Sara Bareilles: I think music is exceptionally revealing. I write my stories and life experiences honestly for my listeners, but I think there is a strange magic to music that makes a song feel like it belongs to both artist and listener. So it feels less confessional and one-sided... it feels like a communion. Writing these essays felt like I was unzipping some part of my soul that hasn't been seen before.
SB: I love it. I always have. It's not going to be the right thing for everyone, but what I will say that I can wholeheartedly recommend is the self-examination that journaling offers. I think you can get that from a lot of different sources, but for me, the tool of sitting and writing down my thoughts helps me to see them differently. It helps me slow down and distill a situation into its basic elements so I can process it more easily. And my journals from being a teenager are mortifying, and that's just f***ing priceless.
SB: I think we have to practice being kind to ourselves. It's like a muscle that needs to be strengthened. There will always be someone running around that has something you wish you had, but the more we can learn to see and celebrate what we like about ourselves, the more we can see what there is to like.
SB: I don't think you have to be an artist to be overwhelmed by life. Every single person I know (without exception) has had moments where they feel like they don't know which way is up. But I think part of the work we as humans are here to do is to learn to understand and have compassion for what is uncomfortable. Sadness and fear are a part of life (ask Pixar), and we can't pretend they don't exist. In fact, they enrich our lives. Sometimes an artist might be able to tap into a way of expressing those feelings in a way that makes people feel seen and heard, so I wouldn't call it a curse... I'd call it a blessing. And I think moving past the fear is sometimes just strapping it on your back while you keep on walking.
SB: The music industry is just the marketplace for music, so I don't really have any beef with that as a concept. I have complicated feelings about what it means to make music into a business, but I have complicated feelings about everything. (I'm very good at complicated feelings.) I am grateful for the opportunities that have come to me in this industry, and I will forever feel humbled and happy that I got a chance to express myself as an artist as my career. I have also felt a lot of frustration and pain because of certain people and sets of expectations and systemic beliefs that have challenged me deeply. But I don't think that is a music industry thing ... I think everybody feels some form of frustration when it comes to finding their way in the world.
SB: My melancholy is my most wounded and softest self, the part of me that gets brokenhearted by both beauty and pain. I almost think of her as my little sister in a way. I love her because she feels things so deeply. It's a very pure feeling, and it guides a lot of my writing. I don't know if I'd be a songwriter if I didn't feel so much heartbreak.
SB: The musical just closed its run up in Boston, and we go back into the workshop to make some changes and some fixes, and then we open in the spring on Broadway! It was a gift of an experience, and I am over the moon for this project. My concept record of songs from the show will release on Nov. 7. It's called What's Inside: Songs from Waitress, so it will give people a taste of the score of the show before they get to see it on the stage.
Sounds Like Me: My Life (so far) In Song is available for purchase on Oct. 6.
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