Released just last week, we thought it would be a good oppertunity to chat to SAL about all things music
Can you tell us a bit about SAL? Where are you from and where did your journey into music start?
I’m originally from Newbridge Co. Kildare. That’s where I started performing, singing, writing songs and dancing. Newbridge was immersed in music for young kids at the time and it’s a huge part of the reason why I’m an artist now. I moved around a bit growing up and one of the places I moved to was West Wicklow. It was there that I started performing with bands and after that I moved to Cork to study music in college. Cork City has such a vibrant music scene, it felt like such a creative melting pot being a part of the community here. I found amazing musicians here who I loved playing music with, collaborating with and recording with and it was from doing that, that I started releasing my own music in 2016 under my own name ‘Sara Ryan’. I began touring Ireland, Germany and Switzerland and I released my Debut Album ‘Breathe’ in 2019. In 2021 I changed my name as an artist to SAL, I wanted a fresh start, to completely re-invent how I view my artistry and how I release my music out into the world. SAL has allowed me to write with creative freedom and release music in a way that empowers me. I’m excited to release my Debut Single ‘Bullet In The Heart’ on this new journey.
If you had to sum yourself up in three words, what would you say?
Vibrant, Excitable and Vulnerable.
You recently released your new single Bullet In The Heart. What does this song mean to you as an artist?
This song is a song written about finding resilience in the face of loneliness. It’s about finding strength in the midst of chaos and finding a way, no matter what life throws at you, coming through it all stronger and stronger each time. It’s a song about heartbreak but heartbreak while you’re in love, while you’re in a relationship and how isolating that can be. But the main concept behind this body of work, is resilience, regardless of it all.
Who produced this? Have you worked with them before? How was it, working with them?
Kealan Kenny and Martin Atkinson were the producers on this track. They are both incredible at what they do, they have the ability to hear things sonically that is so creative, expressive and imaginative. They’re knowledge and understanding of melody makes each sound so cosmic and beautiful. I loved working with them. It’s important to me to be a big part of the production process too and I ensured that I was through every step of the way within this project. It’s also very important to me to feel comfortable and connected to the people who I’m working with, and in the case of Kealan and Martin, they are absolute family to me.
What were some difficulties you weren’t expecting when you made Bullet In The Heart? How did you manage to overcome these?
We encountered difficulties in the early days of the process because we loved the demo so much. I recorded the demo of the song when I was fairly unwell but there was a tone within my voice on that particular day that perfectly fit the pain within the lyric. So we recreated the song from a different standpoint in terms of delivery, and we overcame this, by allowing the pain within the song to become empowered instead of defeated.
What are some of the best parts about songwriting and making music?
It’s the most cathartic and therapeutic way to release how you’re feeling. I find that no matter what’s going on in my life, I’m so lucky that I have a way to express that. No matter how bad things get, I can always find a way to release what’s going on for me. I really find that so beautiful.
I hear you are going on tour soon. What can we expect from these shows?
An uplifting, energetic and cosmic experience.
How do you prepare for playing live?
Meditation and yoga is a big part of my life. I get really nervous before I perform, so when I can, I try to find some time to allow myself to ground myself before going on stage. Vocal warm ups too and movement, all of those things help me to feel like I’m in body.
Where can we find out more about you?
Anything else you would like to tell us?
I can’t wait to share these songs with the world and connect with others through these songs. I hope with the help of these songs that people will feel in some way empowered, because that’s what music has always done for me.