Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
America’s Next Top Model: Catching Up With Cycle 8’s Sarah VonderHaarby Phil Kural -- 04/04/2008
View Printable version of this article
Most of you will remember Sarah VonderHaar from Cycle 8 of America's Next Top Model. Sarah not only wanted to be a model, but was also a photographer. She was sent packing by Tyra and company when they felt that her background as a photographer caused her to think about her posing too much. However, since being on the show, a lot has been going on with Sarah, most notably the fact that she will shortly be releasing her debut CD, Are you Listening Now? I got my grubby little claws on a copy of the CD before the release date, and I was pleasantly surprised!
Now, let me start this by saying that I think I have a very eclectic taste in music. I can listen to anything from Linkin Park to Rascal Flatts all the way to Jessica Simpson, and probably find at least one or two tracks that I like. So it's safe to say that I am pretty open-minded when it comes to music. Now, you wouldn't know it, but Sarah has actually been writing and singing for quite some time. Each song tells a different story, some a little more personal than the others. I can tell you that my favorite song, without a doubt, is the second song on the CD, "Over You." It starts out deep and dark, then breaks into more of an edgy rock track. If your looking for more of a pop feel (think Sarah Bareilles meets Paula Cole), then I definitely think you'd like the first track, "All Mine." It's not sugary sweet, but it still has a pretty good message -- and it's fun!
The first single, "I Got Sunshine," was written by Sarah, her producer Marshall Altman, and artist Alice Peacock. This isn't my favorite track on the CD, but it's definitely a "roll down your window and take in the air" type of tune. In fact, I'd say that most of the CD goes that way. There is definitely something on Are You Listening Now? for everyone. There are rock songs, pop numbers, and some strong ballads as well. Preorder for the CD has already begun, but the official release date is set for April 22, 2008. It's definitely not something you would expect from a reality show contestant, and goes to show you that we don't really get to fully know someone just by seeing them on TV -- Sarah is very talented, and I wish we had seen more of this creative side on ANTM.
I had a chance to have a chat with Sarah regarding the making of the CD, her fledgling modeling career, what else she has been up to, and so much more!
RealityNewsOnline: Hey, Sarah! So obviously, the readers want to know -- what happened with modeling?
Sarah:That is a question I get a lot actually. I am still modeling when I have time. I am signed with Elite Chicago and Next LA and I do love modeling so much. Since the show, I've modeled for Sears, Radar Magazine, CB2, and several others. It's amazing the people you get to meet and all the experiences. Modeling will always be a huge part of my life, but right now I'm focusing more on my first love, music.
RNO: How long have you been performing and writing music?
Sarah: I have been signing for as long as I can remember. When I was about six, my parents bought me a karaoke machine for Christmas. The old school version that was just a mic and tape player, basically. I don't think for the next two years I ever put down the mic. I was always singing to the point where I think my mother regretted getting me that Christmas present. I have been playing guitar since I was 12. I started taking lessons at a local music store but always enjoyed playing my own music. I started learning different chord progressions and that is when I really began songwriting.
RNO: How long did it take you to record the CD?
Sarah: Recording Are You Listening Now went very quickly. I was in Los Angeles for about two months recording with Marshall Altman and Eric Robinson (who also produced Kate Voegle and Matt Nathenson), but preproduction was a completely different story. I was writing, recording demos, and getting ready to record for almost nine months before I flew out to LA to start actually recording.
RNO: Did you write all the music on the CD yourself? What inspired the songs?
Sarah: I was a writer on all of the songs except two. It was amazing experience working with all of the wonderful co-writers that helped contribute great lyrics and music to this project. I even co-wrote "Let My Heart Fall" with my mother. She is a high school English teacher and has really contributed to my love of writing.
One of the other songs on the record, "I Got Sunshine," was co-written by my producer Marshall Altman and another great Chicago artist, Alice Peacock. Sara Overall and Marshall co-wrote "Just Go," the intimate piano ballad on my album. When I heard these songs I fell in love immediately. They were something I could personally relate to and fit with the record perfectly.
My songwriting comes from my life experiences. I always write from my heart and I think that is what makes the lyrics so honest. I hope my music inspires my listeners the way the music I've listened to has inspired me.
RNO: What is your favorite track and why?
Sarah: It's so difficult to pick a favorite track because every song has such meaning to me and really defines a moment in my life. If I had to pick one it would be the title track, “Are You Listening Now.” It is definitely the most personal song on the record and the closest to my heart. I wrote the song a few years after my father passed away and it was definitely therapeutic for me. I overcame a lot of emotions that I had felt for a long time and every time I sing that song live I can feel him looking down on me with a smile on his face.
RNO: What gives you more of a rush, performing or modeling?
Sarah: I would have to say performing. There is something about writing a song and then performing it live that is indescribable. When someone comes up to me after the show and tells me that my lyrics have touched them, it is truly one of the best feelings in the whole world. I do love modeling but performing it just a more personal experience for me. I feel that with my music I can express myself in a way like no other.1 2 Next-->
View Printable version of this article