Emerging country artist Sarah Darling was the recent guest for an installment of The Recording Academy's 5 Questions With … series. Held at The Academy's headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., Darling discussed her musical journey, biggest career moments, advice for aspiring artists, and her 2011 album, Angels & Devils, among other topics.
"I wanted to do something a little bit different," said Darling regarding the double-disc Angels & Devils. "One [side] is fully produced. The other side is more broken-down [and] acoustic, which brings me back to when I first moved to Nashville. I spent a lot of time doing writers' nights and singing acoustically. I think there is something really cool you get out of somebody's performance and voice when you [hear] them raw and uncut."
View video from 5 Questions With … Sarah Darling
Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Darling began performing at age 14 for weddings, birthday parties, talent shows, pageants, and the Iowa State Fair. In 2002 at age 20 she relocated to Nashville to pursue a career in country music. A year later she traveled to Las Vegas to audition for the reality music contest series "The Entertainer," where she finished in the Top 3. But after a suggestion from "The Entertainer" host Wayne Newton, Darling returned to Nashville where she focused on writing country songs and performing in local clubs. She also appeared in several music videos for artists including Big & Rich, Kellie Pickler and Joe Nichols.
Her career breakthrough came when producer/musician Jimmy Nichols discovered her song "Stop The Bleeding" via her Myspace page. Darling subsequently became the first artist signed to Nichols' label, Black River Records, and in 2009 she released her debut album, Every Monday Morning, which features 13 tracks co-written by Darling. Released in February 2011, Angels & Devils features a stripped-down version of "Stop The Bleeding" and a cover of U2's "With Or Without You." Darling is working on her forthcoming album with GRAMMY-nominated producer Dann Huff, to be released later this year.