Video Premiere & Web-Exclusive Interview

Video:  “Home (Where I Am Now)

M Music & Musicians magazine is proud to present the exclusive premiere of Rachael Sage’s video “Home (Where I Am Now).”

Sage is an award-winning, singer-songwriter, instrumentalist and producer. Another version of the song originally came out on her previous dance-themed album Choreographic. This song “Home” was co-produced by Sage and Grammy-winning producer Andy Zulla (Kelly Clarkson, Rod Stewart).

Photo credit Charlotte Davies

Balancing the poetic lyricism for which she is best known with a newfound reverence for music as a healing tool, Sage is in the midst of a creative renaissance, merging her experience of survivorship with both music and activism. “Home (Where I Am Now)” is a celebration of the human spirit, dreams, the city, fearlessness, the spirit that moves us, the person hidden deep inside who feels safe and all the surrounding beauty that continues to dance around our home.

This celebratory video is co-directed by Sage and Meredith Tarr, who also edited it during the pandemic quarantine. The video features Sage’s band The Sequins (Andy Mac, drums; Kelly Halloran, fiddle; and Ward Williams, cello), along with guest appearances by Brady Farrar (Dance Moms), author/LGBTQ+ activist and drag-kid Desmond is Amazing, and professional dancers Kaci King and Destiny Wimpye. Most of all, Sage’s fans have generously contributed to this video—and that’s what has made it more special.

Rachael Sage’s songs have an honesty that arises from the life she lives, the diversity she unconditionally embraces and a celebration of this moment to the fullest—all while revealing her truth.

We talked with Rachael Sage about this introspective and revealing song/video, how her life experiences have shaped who she is now, how she has learned to treasure and celebrate life with family and friends and how she has found home.

Photo credit Mark Anton Smith

with M Music & Musicians magazine publisher, Merlin David

When did the idea of “Home (Where I Am Now)” come to you and Fiona Harte?
“Home” is the first song I have ever co-written, and it was the result of a rather magical day, when I first met Irish singer-songwriter Fiona Harte. She had reached out to me from across the ocean, wanting to know if I might like to write together when she eventually made her way to New York City. I was very much taken with her lovely voice and obvious talent, and immediately found myself saying yes. The day I met her at my MPress Records office, I asked her many questions about her life, loved ones, interests. We discovered we shared a mutual affection for city-life and that my romance with Dublin echoed hers with NYC. I came to the session prepared with a bit of music already, and gradually we each went back and forth with lyrical imagery until the bulk of the song was complete. She had to go back to Ireland before we had a bridge, but thankfully she didn’t mind the one I came up with—and we’ve been dear friends and collaborators ever since.

Photo credit Mark Anton Smith

This is an introspective and revealing song. The video is a strong reminder of the diverse celebration of that wonderful spirit.
Thank you so much—that means a great deal because Fiona and I were really trying to strike that balance between a universal lyric and emotion, and a more intimate story with just enough specific imagery to feel personal. I recall when we took a walk through a park in NYC the day we wrote together. We were both so captivated by the buskers on the street—by their beauty and courage; that unspoken familiarity between musicians passing each other on the street and looking at each other appreciatively is, unto itself, a kind of celebratory exchange.

Rachael Sage’s songs have an honesty that arises from the life she lives, the diversity she unconditionally embraces and a celebration of this moment to the fullest—all while revealing her truth.

When did you first realize you were home—and that home is where you are now?
I have always had the deepest sense of home within the context of touring, traveling and making music primarily for strangers—who often have become friends. I am most at home within the adventurous process of creation. While now we have to do that largely without travel or in-person connection, I’m still so grateful for the ingenuity among my community of peers. It inspires me constantly to stay connected, interactive and to continue to feel at home. Making this video with so many far-flung contributors during this strange and challenging time really lifted my spirits and amplified my sense of gratitude for what continues to bond us together as one creative, diverse and loving human family.

Home is a place where we are comfortable in our own skin—where we can be ourselves, content with the friends who surround us and family who accepts us as we are. What does “home” mean to you?
Part of the reason I wanted to make this video—which my dear friend and longtime tour manager Meredith Tarr co-directed and edited—was because I was really feeling quite displaced, anxious and unsettled, at the start of lockdown this past Spring. We had just had to end a 7-week tour that I had been eagerly anticipating since my cancer recovery—as a kind of comeback. Suddenly I found myself feeling unsafe and therefore unwilling to go back to my actual home, in NYC’s East Village.

What adjustments did you make?
When push came to shove, I suddenly felt very little attachment to the prospect of being alone in my apartment without any companionship or familial support. As lockdown began, I quickly decided to settle near to Meredith. I made the choice to be near my close friend. Even though we social distanced during that time, just being able to meet outside, make each other laugh, and get through it together—made a world of difference. You nailed it when you said home is being accepted as you are—and feeling that sense of comfort, even within a crisis, is a huge part of it. It is definitely not about what four walls happen to be around me, or my zip code.

Why did you choose to delete a few lines from the song for this video?
It was my co-director Meredith Tarr’s decision. She always has a “less is more” philosophy with music videos. This version of the song is a full one-minute shorter than the original album version from Choreographic. I well understand that with visual mediums, it’s better to leave the viewer wanting more than to repeat imagery over and over. Essentially, she opted to use a Radio Edit of my song that I had approved in the past. The edited lyric is very interesting and works well. I love the idea of skyscrapers as metaphors for people—especially since I am generally such a city girl.

The diversity in this video is incredible, especially your wonderful fans who contributed. Why does it continue to be important to you to celebrate all these wide definitions of home?
When I first had the idea to create this video, I was struggling with feeling a bit like I was in exile. Yet oddly, I felt very little attachment to my actual apartment, my stuff, my need to be in a familiar place. I just wanted to be safe, to be able to relax, ideally to be near friends or family, and beyond that, to be able to create art. I had reached out to my amazingly supportive fan base once before to collaborate on a video for my song “Spark,” when I was in cancer treatment and unable to film. At that time, I was blown away by the heartfelt expression and beautiful clips people sent in. It was incredibly healing and inspiring. So there was precedent for doing this once prior, and I thought—this is a great time to reach out to those who’ve helped prop me up before, and encourage everyone to share what it is that’s helping them get through this. I wanted to create an opportunity to create one story of resilience via self-expression and yes—diversity was crucial. Every person who contributed is a beautiful, inspiring performer (and even a few limelight-seeking pets got involved). I was proud of everyone merely for trying. We were able to weave everyone’s contributions into a cohesive whole—in large part thanks also to my band The Sequins, who make fabulous cameos. That was a bonus.

Where can new fans get more info and stay updated?
Instagram: @Rachael_Sage
Twitter: @rachaelsage
Instagram: @fionaharte
Twitter: @FionaHarte1

Video features: Rachael Sage and The Sequins (Andy Mac, Kelly Halloran, Ward Williams)

Special Guests: Desmond Is Amazing, Brady Farrar, Kaci King, Kim Manning, Destiny Wimpye Featured Contributors: Cyrus Beam, Stewart Brodian, Amy Chace, Alexandria Joyce, Nicole Squadere, Merryn Johns, Ronnie Robinson, Chloe Jo Davis, Sarah Hardman, Kristy Kruger, Danielle Stilloe, Shadley Grei, Evan Kornmann-Kat, David Gilson’s Disco Lights, Steve Sims


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