Berlin via New York songstress Sara Hartman might just be your new favorite girl next door of pop. The 20-year-old newcomer uprooted her life in the U.S. to pursue her dream of making music in Germany with the help of producer Tobias Kuhn. Penning haunting pop tracks about ghosts, monsters and satellites, Hartman bridges the gap between reality and fantasy, relating it to every day experiences. Hartman first gained attention for her single “Monster Lead Me Home,” which is a rich pop track that helped catch her catch the attention of Chloë Grace Moretz, MS MR and more. While she’s been opening up for Ellie Goulding on tour, she’ll join X Ambassadors for the month of May.
Since her debut EP Satellites is out April 22, we caught up with the singer about moving across the world to pursue her dreams and what she thinks her future looks like.
On making music: For me it was more about making things. I just wanted to make things. I like to say that my mom was a visual artist and she always taught me and my brother to make s tuff out of whatever we had. I kind of tried to do that with music. I started taking drum lessons when I was 11. I fell in love with music, and I’ve been making music ever since then. Everything comes from creating more than technical music.
The story behind her EP: I moved to Berlin about a year ago, which is weird to say. I played for the right person in the Hamptons where I was staying for the summer—I grew up there. It was after college and I had no money left. I played for the right person and they introduced me to a producer in Berlin. I had enough money saved up to take a plane over. All of the songs I was playing in the corner of the restaurant found life with producer Tobias Kuhn. The record is finished and it’s been about this process in my life. It’s been incredibly exciting and terrifying, but really fun.
The sounds that influence her: I was raised on 90s art-rock. Pretty stereotypical Radiohead, Sugarcubes and early Bjork. My dad was into pop-punk. I love Nina Simone. It runs the gamut—I love different kinds of music.
On the challenges of moving across the world: It was pretty emotional since I’ve been here for a year and for what I’ve accomplished. It can be scary—I’ve been apart from my family. I have a little sister and she’s seven-years-old. I remember last year I missed her sixth birthday, and it just tore me to pieces. Of course we Skype all the time, though. I played in front of so many people on the Ellie Goulding tour and to have that energy come back at me—it was all worth it. It’s been hard for me, but very rewarding in a soul-sense.
On the next five years: I don’t know. I never thought last year I’d be living in Berlin and be comfortable and be exploring here. I’m not sure, but I’m sure that it’ll be somewhere cool. I have no clue, but I’m kind of okay with that.
Future collaborations: I’d love to collaborate with Jack Garratt, since I’ve been listening a lot of him lately. He’s been killing it, and I love everything he does with rhythms. I also found out about Allan Rayman. He’s been doing some really cool stuff.