to play the O2 Arena in the UK and The Troubadour in CA!
HH: What are your three hidden hits?
SB: OOOO I love this. There’s so much incredible music coming out right now that I’m obsessed with. There’s a girl group called Avenue Beat who just came out with a song called “Woman” and it’s iconic. Insane harmonies and just an all around LGBTQ+ bop. Another is a girl called UMI. She’s not up and coming, but my god… her voice is like silk. Listen to “Remember Me” for clear skin. Lastly is JORDY. He’s got such insane vocal texture and his song “I Just Wanna Be Loved” has such good energy that I saved the song after listening for literally two seconds.