From Self Esteem to Hookups, Meet the Young Singer Making Music We Can All Relate to
Plenty of Spotify stars croon about first crushes and falling in love; far fewer sing about society’s ridiculous expectations, casual romantic flings, and mental health. 19-year-old Sarah Gargano has found the balance between relatable and sing-along worthy, and this is one of the reasons why this musician (and Oberlin College student!) stands out.
Her track “Paper Girl” is an honest look at college hookup culture, while “Deadline” gets real about the painful end of a relationship. “Music, sonically and lyrically, has acted as a sort of saving grace to me throughout my life,” she told us. “It feels like I need to write music and put it out into the world with the hopes that it might deeply affect even one person the way that I've been affected by my favorite musicians.” On that note, meet Sarah below.
You’re balancing a budding music career and college, two tough things. How does that work?
I think music will always be my main priority since it's the thing I love above all else, but I also try to mainly take classes that ignite passion in me so that it never feels like a hassle. I try to take English classes and others that can also help me grow my songwriting on a subconscious level.
Your songs deal with raw, real life issues. Why is it important for you to be honest in your music?
Being honest in my music is important to me. I need to feel like I've done my own stories justice. I have to start thinking on a solely personal level while I'm writing my music so I don't back away from the vulnerability of being real. But, I think it's even more important that my music is honest when I do start to think about listeners. I want them to feel like they took something new away from my music, whether it be a strong emotion or a new way of looking at a situation they might relate to in some way.
We’d love to hear more about how your single “Paper Girl” came about (especially since it’s *so* relevant in 2018).
"Paper Girl" is an ode to hookup culture in college. Though my specific experience at my small liberal arts college is probably different than many people's experiences, when I talk to my friends (who aren't cis straight white men), there's a common thread. A lack of communication and preference for apathy is normalized—and bad communication often leads to consent issues, which is deeply tied into rape culture.
My female feminist friends often walk away from hookups feeling confused and upset. What do women do who want to explore their sexuality in a misogynistic society where we are objectified? Whether you're a hopeless romantic or love having one-night stands with people, I think all forms of intimacy require really honest communication.