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How Sound Child creates music that can heal anyone in need of it

Sound Child is not only the result of the creative and marital union of two amazing artists Sarah Grace and Troy Jackson Tate, it is also the product of pure love that musicians put into each of their tracks. The couple are tirelessly experimenting in search of the most harmonious sound, as their music is created to heal those souls who need it.

All the magic of the fresh, original sound of psychedelic rock from the 60’s and 70’s, combined with Soul and R&B, is created by Sarah and Troy in their home studio in the heart of Los Angeles. As musicians, they are sure that everything new has something old that has been forgotten. They try to give modern music the enchantment of vintage sound.

Sarah Grace and Troy Jackson Tate

Troy Jackson Tate has a unique hearing, his gift manifested in early childhood. At the age of five he was fond of the piano, and at the age of 10 he took up his first guitar. Gradually, Troy began to make progress in rock and roll, playing 90’s songs in the style of grunge and classic rock in a band. Then, inspired by the rock music of the 60’s and 70’s, Troy began composing his own songs.

Meeting Sarah Grace, who was also excited by music from an early age, truly revealed Troy's multifaceted talent. Sarah's spontaneous ideas gave Sound Child's music more dynamic. Since then, the couple is harmoniously using a combination of feminine and masculine energies to convey information to their listeners in the universal language of music.

The musicians preserve this harmony not only in their music, but also in everything that surrounds them, be it a website, a page on a social network or a video clip. Everyone can get not only musical pleasure from original melodies and impeccable vocals, but also aesthetic pleasure from visual performance. The power of love and empathy for one's neighbor, like a magnet, attracts creative souls from all over the world to Sound Child. It seems that these two have found the secret of a happy life, with the possibility of embodiment of their inner potential, and they are happy to share it.

We invite you to plunge into the magical world of music and harmony of incredible creative souls, read the new interview with Sarah Grace and Troy Jackson Tate from Sound Child band.

Yuliana & Vinnie: Your enjoyable organic music is rooted in 60’s and 70’s rock. Where does this interest in the music of the past come from? How do you manage to present your listeners with a new look at the music of this genre? What audience is it intended for?

Sarah & Troy: Thank you for this opportunity and for listening so closely to our music! It really means a lot! And yes, our music is definitely rooted in 60’s - 70’s rock. Our interests both stem from a similar attraction to the raw power and indescribable magic that the music industry was cultivating at that time. In our opinions, there has never been a more influential time than those two decades which influenced history so prominently. It is always hard to put a finger on why we, among many others, find it so appealing, but I think it has a lot to do with how people were stretching their imaginations like never before in a time of unrest and cultural upheaval. Today in 2021, the cultural unrest and need for artistic release is very similar to the 60s and 70s. And that being said, we believe that listeners are looking for something reminiscent of both 60s music and the respective counterculture.

So we do not really have a set “plan” per-se to present our music in any direct way or to any specific audience for that matter. We just hope that people will catch on to what we are doing because for one, we love doing it, and two, we are almost certain there is a large culture growing that gravitates towards a similar sound. You can hear it in most modern music. The whole “tape crackle and pop sound” you hear in modern DAW plugins and even the rising Soul Revival scene, is something which we are very influenced by and very excited about. I think young and older generations alike have realized newer isn’t always better.

Sarah Grace & Troy Jackson Tate

Yuliana & Vinnie: Both you Sarah and Troy are multi-instrumentalists. What does your typical creative process look like? Who of you feels better on which instrument when you create your music? How do you produce music and share ideas together as a couple?

Sarah & Troy: Well to be completely honest, it seems to change drastically almost every time we record! Our process is very “feeling-based”. We do realize how much of a cliche that may sound, haha. However, that may be the only way to describe it!

Normally we start with a riff on any respective instrument we may be fiddling around with, we record the riff semi-haphazardly and then start layering on top of it. Taking pieces out or adding elements as we go. Sometimes the words come first, but sometimes the percussion is next after a piano line or a catchy guitar riff.

