Interview: Sandra Mae Lux

How are you today?

I’m feeling pretty good, thanks! Spring is officially here, which is a lovely time of year to blow the cobwebs out and start fresh.

For those who may not yet be acquainted with your work, could you elaborate on the essence of your sound and elucidate upon the prominent influencers that have shaped your artistic journey thus far?

Most of the music I’ve released in the past is an upbeat fusion of soul, disco, MOR and pop, with elements of jazz.
Growing up I was very lucky to be constantly surrounded by a wide variety of incredible music. My parent’s friends and family members would always bring over music, and all of that soul, jazz, funk, classic country, blues, R&B and classical music absolutely influenced and inspires me to this day. Artists like Etta James, Otis Redding, US3, Amy Winehouse, Donny Hathaway, Astrud Gilberto, Ella Fitzgerald, Earth, Wind & Fire, US3, Carol King, Marty Robbins, Paul Desmond, D’Angelo, The Doobie Brothers, Boz Scaggs, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole (the list goes on) all have had, and continue to have an influence on my music.
My writing partner and I are constantly influenced and inspired by the incredible songwriting duos of the Brill Building’s glory days, like Cynthia Weil & Barry Mann, Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield, Burt Bacherach and Hal David, Carol King & Gerry Goffin.

In what ways has your geographical surroundings served as a muse for your creative endeavors? Have you observed any discernible impact of your locale on the evolution of your musical expression?

I think an artist can’t help but be inspired by their surroundings. I grew up around Vancouver (Canada); it really is a stunning place and can definitely act as a muse sometimes! But to truly grow as an artist, I felt like I needed to go and live somewhere else to fully reach my potential. The song “Little Town” is about that realization, and the resulting journey of moving to London (UK). It’s funny – people always come up to me after a show to tell me how much they love and relate to “Little Town.”
I truly feel home here in London, but having moved from the Pacific Northwest (with the ocean, mountains, rivers, lakes, and pristine forests), I sometimes feel the need to get back to some nature. This is what the song “Gotta Get Away” was inspired by, and I’m sure many people who live in big cities can relate. I am truly a city girl at heart, but a little time away in nature every once in a while is definitely a good idea!

Your recent single release has garnered attention. Could you provide insight into the genesis of this record and expound upon the narrative that informs its creation?

My writing partner and I were inspired to write a song about home. My latest single, « Where Your Heart Rests » (produced by legendary JUNO Award-Winning producer Chris SD), is a captivating folk/singer-songwriter track that marks a significant departure from my usual soul/disco/funk repertoire.
With poignant lyrics and soul-stirring harmonies, this acoustic ballad delves into the profound concept of home and its evolving meaning in our lives.

How does your latest single distinguish itself within the context of your discography? Furthermore, could you delve into the significance it holds for you personally?

This new single is definitely in a different genre silo that I would normally write in, but songs come when they come, however they come. We don’t really have control!
So many people no longer have their childhood home, or even live in the same place where they grew up.
“Where Your Heart Rests” explores the true meaning of what it is to come home. Where do you find home, when where you grew up no longer exists? And what does ‘home’ really mean? Is it something that you must find inside of yourself?
This beautiful, bitter-sweet acoustic ballad, with nods to Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot and James Taylor, walks a road where home means more than just a backyard and white picket fence.

What aspirations do you harbor regarding the impression you wish your latest project to leave upon its audience?

I hope this song serves as a cathartic inspiration to challenge the notion that home can only be a physical place. The home you grew up in still lives in your heart, even if that place doesn’t exist anymore. Home is something that you find within yourself.
And to create a home with someone that you truly love is a beautiful thing.

Can we anticipate the emergence of a new EP or, perhaps, an album from your artistic repertoire in the foreseeable future?

Yes – I am going back and exploring my jazz roots and loving it! It seemed like there were a whole bunch of new original jazz “standards” that wanted to come out. I’ve recorded half of this album (it is sounding fantastic), and am currently working on recording the other half. It’s all very exciting, especially because I’m playing a lot more sax.
I’m hoping to release this first half of the album as an EP within the next few months, and then release the album in its entirety when the rest is finished.

Looking ahead, what milestones do you envision accomplishing within the forthcoming five years, both artistically and personally?

Releasing this new all-original jazz album will be a lovely milestone! I’d love for these songs to be heard by as many people as possible.
What would make it even better is having famous jazz musicians cover these songs – my ultimate dream would be a full orchestral arrangement performed by Seth MacFarlane or Michael Buble!
I look forward to writing, producing and releasing a ton of new music, and evolving as an artist, sax player and writer. I also look forward to being able to do this full time, without the need of any day jobs. And of course, I envision holding that first Grammy and JUNO in my hands!