Sarah Sellers is re-inventing herself.
She's dropped a husband — and his last name — added an R to her first name, gained a fiancé, and through it all, she wrote an entire album about heartbreak, rock bottom and the love that comes after it.
SARRA, Sellers' new stage name, will release her first full-length, self-titled, 14-track concept album in January after years of trying to make it and the nearly 50 songs that came with it.
She's been performing since she was 5 and writing since she was 12. She auditioned for an all-girls Christian group right out of high school. When that gig fell through, she auditioned for Season 2 of American Idol. She didn't make it far enough to make an impact, so she headed back to Dallas and worked as a performing musician doing cover gigs with a sprinkle of her original songs. In 2012, she was nominated for a Dallas Observer Music Award.
"Dallas is great for making a living doing cover gigs," Sellers says.
But she wanted more. In 2012, she met her producer and writing partner, Josh Goode (who would later become her fiancé) and they began writing this album. In the midst of it all, she divorced her husband in 2015. That of course led to great material.
She wrote about 30 songs that first year, but her team didn't think they were good enough. So she and Goode went to New York to write more. To write more honestly.
"Kerosene" is the first single off the new album. In the pop song, Sellers sings, "Yeah, I fucked up, made my mistakes, you light me up like kerosene. You watch me burn."
Sellers says a lot of the album is her truth about her divorce.
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One night while watching a documentary on Pink, Sellers was inspired by Pink's honesty. Sellers says she grabbed a few pieces of paper and began writing down lyrics about what had transpired over the last three to four years with her ex-husband. She took the lyrics to the piano and began singing.
"I was bawling when I was writing it," Sellers says. "Thats how I knew I was saying what I actually needed to say."
The song is "Confession" and she says it's the most personal one on the album.
"I was so afraid to be honest about what people would think, their feelings, but I had to get over it," Sellers says. "I have to speak my truth. To me, that's the best music. That's the music I connect to."
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Today, she's slowly starting to integrate her original songs into her cover gigs, like when she performs at Mercy Wine Bar every month or Nickle and Rye every Sunday.
She's also six months pregnant.
"I was five weeks pregnant while recording," Sellers says. "I was really sick and didn't know why. The doctor said it would be near impossible to have a baby without medical help, but I did.
"Tons of women go back to work, so that's kind of the way I look at it. I'm just going to enjoy this time with my family, but I'm not gonna lie and say it doesn't intimidate me."