Iowa native Sarah Darling has released two full length albums; two EP’s and played at The Opry over 60 times. As if that weren’t enough, she also has a successful French macaroon company – “Sweet Darling Patisserie.” Recently, Darling was a contestant on ABC’s Rising Star where she gained mainstream exposure with her version of Kacey Musgrave’s “Follow Your Arrow” and Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance”. This led to an amazing duet of “Whiskey Lullaby” with Brad Paisley at the Opry last month.
We caught up with Sarah after her first NYC Show at Joe’s Pub to talk about music, macaroons and whats coming up next.
NYC Country Music Lovers: Tell us about your background.
Sarah Darling: I grew up in a little town East of Des Moine, Iowa and started singing when I was four years old. I kind of came into the world singing. I didn’t start writing songs until I moved to Nashville at the age of nineteen. My first real big heartbreak was the reason why I started writing songs. Experiencing love and life gives you something to write about. Now the writing aspect is my favorite. I love being able to tell a story.
NYC Country Music Lovers: You talked about your admiration of Dolly Parton in the show and did a great cover of Jolene! Who are your other musical influences?
Sarah Darling: Yes, I’m a huge Dolly Parton fan. Alison Kraus is also a big influence of mine. I love the purity of her voice. I really like Patsy Cline and Sarah McLachlan as well.
NYC Country Music Lovers: What’s the most memorable show you have played?
Sarah Darling: Definitely my debut at the Grand Ole Opry two years ago. It was always my grandfather’s dream to see me play at the opry. When it finally happened, he was there and it was amazing. He has since passed away, so the experience is very close to my heart.
NYC Country Music Lovers: How has being on Rising Star changed things for you?
Sarah Darling: I decided to go on Rising Star with an open heart and mind. I’ve always lived my life with no regrets. I got to go Los Angeles, sing on national television, meet some amazing people and make new fans. For me that’s the number one thing– to reach out to the fans. When I got kicked off, my fans were vocal in their opinion that I should have stayed and were fighting for me – which is a good thing.
NYC Country Music Lovers: What was is like sharing The Opry stage with Brad Paisley?
Sarah Darling: It was incredible and life changing to share the stage with Brad Paisley. He is just such a nice guy. When you meet someone you look up to and then you realize they have a heart of gold, it’s awesome. When I knew we were playing together I asked if we could do “Whiskey Lullaby” and he said yes. It was just an incredible night.
NYC Country Music Lovers: Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
Sarah Darling: I would love to collaborate with Kacey Musgraves. She’s my favorite. I think she’s a cool chick, she has a lovely voice, great style and it would just be fun to write with her.
NYC Country Music Lovers: Tell us about Sweet Darling Patisserie.
Sarah Darling: I have a real sweet tooth and it has led me to start a French Macaroon company in Nashville called Sweet Darling which is funny because Macaroons is not something everyone knows about there so I have to school them on what they are.
NYC Country Music Lovers: What are your favorite things to do in NYC?
Sarah Darling: I love New York because of the energy. It’s amazing and the food is incredible. One of my favorite restaurants is The Gramercy Tavern. I adore Chelsea Market ad love hanging out on The Highline.
NYC Country Music Lovers: When can we expect new music?
Sarah Darling: I’ve been writing songs over the past two years for a new album and I’m now at the stage of choosing and crafting the songs to go on there. Hopefully it will be out next summer.
Learn more at Sarah Darling’s official website.