It really all depends on what we are hearing at the moment of the song's conception. The feeling and direction of the song usually depends on what we hear as a “potential” outcome. Sometimes things are VERY fluid and a song can be finished in just a couple of hours, other times a song can take days or weeks.

If we had to decide who was more proficient on which instrument, I think we could both agree that Sarah is a masterful piano player. I think I can speak on her behalf here (because she is too humble to admit it) But she can “ear” out and improvise on top of classical piano pieces along with anything else she hears (only once) with ease. Sarah has more control over her ear and can visualize and feel her way through music better than me.

I, on the other hand, have been studying music theory as much as I can and somewhat leisurely. Something I have never done until recently. And it has truly helped my creative song-writing process. I have been playing guitar and bass from a young age, so I normally (but not always) take over that part of the recording process. I am trying to catch up on piano while she is doing the same on stringed instruments! So honestly it’s a great mix of talents, and we make up for what the other lacks quite well.

As far as how we produce and share music as a couple, we could say that we strive to be one entity, or one mind in that regard! Sometimes we write and record separately, which I think we both need as an outlet, but more often than not, we bounce ideas off each other easily and the outcome always surprises us both!

Yuliana & Vinnie: You record all your music in your home studio. What is included in your music gear? Do you have any favorite effects or instruments without which you could not imagine playing music?

Sound Child home studio
Sound Child - Home Studio

Sarah & Troy: We do record everything in our home studio, yes. Macbook, Logic Pro X and a humble little Scarlett 2i2 audio interface bought ages ago that does the job beautifully. We use a shure sm-57 for a mic (Because it just has this weird, cheap yet lovely magic to it) And a VXL V67i for anything we need a bit more precision with.

We have a couple Fender American Strats laying around, a Surpo Hampton re-model (Very cool guitar) and a Fender Jazz bass. We have a daily used YDP 144 electric piano and an old novation midi keyboard. We also use a cruddy Yamaha drum set sitting in the corner of the studio. We also have one of the biggest and ugliest Line-6 amps that would otherwise be a piece of crap but is so versatile and has so many tone options that we love it! Normally we are vintage tube amp snobs but found this one for $90 at Guitar Center and stuck with it after sadly selling our more expensive amps during a move.

Really nothing fancy or even close to expensive. Would we like to get higher grade equipment? Yes of course haha! But that is the life of an artist right? We are satisfied with the sound we produce and a lot of the proficiency has to do with years of recording alone, learning and just making do with what we have.

Modern technology is making it easier and easier to get a semi-professional sound with inexpensive gear, which is very welcomed. Anyone thinking they cannot record because they don’t have the money, with all due respect, isn’t trying hard enough. It’s very possible! “The free education of YOUTUBE UNIVERSITY” is a running joke with us and everyone should use the wealth of knowledge waiting on the internet.

Yuliana & Vinnie: Your productions sound great. Do you also deal with mixing and mastering yourself, or do you outsource this stage of the work?

Sarah & Troy: Thank you! And yes, we do it all ourselves. Troy is more or less the mastering engineer, as he has much more experience with home studio recording. But Sarah’s ideas are often more spontaneous in the mixing process, which creates a great dynamic. Sarah is quickly learning the ropes as well using the equipment we have. Often, Troy will just press record if Sarah has an idea and watch the magic come out of her hands, and then we dive into the process of layering and mixing together.

Troy has learned a lot simply from trial and error and has been recording by himself since he was around 16, so there has been A LOT of error to say the least! Only recently, however, I have found my stride and confidence in the engineering process. I never went to school, but just used my ear as best I could, and figured out what works and what doesn’t in whatever DAW I was using at the time. A lot of googling and youtubing if I had something in my head that I couldn’t figure out.

Yuliana & Vinnie: Does your music have a specific message that you want to convey? Do you follow any particular philosophy in your work?

