We had the good fortune of connecting with Sara Emmitt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sara, why did you pursue a creative career?
I love the saying: “If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.” As I was designing my business and deciding how I wanted to offer my trades, I had this intention in mind: I want to always love what I do. So what do I love to do? I love to help people feel better. I love to play music. I love to create. So I turned my business into my personal creative venture. My offerings are enjoyable to ME, and they also happen to benefit others greatly. I enjoy what I do every day, and I am helping people at the same time. AND I can make a living with it. To me, this is winning.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I consider myself a songstress, offering a very specific genre of music. It’s not quite folk, or soul, or bluegrass, though it does carry a taste of each, with other influences laced in as well. If I had to describe what I create, I would call it Medicine Music. This is a category of music set on its own for the flavor of experience it offers. These are not the type of grooves you would rock out to in a bar or a club; this music is made especially for a ceremony setting. I write music for sacred spaces; spaces where people are wanting to check in, not check out; where audiences are seeking transformation and healing through the music; where there is an intention to meditate with the music, chewing on each note and syllable as if it were nourishment for the senses. This is how I like to listen to music: as if it is the very medicine that heals me. Because it is. Music saved my life. I came to my guitar as I was at the edge of life, in the grips of cancer, not knowing if I would live to see my 27th birthday. As I started singing and writing music, life poured back into me. As I stepped into my voice, I stepped into my vitality, and came alive with purpose and inspiration. Not too long after I started playing music, the cancer left my body. Since that moment 6 years ago, I haven’t stopped singing. Perhaps in knowing this story one can see that music has been so much more for me than just tunes in the background while I go about my day. Music is my life force. It is my breath. My heart. My love. Today, I play music for ceremony spaces large and small. I facilitate rites of passage such as birth, death, and big life transitions with my music. I play for groups of people seeking reverence and purpose in their lives, as well as healing and awakening. I play music for those that feel lost and want to find truth. This is what my music is about. I am proud of my art. And deeply grateful that it is something that I can share with the world while simultaneously supporting my own life. It took (and still takes) a great deal of courage to step into my voice and my role as a musical facilitator and space holder. I continue to confront the fears and internal voices that held me back from singing for so long. I push through that mind banter, because I know that this is what I am meant to do. I believe I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t doing it.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There is so much to check out in Boulder, but I wouldn’t take you to the touristy spots. Since I was born and raised in Boulder, I would take you to my favorite nooks off the beaten path. Literally, we have to go off the path to get to my favorite mountain spot behind my house (in the mountains just north west of Boulder). I wouldn’t take just anyone here; this is my sweet secret hideout. But since you’re my best friend, I want to share with you the spectacular beauty that is just a short hike from my back door, and leads us to a most magnificent view of the Rocky Mountain foothills. After the sun sets, I’ll take you to meet my dad, who is by far the most interesting person I know in Boulder, and he will make us his famous beef stew. Then we will lay blankets on my deck and watch the stars. This, to me, is Boulder. Like I said, nothing touristy about this tour. The mountains are where all the action is, in my opinion.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a huge shoutout to my younger sister, Samantha. She picked up a guitar over 15 years ago and quickly grew into a very respectable and skillful musician. I spent a long time being jealous of her incredible talent, wishing I could make six guitar strings dance the way she could. Over time, as I have grown up and settled into myself, and found that the jealousy has transformed into a tremendous admiration for the musician and songwriter that she is. She has impacted my music in such big ways. Often when I am playing music on my own, I hear her singing and playing with me. Samantha taught me my first picking pattern on the guitar 6 years ago, which catapulted me into my music path. While we may still have our sister quarrels from time to time, there is no one I’d rather sing and play music with than that amazing sister of mine.
Jeremy Lewis and Brian Ellison