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Interview With Sandra-Mae Lux

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

How would you describe your music to any person who may have never heard it before? Sandra-Mae: It’s an upbeat fusion of soul, disco, and pop with a sprinkling of jazz! Think Earth, Wind & Fire, Doobie Brothers, Anita Baker, Quincy Jones, and Sade vibes.

Press shot for UK-based sax player Sandra-Mae Lux.

What’s the significance of your musical moniker?

S: Well, it’s just my name! No real significance [Laughs]. What are your influences? S: I was very lucky that a lot of my parent’s friends and family members had fantastic taste in music, and big record collections! So all of that soul, jazz, funk, R&B, and classical music that was playing in the house when I was growing up absolutely influenced and inspires me to this day. Artists like Etta James, Otis Redding, US3, Amy Winehouse, D’Angelo, Donny Hathaway, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra all greatly influenced me and the music I create. And as a sax player, I was very inspired by the playing of Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz, Cannonball Adderly, and Paul Desmond. What are your musical inspirations? S: Definitely artists like D’Angelo, Patrice Rushen, Earth, Wind & Fire, Tom Jobim/Joao Gilberto, The Doobie Brothers, Quincy Jones, and Steely Dan. And my songwriting influences are all those brilliant Brill Building people, the great writing duos like Carol King & Gerry Goffin, Cinthia Weil & Barry Mann, Neil Sedaka & Howard Greenfield, and even Elton John and Bernie Taupin!

If given the chance, what musician(s) would you like to collaborate with? Rather this is to either write a song or be featured on a track. S: I would love to write a song for, or be featured on a track by Young Gun Silver Fox! They're making some incredibly good music with stunning production. It would be such a treat to work with them!

What's your brand new song about? S: My writing partner Alan and I wanted to write a really grown-up break-up song where two people were able to part as adults, instead of angry adolescents. The idea that relationships have potential sell-by dates, and that’s okay, is an interesting topic that we’ve explored quite a bit in our writing.

What’s something you hope people take away from the new songs on the record? S: You can still love someone, and know that your time being together with them may be over. Breaking up with someone doesn’t have to end in screaming rows, smashed plates and throwing clothes out the window.

Do you have any favourite songs to perform live? Could be your own music or even a

cover. Any reason why? S: Yes! "Little Town" is one of my favourite original songs to perform live. It's a song about escaping a small rural town to fulfil your path, and this always seems to resonate with audiences. It also has a very hook-y chorus that audiences love joining in singing! Even the very first time I played it live, everybody started to sing along!

I also absolutely love performing “Just the Two of Us” by Bill Withers. The chords, the melody, the lyrics are all such a joy to channel on stage.

If you could perform a show this very second anywhere in the world, where would it be? Is there any particular venue(s) or city/cities that comes to mind?

S: I dream of playing the Royal Albert Hall right here in London. It's a stunning venue with incredible acoustics, which apparently are best when it’s half full.

What do you currently have planned for the remainder of the year? S: I'm performing shows here in London, writing and demo-ing lots more new music, prepping and recording more music to release, and generally working away at album number two. I'm also a voice-over artist, so I'm working regularly doing that.

Thanks for the time today. Is there anything else you may want to add before you go? S: Yes! Being a fully independent artist has never been more difficult. It takes me three-day jobs just to survive and do what I'm truly meant to do - which is write, record and perform music to share with the world. We make no money from streaming, so if you'd like to support an independent artist, please consider actually buying their music or merch on iTunes, Bandcamp, a music shop or from their website. If they have a Patreon page, consider that too!

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