Sarah & Troy: That’s kind of a tough question! But if we had to summarize in one phrase, maybe… Love each other!? We believe that it may not be as hard to get along as a human race as it is normally portrayed in society. In our humble opinion, normally the conflicts, strife and violence against each other are reflections of one's own problems and shortcomings. Less selfishness would cure a lot of things that plague us as a human race. We do a lot of blaming as a society, and people are offended (especially today) at almost everything. No one takes responsibility for their own problems or even actions.

Loving EVERYONE like YOURSELF would cure that in a nanosecond. You wouldn’t punch yourself in the face, right? Love everyone like yourself…. Easier said than done, of course. It seems to be difficult for us all to grasp. Us included, of course. The ego takes over daily, and we are not taught LOVE in schools. Instead, we learn arithmetic or geography that we forget the day after taking a test. Maybe things would change if we did teach love as rigorously as any other subject.

To be a bit more direct in answering, we think our music represents whatever emotions WE may be having at the time. And I think this can translate to anything in life, but we find the more joy we have in creating music, the “better” or more universal the music seems to become. When you enjoy life, it radiates outward in everything you do and things seem to fall in place a bit better. Here’s another (probably unwanted) analogy…. If a chef bakes a cake and hates the process of doing it, he, more likely, will make mistakes, and it will taste like crap right? Music is the same and, in our opinion, on a deeper and more subconscious level than baking a cake. Music is a universal language and can describe things where words simply fall short.

We are more in touch with each other subconsciously than we know. Scientific thought is starting to discover that everywhere, but it is not a new idea. We are all one being expressing itself in an infinite amount of ways throughout the universe. Hopefully our music can portray even a fraction of that idea. Love your neighbor, simple as that.

Yuliana & Vinnie: You not only bring harmonious melodies and flawless vocals to your listeners, but also bring aesthetic visual pleasure. Whether it's your website, social media page, or video clip, it's impossible not to notice the presence of stunning pastel colors, bizarre collages and overall integrity. Do you create all this by yourself, or does someone help you with such design?

Sarah & Troy: Actually, a lot of it is done by a friend in LA named Lindsey Price! She is brilliant and was kind enough to let us use her work for our album art. Anyone reading should definitely check her work out and support her!

Sarah is also a visual artist however, but normally doesn’t have the time to draw or paint anymore. She also makes South-Western jewelry for supplemental income. So her creative schedule is somewhat packed full.

Yuliana & Vinnie: Everything that you do has a certain charm and an easily perceptible feeling of happiness. Do you consider yourself happy people? From your point of view, what does happiness consist of?

Sarah & Troy: That is so kind of you to say! And so wonderful to hear because it is definitely what we would like to portray. Our main goal with music is to help or heal anyone in need of it, and we think music is one of the most powerful ways to do that. We hope that people can feel joy or relate to ANY emotion a specific song we compose is trying to convey. If it is a sad song, then hopefully people can see that they are not alone in that feeling and hopefully feel connected with something bigger. We do consider ourselves happy and empathetic people. I think the empathy and love we have, not just with close friends and family, but even strangers, is what keeps us happy and healthy.

Relating this to our previous answer, we believe that the love for each other as neighbors is what our society is sorely lacking. Happiness can come from many avenues in life, but I think the most important is empathy and caring for others.

What also seems vital is a sense of purpose and accomplishment in whatever endeavor an individual may strive to do. Creation is what keeps the world moving and progressing, and I think it is the sole thing that fulfills our deepest desires as living and thinking creatures. The forms of creation can be endless and all encompassing as well! Everything is art and creation. Even baking a cake!

So, if we could summarize our philosophy in life, it would be to find something that makes you happy and do it well. Find joy in the little things as a child does. There should be no reason why the simple things in life are not exciting or beautiful as we grow older and more indifferent to the world. Being grateful for what you have is vital to being happy. Sadly, it seems that today everything is so fast-paced and our dopamine is triggered by simply scrolling through social media apps or watching overly stimulating television shows. It creates an unrealistic view for what happiness is, and we should probably find a different course as a society and fast.

