Interview: Sabrina Carpenter

With 1 million Twitter followers and over 3 million Spotify listeners, Sabrina Carpenter’s fame is no secret. The Vamps and Sabrina Carpenter have been taking the UK by storm, having played a show here in Nottingham on May 17th. I caught up with Sabrina backstage at the Motorpoint Arena to discuss her second studio album, EVOLution, vintage clothing, and what it is like to be globally famous at the age of 18.

Z: So, you’re playing in Nottingham today. Have you had a chance to explore the city while you’re here?

 S.C: “This morning I went to a vintage store and got this sweater!  The store was right down the street (Sue Ryder charity shop). It smelled like vintage, it smelled like my grandma [laughs]. Anyway, that’s the only exploring I’ve done. Oh, and I went to a nice coffee shop.”

Z: You’re touring the UK with The Vamps, how’s that going so far?

 S.C: “They’re terrible, it’s the worst! They’re super incredible, they’re so talented and super sweet. They have the best accents. For you guys it’s normal, but for me it’s nice to listen to. But no, obviously, I’ve had the opportunity to watch their show a ton and the energy that they give and that the crowd gives them is magnetic.”

 Z: A lot of huge artists have played this arena like Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran, Paramore, and Blink 182. How do you feel getting to achieve that goal at such a young age?

“I’ve always been very driven in the fact I’m able to what I love at this age”

 S.C: “I think for me, my biggest goal as a child was to just to always- I always looked up to people that followed their dreams from a very young age. I know in this industry it’s easy to say you’re too young to do things, and you know you’re too young for people to take you seriously. For me, I’ve always been very driven in the fact I’m able to what I love at this age.”

 Z: How do you feel about people recognising you as the girl from, the Disney TV show, Girl Meets World?

 S.C: “I mean it’s a part of my life so that’s pretty much an open invitation to talk about it. I got the opportunity to be on the show. I got the opportunity to be on a show that reached a lot of different age groups as Boy Meets World was so popular in the 90’s. So, when I started the show, I was expecting, you know, I’m going to be meeting a lot of 5 year olds and 10 year olds.

“I’m very lucky I came across college kids, 30 year old parents watching it with their kids, and everyone in between. It was a show that got to reach a lot of different people. It helped with my music as well.”

Z: For such a young artist, you’ve made quite the name for yourself. How have you dealt with growing up in the spotlight and being seen as a role-model for young girls around the world?

S.C: “I think that, you have to be doing it almost for yourself. I think so much of it is knowing you can’t please everybody, because I’m the type of person that wants to please everybody. At the end of the day would you rather be a happy person or a miserable person? People make mistakes and you’re going to get through it, but also, make it as fun as you can and don’t take it too seriously. It truly is your job, but you should be having fun.”

 Z: You second studio album, EVOLution, was released in 2016, can you explain how your sound has matured/changed from first-length studio Eyes Wide Open?

 S.C: “It’s so funny because I started writing my first album (Eyes Wide Open) when I was 13 but produced it when I was 16. It didn’t feel like it was that long in-between, but it was 3 years. So from that time, you know, from “Can’t Blame A Girl For Trying” to “Eyes Wide Open”, there was already a huge change, but those songs were both in the same album. Then there was only 1 year from Eyes Wide Open to EVOLution and in that year it was just – it was basically for me, like, I thought I had done something different enough that didn’t sound like it was just pop.

“I love pop music, I’m a huge fan of pop music, but I think, at a young age and being on family show it could’ve been expected of me. So, I did want to do something different, but I’ve always taken so much inspiration from big singers and big voices like Adele, Christine Aguilera, Rhianna, and Beyoncé.”

 Z: Your single Thumbs was a huge success and is a great song, but what was your inspiration behind such a popular song?

 S.C: “Thank you. So, Thumbs is a song– I mean the cool thing about it is you don’t expect it from the title. I think, like I was talking about before, music should be as universal as you can make it, and it’s the language that everyone speaks and if you can get a message across in a song without being cheesy or preachy – try to do it. I think the message was important to be heard at that time. It’s about staying outside mediocrity and being comfortable.”

 Z: You’ve had your fair share of experience with acting, do you see yourself continuing with being an actress in the future, or do plan to stick with producing music for a while? 

 S.C: I don’t think I ever stopped acting. I think, the hard thing for a lot of people to comprehend is that I am one person! [laughs] So, I think for a while I was really lucky to be on a show that had a very strict schedule. I could fit my music in and knew exactly when I would be able to do that.

“Nottingham, so far, has been a lovely experience”

“But now, since I’m doing music a bit more, a bit more full-time, it is harder to fit different projects in, but, I’m still working on it. There’s things in the works as we speak and I’m very excited for everyone to see what’s next!”

Z: So, it’s what we all want to know, do you have any plans for a new music?

 S.C: “So, this Friday- I’m very excited because I think the song is incredibly catchy and I hope everyone likes it. I haven’t really been able to do a collaboration or duet so I’m very excited. “Hands” is with Mike Perry who has huge songs on Spotify and who is super talented and The Vamps – which I didn’t plan but it worked out very well that I was touring with them and we get to perform it on this tour. Friday will, obviously, be the studio version.”

Z: So, this isn’t a proper question but, first “Thumbs” and now “Hands”. What’s up with that?

 S.C: “Anatomy, yeah, the next one is called Elbows [laughs].”

 Z: Do you see yourself coming back to play in Nottingham in the future?

 S.C: “You know thing about it is, when you’re planning a tour you try to go everywhere, and Nottingham, so far, has been a lovely experience. Unless they’re very mean to me tonight which I don’t think they will be – I very much plan on coming back [laughs]. Even if they are mean to me, I’m just going to be like: “I’m going to make you love me, so I’m going to come back so you like me!”

Zoya Raza-Sheikh

Image courtesy of Disney/ABC Television Group via Flickr.

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