DIY Spotlight: Rachael Sage

New York-based alt-pop artist Rachael Sage started her own label, MPress Records over two decades ago, and has released a string of exciting albums since then. But her musical journey started long before that, when she began playing piano by ear at three years old.

“My folks weren’t musical (my dad is actually tone deaf), but they loved music in all forms, so I was very fortunate they had some of the very best classical, pop, folk and rock in their album collections... and the forethought to have a piano in their living room in case I took to it,” Sage says. “I initially started writing songs to express my feelings about being bullied in school, but also I can remember having a very clear vision after watching shows like American Bandstand and Solid Gold that ‘That’s what I want to do!’ I just felt, instinctively, there was an otherworldly magic in performing―not only singing but also dancing and acting―and have been thoroughly immersed in the creative arts ever since!”

As she got older, Sage started writing and recording her own music, and performing live at N.Y.C. venues such as the Bitter End, CBGBs and Siné. She would eventually tour with Ani DiFranco, and she won the Lilith Fair Talent Search. Things have progressed steadily ever since.

Owning her own label, Sage is legitimately DIY but she recalls her time when she would consider herself more so.

“For me, DIY as a term brings to mind a time when I was literally recording myself in my basement, mixing my own demos, cutting out my xeroxed artwork with scissors to insert it into cassette cases, writing hand-written notes to music biz contacts in meticulous calligraphy and saying a prayer as I dropped meticulously prepared packages into the mailbox,” Sage says.

Looking ahead, Sage is working on an acoustic version of her latest album, The Other Side, and she’s performing live―check out her website for a full list of dates.

For more information, visit rachaelsage.com.