Yuliana & Vinnie: One can feel balance and harmony in your work, the perfect combination of masculine and feminine principles. Can you tell us how your creative and marital union was formed?

Sarah Grace & Troy Jackson Tate

Sarah & Troy: Definitely! We think that the balance of masculine and feminine principles is what makes our music unique. I think we both have a bit of both gender qualities in us as well, and it creates a nice creative soup! We are actually a married couple and were married in the summer of 2019. We met in 2018 in Los Angeles and were immediately attracted to each other’s creative talents before even meeting, actually.

Troy’s childhood friend Justin Smith introduced us to one another, and being in a band with Troy at the time, Justin showed Sarah some of Troy’s music he was creating as a solo project at the time. She said that she told Justin to replay the song over and over and that she must meet him. Upon meeting at Troy’s house in California, Sarah was playing some of her music on the guitar and Troy fell head over heels in love with her. The physical attraction was obviously there, but the music is what drew us together immediately. Sarah lived in London at the time. We decided to get married and spend our lives together creating music. The rest is history, and we aren’t stopping anytime soon!

Yuliana & Vinnie: Your love energy, like a flame, attracts the same creative souls. Can you tell us about the Sound Children Artist Network project? What is the main idea of this project?

Sarah & Troy: Ah yes the network has become an interesting development and a full-time job luckily! The network was created almost by accident and was not intended to grow to the extent it did! Troy was in a similar network and found his partners there and decided to create one themselves that contained ONLY musicians. It started off as a free network where artist’s (based in the music industry) could share music or social media links and support each other. We soon found out how much work was involved and found it just wasn’t viable working so much for free as much as we would have liked to. It is a full-time job! However, we strive to be a one-stop-shop for musicians and run social media/streaming platform campaigns for them with our dedicated and incredible team. We try to keep our prices as low as possible, so we can truly help artists in their careers.

The idea of the project is to create a network of artist’s that can collaborate and work together, however the main focus is to get a leg up on the challenges of the social media rat race. We have never been huge fans of social media at large and find it to be distracting from the real purpose in life and their endeavors. I do think it is a fantastic outlet for artists and businesses. However, I do not think the world as a whole has quite comprehended how large and all encompassing social media is. I think we all realize the dangers, yet we can’t seem to pull ourselves away, and It seems like it is here to stay. So in that regard, the network is a fantastic way to beat the ever looming and changing algorithms that seem to dictate a lot in our lives today.

It works very efficiently in that regard and creates a platform for artists to see real and organic engagement from actual artists and musicians. And like I mentioned above, it is also a fantastic place to network with other artists! The group is only made up of musicians but also photographers, videographers who shoot music videos and even podcasters who do interviews with musicians. Basically, anyone involved in the music industry.

Yuliana & Vinnie: How do you feel about modern music: are there any styles, maybe groups, performers, or other artists that inspire you? Or do you prefer to adhere to the style of 60’s and 70’s music, culture, and art?

Sarah Grace - Sound Child
Sarah Grace - Sound Child

Sarah & Troy: We always say that if music has feeling and passion, then it is good in our book! Sadly, I think we both find that the feeling in MOST but not all modern pop music just isn’t there. Of course, this is subjective, but if you truly look at one of the major differences in today’s music versus the pre-digital age, simply put, the amount of effort put into a piece of music is nothing compared to what it was. This seems a bit more objective… The advent of digital recording brought on so many “shortcuts” for a lack of a better term. You can find endless amounts of loops, samples and midi keyboard tricks that with a click of a button and a few drags and drops you can create an entire composition and never even pick up an instrument.

I think this is one of the biggest causes for the lack of drive, emotion and passion put into modern music. Anyone with a laptop can create the same music that huge stars like Drake or Cardi B create and barely lift a finger. Not to mention the distractions caused by today’s technology. It is so easy to entertain yourself. People used to pick up their guitars when they were bored. Now it’s Netflix.

