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An Interview with Sherrié Austin
By CSO European Contributing Journalist, Christian Lamitschka.

Sherrié Austin was at a crossroads. After singing country music all her life, after leaving Australia, finding a record deal in Nashville, getting on the radio, and constantly striving to make her mark as an artist, she stopped, confused and a bit lost. She needed something more. But what? And how?

CL: That’s an intriguing excerpt from your bio. Can you explain it in a little deeper detail?

SA: After touring and making records for almost 7 years I was a little burned out and needed to just get away and be a songwriter again. It was time to fill up the well and look for something new to say as an artist. Basically, I needed to get a life so I would have something to write about.

CL: Sherrié, you made two CDs at Arista. Can you tell us about your time at Arista and the CDs?

SA: Arista was a real learning experience for me, I was still very young and green. Every record I make is kind of like a journal of everything I am thinking and feeling at the time so each one is somewhat personal. I am very proud of both records and had a wonderful experience recording them. 

CL: Sherrié, "Following A Feeling" was really a vanity project for you. Why?

SA: Following a Feeling was kind of experimental for me, it was a record without expectations attached to it. In a way I was free to do what I wanted and I enjoyed the freedom. 

CL: Sherrié, let’s talk about your latest album "Streets Of Heaven". How did you get the title for the album and does it have any special meaning to you?

SA: “Streets of Heaven” was literally a gift from above. My co-writer had the title and it really did feel like it fell out of the sky and landed in our laps. It was the perfect album title because the rest of the record never would have been made if not for that song.

CL: Sherrié, how many songs on the album "Streets Of Heaven" did you write or co-write?

SA: I wrote 12 out of the 13 songs on the album.

CL: Sherrié, please pick three favorite songs off the album "Streets Of Heaven" and tell us the story about them and why these three songs are your favorites.

SA: “Singing to the Scarecrow” is a favorite because I love the innocence of the lyric. It's about just loving to sing for the pure joy of it, no strings attached, no politics, no money just doing what you love because that's what you were born to do.

“Like a Cat” is a favorite because it's all about overcoming fear which is something that is very hard to learn to do. But the girl in the story is willing to take a chance despite her fears.

“Streets of Heaven” is the most important song on the record for me. It inspired me to make music again at a time that I believed that what I did for a living wasn't very important. This song proves me wrong every single day.

CL: Sherrié, how much creative control did you have on "Streets Of Heaven"?

SA: Making a record takes team work. I have always been lucky enough to be surrounded by incredibly talented people who make my job easy.

CL: Sherrié, you came from Australia and have performed in the USA and Europe. What differences do you see between audiences in these three continents?

SA: I find more similarities than differences. Country fans are pretty much the same all over the world, they just all have different accents!

CL: Sherrié, you won your first Country Music Award in Australia. Please tell your fans what it was and what it meant to you.

SA: I won what is called a "Golden Guitar" award in Australia for best new artist. It meant the world to me to be recognized in my home country especially since I haven't lived there in over 17 years.

CL: Sherrié, what inspired you to go the way of the artist?

SA: My Mother said I came out of the womb singing, I've never wanted to do anything else and I’ve been fortunate enough to get to do what I love every day.

CL: Sherrié, if you had the chance to go back and change anything in your career, what would it be?

SA: I believe that everything that happens, happens for a reason even if we don't always understand that at the time. I wouldn't change anything, even the mistakes, they always taught me something. 

CL: Sherrié, what do you see as the biggest challenge for an artist in the music business today?

SA: There are always a million challenges to face in the music business and not just for artists. The important thing to remember is that you have to be flexible and be willing to change with the times.

CL: What does the future hold for Sherrié Austin. 

SA: I will be making another record sometime next year, the rest I will just make up as I go along.

CL: Are there any secrets you can tell the fans?

SA: If I told them my secrets they wouldn't be secrets anymore!

Christian Lamitschka ( Ch.Lamitschka@t-online.de )


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