Local Current Blog

Ask a Cool Person: 17-year-old writer Sararosa Davies

Photo by Andrea Swensson/MPR

Each week on the Local Show, we’ll meet a new person from the Minnesota music community who has some fresh discoveries to share in a feature called “Ask a Cool Person.” These people will come from all corners of the scene, including record store clerks, recording studio engineers and producers, artists, writers, bookers, photographers, and fans.

This week’s “Cool Person” is 17-year-old Sararosa Davies, who is managing editor of teen-run Garage Music News and a contributor to Sirius XM, is on the board of directors for Twin Cities Catalyst Music, and is a senior in high school at the St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists.

  1. Listen Ask a Cool Person: Sararosa Davies

How do you discover new artists?

It varies, based on the years of my life. My freshman year of high school, I found a lot of artists on YouTube. My sophomore year, because I was going to Israel I started Googling Israeli artists. And then these past two years as I discovered Spotify, I’ve started using Spotify Discover, which has been really interesting. And also I just get tons of recommendations from friends. I’m known as the friend who knows everything about music, but honestly I think my friends know more than I do, because they’re always introducing me to stuff. So yeah, just through community, through talking to people, and through the internet, a lot.

That’s a good balance; part real-life and part online life.

Yes. Definitely. And writing for Garage Music News has definitely made me open my eyes up to so much new stuff.

You brought in three artists today. What should we play first?

Well, the first one is Maddy Siiter, she’s actually one of our writers at Garage Music News. She’s based out of Duluth. She kind of does this alt-country stuff, and I think she has one of those voices that we all wish we had. We all think we sing like that in the shower, but we don’t. One of my favorite songs of hers is called “Mainstream,” and I identify with it so much. There’s a line, “God forbid you’d ever follow a trend.” And I think she’s talking to a boy. And I was like, oh, god, that’s so true. Because I think, often, boys in music are always like, Ugh, I’m so cool, and god forbid you like someone like Carly Rae Jepsen, who actually is a fantastic artist.

Another artist you brought in is someone who is actually going to be in the studio here at the Current next week, and I’m super excited about that. And it turns out you go to school with Dizzy Fae!

Yeah! She actually introduced her music video for “Color Me Bad” during my math class. She stands up at the beginning and goes, “Mr. Nickel, I have an announcement: I’m releasing a music video and I’m going to be opening for the Internet!” I just thought, She’s going to be the next Hippo Campus, but better. I love Hippo Campus, but I think she’s going to be the next artist to come out of our school and rock the world.

And the last one is Housewives. Tell me about them.

My friend Hannah, who is our art director for Garage Music News, said, “Hey Sararosa, I know you like Girlpool. You should check out my friends’ band Housewives.” I looked them up, and they have a song called “Vegan Rancheros,” and I think it’s about the ones at Hard Times. I love their songwriting. They call themselves “Passive-Aggressive Indie Punk.” It reminds me a lot of Girlpool, but there are two instrumentalists and they both do vocals, so it also reminds me of First Aid Kit in a lot of ways. It’s very simple, but their songwriting is phenomenal. And I get it, because they are teenage girls, and there’s something about music made by other teenage girls that just makes sense. It feels good to hear your experiences recognized.