I recently had the chance to do an interview with The Bowdoin International Music Festival.
Keep reading to learn more!
BIMF: How do you make a well-known piece of music your own?
Sarah Velasco: You have to be knowledgeable and adhere to the stylistic expectations, while knowing when you can have artistic freedom and take the opportunity with that, and not overdo it. I think it’s nice to listen to other musicians, but sometimes there’s a habit to emulate what you hear, and while that’s great in some ways it also comes with the problem of sounding like someone else. I think having your personality come through, and being tastefully spontaneous when the music allows you to be is really important.
BIMF: What advice would you offer to an aspiring musician?
Sarah Velasco: I think that to make it as a musician you have to be extremely hard working and be different. It sounds like such an obvious thing to say – but I think in this day in age, it’s harder than ever to have a successful career. There are so many people wanting to be musicians, and so many people that are good. It’s just hard to stand out.
I think a trap people fall into is trying to be like someone else. It’s important to have role models and people you look up to, and be inspired by their playing, but you shouldn’t ever try to sound or be like them. They already have their career, and there’s already someone that sounds like that. To be successful, you just have to push through, have your own unique sound. Keep reminding yourself that if you work hard and love what you do, you’ll be successful no matter what.
To access the entire interview click here