I’m not saying Sara Niemietz is superman, but have you ever seen them in the same room?
Obviously I’m kidding, Superman could never. This artistic powerhouse is a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, and actress. I’m honestly tired just typing that.
Sara has performed on Broadway, Radio City Music Hall and at the Grand Ole Opry just to name a few. Her musical beginnings are as unique as her sound. Niemietz was a 4-year-old attending a BJ Thomas show when the singer brought her on stage to perform “Hooked on a Feeling” with him. She was destined to be a star.
Niemietz is now making waves with the highly-anticipated release of her upcoming genre-bending album, Superman.
The heroic Superman chronicles a collaborative creative journey with world-class producer-guitarist, Linda Taylor.
Taylor, the ace guitarist on the hit ABC show “Whose Line Is It Anyway”, co-wrote and co-produced the project that was born from sensing an intuitive chemistry with each other after they met at Sara’s showcase with Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown.
“This album is about speaking your piece, shaking off the past, and finding the superhero inside.”-Sara Niemietz
Sara explains, “As a kid, I used to run around with this blanket tied around my neck and call myself ‘Super Sara.’ This is a return to that, and it’s the most representative thing I’ve done to date.”
>THE BELONGING CO. SHOWS MUSIC CITY A HEART OF WORSHIP<
We caught up with the whirlwind artist to talk about the new album, new dreams, and what’s next for the multi-talented artist…
Terah: Let’s start at the beginning, when did your love of music begin?
Sara: I cannot remember a time without music. My parents often played jazz records before I was born. You could say Miles Davis was my “wombmate”… Okay, moving on… My family and I went to karaoke and to hear live shows on a regular basis. When I was four years old, we went to a B.J. Thomas concert in Illinois, and my life’s course was set. We were close to the stage, and he saw me singing along. Next thing I knew, he had invited me up to duet on “Hooked on a Feeling”. Had it not been captured on video, I may have doubted it; it was too perfect. After that experience, I never looked back. Even at such a young age, I knew live music was for me.
Terah: You’ve had COUNTLESS milestones in your music career to-date. Broadway, Radio City Music Hall, The Grand Ole Opry! Obviously, it would hard to pick a favorite, so can you tell us how some of these major accomplishments have shaped your art in recent years?
Sara: You are right. To pick one favorite would be impossible! Aristotle said that “we are what we repeatedly do” and for me, that has been music (and eating Taco Bell). Touring with Postmodern Jukebox majorly shaped me. Prior to my involvement with the collective, I had little experience outside of the US. We toured in over 35 countries – from Brazil to Dubai, from the UK to Turkey! It sparked a great love of travel; I got to interact with different cultures and share music around the world!
Another formative experience was starring on Broadway in Carol Burnette’s Hollywood Arms, under the direction of Hal Prince. Everyone involved in the project was an industry veteran. Lighting, direction, props, stage management – I witnessed every element of putting on a show and was in awe of the work ethic of these people who had spent their lives in theatre. Although this was my first show and I was only nine years old, just as much was expected of me. It was a crash-course in memorizing, showing up prepared, and giving 100%.
>WORLD PREMIERE OF JEN AYERS SHe SAID<
Around that time, our show was invited to be a part of Broadway on Broadway, where all of the Broadway shows perform a song live in Times Square in front of 50,000 people. I sang a duet to represent our show and it was a magical experience! If it happened now, I’d be bouncing around and trying to take it all in, but at that time, I played my Game Boy right up until it was time to sing. Priorities. Children have a strange fearlessness that is inspiring.
Terah: And what are some big dreams you have for the future?
Sara: Superman, my new album is coming out on October 28th. I AM SO EXCITED for the world to meet this music. I would like to tour these tunes and watch them come to life on stage. I also studied Mandarin in school. Several singles will be released in Mandarin translation. I’ve sung many covers and folks tunes in Mandarin, but never originals of mine. This is a big dream come true. Linda and I are already talking about the next album. Explore, create, release, repeat!
Terah: What do you truly want your listeners to glean from your art? I mean, “Sara Niemietz’ music makes me feel _________”
Sara: You know those “leave a penny, take a penny” cups at convenience stores? I want my music to meet you where you are. Take what you need. Want to shout at the top of your lungs and be empowered? Great! There is a song for that. Feeling like the world is a bit too much, and need a sonic hug? I’m here for you! I want my music to be a refuge on a tough day, and a wingman when you want to go out and party.
Terah: Alright now to the topic of the hour….”Superman” your upcoming album. I don’t mean to brag but I got to hear it and it’s absolutely freaking incredible. Okay fine, I’m definitely bragging but give us some insight into this project, we want to hear everything!
Sara: Thank you! Please brag away! Superman was born during the pandemic. I have wanted to make a rock album for a long time. One of my first CDs was Janis Joplin’s Pearl. It lived permanently in my Walkman. I remember being taken in by the strong vocals, vulnerable storytelling, and the power of the band.
When Linda and I discussed how we’d approach the recording of the album, we agreed right away that we wanted a “live” feeling where all of the musicians are in the same room at the same time. We’ve got vocals bleeding into drum mics, drums getting picked up by vocal mics. There is a palpable energy in those old records and we wanted to capture that. We went into Robby Krieger’s studio, Horse Latitudes, for four days and had a ball.
Terah: Tell us more about your partner in crime in this, Linda Taylor. What drew the two of you together in such a powerful way.
Sara: The great Linda Taylor! I hit the collaborator jackpot. I had known who she was through the LA music scene and Whose Line Is It Anyway?. I always thought she was a versatile and tremendous player! Such an ability to accommodate whatever the song needed and to accompany a singer, but I never knew what a brilliant producer and writer she was.
>THE IMAGINARIES: THINGS ARE GONNA BE ALRIGHT<
My last gig before COVID was singing with Tony-winning composer Jason Robert Brown. He and I had worked together before and I had joined him on his shows from time to time. Linda was the guitarist that evening and when I saw her, I knew it was going to be a good night! We had musical conversations within the songs and hit it off immediately. Confined in our own homes, we decided to write a tune remotely. One song led to multiple singles, which led to the decision to make a full album. It was instant chemistry. We’d send playlists of beloved songs and artists back and forth. I’d send her ideas via DropBox and she would do the same. It was this effortless bandying back and forth and I felt utterly free to express myself. Yes, we devoted many hours to this project and worked hard, but it was so much FUN, I don’t feel fair calling it “work.”
Terah: If you could only direct a listener to ONE of the songs on the album, what would it be and why?
Sara: I would direct them to “Locks” and ask that they watch the video at the same time. “Locks” is the first single from Superman and Linda and I call it the first chapter in this book. It is a new beginning and bristles with possibility! The video was incredibly fun to shoot. For those who haven’t seen it yet, it’s full of “joyful destruction.” Wondering what that means? Please check it out. Eddy Navarro and Alex Nester made the video with me and I edited it.
Terah: What’s next for you?
Sara: “I Want You” is the second single from Superman and I am finishing editing the video right now! It will be premiering on September 19th! I can’t wait for people to hear this darker, grittier track. This is one of my favorites to sing live.