The music industry is a rich vein of culture and countless stories of self-made success. For North Carolina born, Nashville based singer/songwriter, Sarah Mae Chilton, this industry has been her livelihood since she found her passion for it in high school. Sarah brings a positive, and humorous approach to heartbreak and life, while adding a fresh voice to the pop and pop-country market. The singer has been playing four live shows a week at Tootsies Orchid Lounge and Honky Tonk Central and is on the verge of releasing her new Christmas track, titled “Stocking Full of Kisses.” The song is going to drop on November 25th, and tells the story of a lover waiting for their person to come home.
“It could be that the singer has a partner in the military or has been at a job that keeps them away,” Sarah Mae explains, “but they will finally see them for the holidays. It could be for college students who haven’t gotten to see their boyfriend (or girlfriend) because they went away for school. This song celebrates that long awaited reunion.”
Sarah Mae is no stranger to the world of holiday music. Last year, she released a song titled, “Merry Happy Everything,” witten by two time Grammy nominated songwriter, Jan Buckingham. Buckingham, who is an additional co-write on “Stocking Full of Kisses,” alongside Marika Hallendy, has written for television and film, and owns 14 active publishing companies, administering copyrights worldwide.
“Stocking Full of Kisses” is produced by John Willis, a musician whose guitar has become a consistent feature on country and pop radio. Willis was honored in 2002 with the “Guitarist of The Year” award from the Academy of Country Music.
Sarah Mae first started performing live gigs while she was just in high school, playing at local writer’s nights, while also performing in her own rock band and for church youth events. Throughout this time, Sarah dove deeply into the world of music and truly discovered her passion for it. It was then that she realized how much this meant to her, and that she wanted to be a music artist, making a living by performing live.
Her degree hails from UNC Chapel Hill where she studied Music Composition and Anthropology. As a way to give back to her community in Chapel Hill, she went on to teach for a group known as Musical Empowerment. When she graduated in the spring of 2016, her dream of being a musician brought her to Nashville, Tennessee, where she currently resides. In the city, landmarked and famous as the birthplace of country music, she makes a living singing and helping with the booking of talent at Tootsies Orchid Lounge.
As the dream became a reality, Sarah Mae has been able to write music with artists from all different genres as varied as rap to country, even including some Grammy-nominated writers. Currently, she hosts the weekly open-mic on Saturdays at the Tootsies, which gives her a chance to not only continue to play her music for a crowd, but also meet like minded musicians in the ever-expanding country industry.
In March of 2021, Sarah released her debut album, titled “Southern Glitter Pop.” The album contains 10 tracks, including titles like “Lady President”, and “Broke.” The album is available on all streaming platforms and features a fusion of pop music and country influences.
“To write what I’m feeling, and to have those feelings heard, I mean, that was magic,” Sarah Mae says. “It helped me cope on some of my hardest days.”
The singer/songwriter pours her heart into the music that she creates. The inspiration she draws from her life and from the lives of those around her is painted vividly in the lyrics that she writes. Her latest album, titled Tucson, dropped earlier in 2022 and features the hit single, “Go Away Ghost.” The album is largely desert-themed, written primarily throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Sarah Mae continues to grow as a musician, and loves sharing parts of her dream with the world. “Have Faith in the journey,” she advises. “It’s not going to happen overnight. And if you have a vision of a dream that you want to fulfill, you’re not crazy. It’s all out there to be found. If there’s someone out there doing it, you can do it too.”
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.