An Interview with Sarah Ryder; How Country Music Changed Her Life

Before settling in Nashville, Pennsylvania native, Sarah Ryder found herself in Los Angeles. She had spontaneously entered a modeling competition and ended up winning! It was through that process that she was able to connect with people in the music industry and begin her journey of becoming a singer/songwriter. We had the opportunity to chat with Sarah about her new single “Another Fool” and what got her into Country Music.

Variety Beat: Hi Sarah, thanks so much for taking the time to allow us and our readers to get to know you a little better. Knowing about an artist really connects listeners to their music and really allows them to see the person behind the music. As someone who might be unfamiliar with your story, can you explain a little bit about how you discovered you wanted to be in the music industry?

Sarah Ryder: Thank you for having me! I discovered I wanted to be in the music industry at an early age of 8 years old. I had listened to a Tim McGraw song on the radio (on the radio in my room, my parents did not listen to country music). I was so taken by the melody and words. The seed was planted. Going to see George Strait in concert when I was 16 solidified the hunger. It was at that point I had officially been “bit by the music bug” and there was no turning back. I knew I had to create songs that people connected with!

VB: You’re originally from Pennsylvania, but have also lived in California before moving to Nashville. What’s been the biggest take away from each place that has helped shaped who you are?

 Sarah: I am so grateful for each place I have lived. Being in California, I was surrounded by good people. Talented people. It was such a positive experience writing music out there. One of my dearest friends at the time said, “Sarah we love you, and we will miss you…but your country lovin’ self needs to move to Nashville.”

Courtesy of Sarah Ryder

VB: You started songwriting at age 8, what were your songs like back then? How do you draw inspiration for your songs today?

Sarah: At 8, I was learning about how words, when delivered with a good melody, can be so powerful. Music transcends words and melody though, it creates an era in your life forever. Your favorite songs when you are 16, when on the radio now, take you back to driving your first car, or dating your first significant other. My inspiration comes from creating something that has the possibility of being timeless. I look at people around me and their lives and draw from my own. I know that if I am honest and stick to the real truth in a feeling or situation, that many others will probably relate. 

VB: You’ve been able to play at the Legendary Bluebird Café, what are some other bucketlist venues you would love to play at?

 Sarah: Bucketlist venues are definitely The Ryman and The Grand Ole Opry! Also, I would have to add Red Rocks Amphitheater. 

VB: You recently released your single and first music video “Another Fool.” What was the inspiration behind the song and what was the music video process like?

Sarah: The inspiration behind “Another Fool” was an organic situation. It was really just three married people chatting and not working at all haha. We got on the the topic of how the grass is never greener on the other side when it comes to relationships. All relationships come with their own issues, so might as well stay with the one you’re with!! Johnny Garcia (co-writer) overheard Loretta Lynn say, “why would I leave my fool for another fool,” at a show one time and never forgot her saying that. Years later, we used it in a song!

VB: What has been the most exciting part about getting to release music?

Sarah: There has been so much about releasing music that has been so incredibly exciting!! I think the best part is chatting with friends and fans about what they think of it (that can be scary too coming from Grandparents though haha). I have enjoyed relating to women especially on “Another Fool” lol

VB: You also have more music on the way, what can you tell us about that?

Sarah: We do! We have been writing up a storm and can’t seem to stop. There is a Christmas surprise coming at the end of the year, and everyone can expect more music from me in 2020. 

Courtesy of Sarah Ryder

VB: What message do you hope reaches your fans with your music and your life?

Sarah: I hope people can feel the no bull**** emotion/reality that I am communicating through music. This is the best way I know how to be honest. I hope that when I open up and share some pretty real life scenarios I’ve been through or observed, that someone else feels like they aren’t alone, and that they can get through whatever they are going through.

VB: Top 3 things to do when you have a day off. 

Sarah: Hands down cuddle with my cats, go for a hike, and drink some good wine with people I love!

Some other fun facts about her:

  • She is a complete wine-o and hosts “Wine Wednesdays” live on Instagram
  • She loves Cats and has two of her own
  • One of her celebrity crushes is Timothy Olyphant (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The First Wives Club)
  • Trisha Yearwood’s backing band makes up the majority of her band as well (same producer and lead guitarist, Johnny Garcia, is Sarah’s mentor)

Stayed tuned for more from Sarah soon!

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