Tag: interview

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!

Follow @sarahryder on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify


Josh Taerk Finds the Beauty in Tragedy


The song may be called “Beautiful Tragedy” but for Josh Taerk it’s been a beautiful ride. “Beautiful Tragedy” is climbing the charts, the song is already #39 on the Mediabase Top 40 Pop Activator Chart and #41 on the BDS/Billboard Top 40 indicator chart. Taerk has “a really great feeling the song is going to keep climbing” and so do we! Variety Beat had the chance to catch up with him and see what he’s been up to since out last interview!

How has Taerk handled the new success?

“It’s been awesome and surreal at the same time…The fact that the song has connected with so many people, that it’s climbing up the Top 40 charts means the world to me!”

“Beautiful Tragedy” is all over YouTube in it’s clever music video that bring the words to life. A new video always brings along with it a new translation of a song, the lyric video for “Beautiful Tragedy” is a whole new “reality”. It’s a modern beautiful tragedy, one in which Taerk says;

“I came up with the idea while I was sitting at my computer thinking about my love/hate relationship with technology”.

Instead of traditional graphics, lyrics type across the screen on Facebook, Pop-up ads, Google and more! This was all brought to life with the help of Josh Lockhart. The two met through a friend in Nashville and immediately started brainstorming ways to put the lyrics on a computer screen with flawless transitions and a few hidden jokes for us to find.

“I loved Lockharts idea to write ‘I’m feeling tragic’ on our Google search engine…Putting all those little bits of my and Lockhart’s humor into this concept was hilarious. The other part I had a lot of fun doing was the Will Ferrell-esque cowbell and tambourine parts in the bridge. That was so much fun to record!!”

That last bit was filmed live in a park near Tarek’s parents’ house in Toronto and plays back in the video on a computer screen. You’re never taken out of the laptop experience and we have to hand it to Taerk and Lockhart for their ingenious platforms and seamless transitions. We hope to see more from these two soon and so does Taerk, who had a lot of fun working with him on it and could definitely see them working together again.

Image courtesy: Josh Taerk

If you want to catch a stripped-down live version of the song, Josh Taerk posted his time at D’Angelico Sessions in Colorado. We asked how this beautiful rendition came about and he said,

“I’ve become pretty close with the team of people behind the brand. We’ve done a couple of impromptu jam nights/shows together, and they were very cool about us doing some acoustic videos in the store (hint, more to come)!”

We don’t know about the rest of you but the last part of that statement has us super excited!

What’s next for Josh Taerk?

“I love being on the road and sharing my songs live with my fans! I’m actually about to head out for some Canadian tour dates this month and then we’re heading back to Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana in April…I’m always writing new songs, and love throwing new ones into our live shows.”

Watch the video here:

The Young Fables Are Only “Half As Good” Without Each Other

Laurel Wright and Wes Lunsford make up the duo The Young Fables and they have found that without one another, they are only “Half As Good.” Granted, that is part of a being a duo, but it’s more than just their music, it’s their bond that makes them the best of musicians, friends, and soulmates! 

The music video for their latest single “Half As Good” premiered on CMT and it is pretty much adorable. They are both living out their normal day to day life when they stumble upon each other and in the end, they almost kissed and we died. You should probably watch it because it’s pretty adorable.



Laurel and Wes became a duo, sometime after Wes filled in for her guitar player who was sick. The rest is history and not only do they sound amazing together, they also write their songs together as well. Laurel told us about how she tries to write songs without Wes, but they only turn out half as good. 😉 The Young Fables also told us which TV show they would love to see the other one guest star in during our interview which you can watch below!



The duo made us feel so comfortable and they are definitely the type of people everyone would have fun spending time with. Whether it be going out for coffee or playing board games! Be sure to check out their album Old Songs which was funded by a kickstarter! Talk about amazing fans!!


Risa Binder Brings Happiness And Hope With Her Music

Risa Binder has a pretty incredible story about her latest single “You Came Along” which she originally interpreted to be a love song. A big believer in signs, Binder discovered she was pregnant by way of an extra heart in her cappuccino and the song suddenly took on a whole other meaning! Her daughter even makes an appearance in the music video!

Catching up with Binder, we found out more about her summer plans, her favorite dessert (Hot Fudge Sundae) and I was even given the challenge to check out The Chocolate Room in Brooklyn when I go to New York in a couple weeks!

Did you know one of Binder’s dreams is to be on a sitcom? She told us about that dream and how if she could be on a TV show, it definitely would have been The Office! She would also love to see Reba and Lady Antebellum in concert for the rest of her life, given the choice! Definitely two of our favorites as well!

It’s easy to love Binder, not only because of her music but the draw to her happy and inviting personality. She wants her music to bring happiness to others and hopefully inspire others to also follow their dreams. Also, I read she gives cupcakes out at meet and greets so she’s clearly our new favorite person. Check out our interview below!


Fun fact: did you know she was nominated for an Emmy for her song “Just Like That” which was performed on General Hospital in 2012?! Amazing! We can’t wait to see where the future takes her!


Natalie Stovall Is Definitely A Friend We Would Want On Our Couch

There are so many exciting parts about CMA Fest and nothing was quite as exciting as getting to sit down with Natalie Stovall and share some laughs and talk about her new single “Can’t Love You No More.” Stovall has an infectious personality along with a big smile, bright eyes, and an incredible laugh. She has opened for the likes of Keith Urban (her favorite) and Bobby Bones.

Stovall recently competed on The Voice for #TeamBlake and has been releasing new music all year! She also told us about performing with Urban and what a champion he is of musicians. He even called her out on stage for an epic back and forth solo/duel during a recent performance!

Stovall’s latest single “Can’t Love You No More” which brings her back to her roots. “It’s uptempo, I’ve got my Gospel choir back on it.” She continued; “The last couple of songs that I’ve released have been a little more of the serious side. They’ve just been songs that have been on my heart and I’ve wanted to release for a long time. Now that we’re coming back into summer, I thought ok it’s time to do something that’s more like my live show.”



Stovall also told us about a revival of the Three Girls Rock Into A Bar Tour with Kelleigh Bannen and Ruthie Collins, along with some headlining shows and launching The Red Balloon Tour which goes along with her new single “Can’t Love You No More.”

We chatted with Stovall about which show she would like to be a guest star on (FRIENDS), what she would like to be doing if she wasn’t in music (Counseling), a country she would like to visit she’s never been to and more! Check out our fun interview below.