Sandy Louise- Music a powerful outlet for inspiration

Sandy Louise is an inspiring and uplifting musician from Newcastle, New South Wales. Her music is from the heart, honest and creative.

Sandy grew up with music in her blood. She joined her mum in their church choir and her passion for music only grew from there. “When I got to High School and joined the choir, I was in the very first Star Struck,” Sandy says. Star Struck is an annual performing arts spectacular in the Newcastle region that brings over 100 public schools together to create extravagant performances. Sandy also began to play the flute.

It wasn’t until after she had finished school, at the age of 17, that she picked up a guitar for the first time. “I loved it and never looked back.” At 18, she began to write songs. She wanted to be a musician, but there were a few events in her life that would interfere before she could begin her career.

Sandy married and had two children Elijah and Izayah (now 12 and 10 respectively) so raising them became her number one priority. Music was something she still enjoyed, but she just couldn’t see herself making anything of it while she sill had little kids to look after. “For a long time, my kids came first so music wasn’t something I was actively doing in the community”.

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Right Beside You

Once Sandy felt that her boys were at a fair age, she wrote and recorded her debut album Right Beside You which was released early 2014. Recording and releasing her first album was a dream come true. “It was quite surreal to be honest. I still remember holding my first CD and going ‘I’ve finally done it’”. Hearing your album being played by friends is one thing, imagine hearing it be played to thousands of people on the radio. For Sandy, this was an emotional experience.

“When I first heard one of my songs on the radio, I cried. It was such an amazing feeling to be getting my music out there to the world.” Sandy’s music, which she describes as modern Christian Country, has been popular on Christian radio station Rhema FM. This year, she took part in their Rhemathon, which raises funds for the independent radio station. She has also had her music played on Lake Macquarie FM, Kicks Country FM and Power FM to name a few.

The Other Side

Last year, after taking 3 years to write the songs, she released her second album The Other Side. During that three-year period, a lot happened in Sandy’s life which largely influenced this album. Whilst her first album was largely influenced by her Christian beliefs, her second album was more honest and real.

During this period, Sandy became a single mum after separating from her husband. She also lost a very close friend, Nicole, to cancer. “It was a slow process so losing her was a huge thing I went through.” Sandy’s sister was also experiencing severe domestic violence. “There’s a lot about that in there as well as break up songs.

Although the lyrics and the feel of the album are a bit darker than her previous music, they are showing how honest Sandy is as a musician. “I wanted this album to have powerful lyrics because it is all about rebuilding my life”. Nothing she went through during this period was easy, so hearing her sing about it in the way that she does is purely inspiring. Life is our greatest inspiration, which is why so many musicians use it to create meaningful lyrics.

Music as a powerful outlet for Sandy

For Sandy, music is much more than playing an instrument and singing- it’s a powerful outlet for her. “I find that in songwriting, I write a lot about my life in general and am inspired by people around me as well. It can be so powerful to write a song that brings healing or awareness of topics to the world,” Sandy says.

After losing her close friend Nicole, Sandy channelled what she was feeling into three different songs on The Other Side. The feedback she received from it was incredible. “I found that those songs really touched people’s hearts which was beautiful. That’s what I love about music. For me that’s the best part.”

Sandy has been inspired by many other musical artists when it comes to songwriting and performing. “Kasey Chambers is up there as one of my biggest influences as well as Jewel and The Cranberries. I’m an 80’s baby so a lot of classic stuff really influences me.” She also finds inspiration from modern artists such as Missy Higgins, Adele, Melody Moko and Tori Forsyth. “I really do love the country genre and Melody and Tori are artists that are on replay right now. All of these women are amazing songwriters.”

[caption id="attachment_867" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Creative-Collections-Sandy-Louise Photo: Georgina Grimshaw[/caption]

The age of digital music

With so many online streaming platforms nowadays, it can be so hard to sell physical CD’s. “I’ve certainly found it hard to sell physical copies of my latest CD. We are in a digital music world right now,” Sandy says. When she released her debut CD four years ago, digital music was around but not as huge. “I think it’s so important to support local artists and buy their CD’s”. Of course, online streaming platforms are a good way for artists to get their music out there, but it doesn’t always offer them a fair income.

Song Writer's Association Australia

Mid 2017, Sandy became the regional co-ordinator for the Song Writers Association Australia. The opportunity came about when she was performing at a local Newcastle market. “In 2015, I was approached by Kerri Garside who was the regional co-ordinator for the Central Coast,” Sandy says. She was invited to their Wax Lyrical Open Mic night, held monthly, and went as often as she could. “A number of my new songs from The Other Side were written as song challenges on the Central Coast. Kerrie is an inspiring songwriter. I spoke to her about starting Wax Lyrical in Newcastle. Her encouragement and support were invaluable.” Sandy applied for the role of regional co-ordinator for Newcastle and was successful.

In July last year, she held her first Wax Lyrical in Carrington. That first night, Georgina Grimshaw, Natalie Henry and Rob Conway joined Sandy with performing their original songs. “Since then, I’ve had a number of local songwriters support this monthly event and it’s been great to network with and support local songwriters. It’s definitely a night I look forward to every month”.

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Sandy offers this advice to anyone out there wanting to follow their musical dream. “Follow your dreams and write the music you want. Even if you don’t become wealthy from it, it’s still an amazing feeling performing your own music.”

For now, Sandy will continue hosting the monthly Wax Lyrical Songwriters Open Mic night, gigging around the Newcastle area and writing more music. One thing's for sure, her music will continue to inspire for years to come.

To keep up-to-date with Sandy and her music, follow her on Facebook:

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