Compare modern pop stars to groups like the Beatles, Crosby Stills & Nash or Jimi Hendrix and I think the amount of effort and talent it takes is not even close. Not only the effort in mastering an instrument, practicing daily, and being able to perform it well enough to track, record and play live shows day in and day out, but the message behind the lyrics is just non-existent in our opinions. The legends of the music world sang about love, pain, consciousness, spirituality, death, beauty…. The list goes on. They wrote and sang passionately about life in all its purpose and meaning. And poetically at that! Today… What do pop stars truly sing about today? Avarice, greed, material objects and sex? That seems to be the going theme. That alone, I think, is what is sorely missed in music today.

Sarah Grace - Sound Child
Sarah Grace - Sound Child

Again, it's not all modern music, and we are constantly searching for it. I think there are some absolutely brilliant songwriters and musicians that reach that top of the charts. Kendrick Lamar, Steve Lacey, Childish Gambino, just to name a few. They are out there. But sadly it seems like a lot of genius goes unnoticed. We personally have been incredibly inspired by the small but growing Soul revival scene that has popped up recently. Groups like the Durand Jones & the Indications, Monophonics, Thee Sinseers. The list keeps growing! But it still seems to stay somewhat underground. However, it seems to be gaining some traction, and we believe people are starved for true musicianship alongside that passion and drive that was so much a part of the 60’s and 70’s.

I think it had a lot to do with the turmoil and civil unrest at the time. Art always booms when society is suffering, it seems to be a counter balance to keep us all happy and alive spiritually and subconsciously. I think it is happening again and the vain, glossed over pop music of today may be on its way out. The enormous unrest the world has been seeing for the last 2 years during the pandemic seems to be splitting us right down the middle as a society. We believe music can help mend that divide, as it always has. We would be overjoyed and honored to join the fight in healing the world with the music we create, and are striving to make that our main goal. Simply to help others heal.

Yuliana & Vinnie: We honestly admit that you are the most interesting musical discovery for us recently. As far as we know, you are currently working on the premiere of your new single and there are many more queuing up for release. What are your musical aspirations, and what are you pursuing as musicians? Do you dream about world tours or rather music is your passion, and it is enough for you that people listen to it on streaming platforms?

Sarah Grace & Troy Jackson Tate
Sarah Grace & Troy Jackson Tate

Sarah & Troy: That means so, so much… Honestly, we couldn’t be more grateful to hear that! Yes we have scheduled the premiere for the single on the 22nd of October, and it will be on all streaming platforms. We are excited about this next one, and it has been lying around for a while. But we have a bunch more queued up for release and plan to release a single every month until our next album comes out. We have a lot of old music lying around on the old hard drives and think it is definitely worth sharing!

Our newer sound is gravitating towards more of that soul revival sound we were mentioning. We consider it a bit more “mature” for the lack of a better term. A little less experimental maybe, but our production is definitely improving, and it's the kind of music we have always wanted to make. Reminiscent of Otis Redding, Al Green or Curtis Mayfield, while still staying true to some of our roots in Psychedelic Rock and Folk. We try not to deny the technology of the modern age and like to spice things up with modern twists here and there, and we don’t want to box ourselves into a certain sound, necessarily. We write heavy rock and roll or weird folky acoustic music at times… Whatever seems to come out of our heads. We grew up on rock and roll, so don’t want to lose touch with our roots. But Motown inspired and 60s-70s Soul and R&B is kind of at the heart of Sound Child right new, and we may even create another project for our other stylistic genre choices. Who knows! One step at a time, really.

As far as some of our aspirations go, we just would love to build an audience first. And hopefully one where we can at least support ourselves financially with. Our online audience is growing slowly and people seem to receive us very well which is a blessing and with the pandemic destroying any chance of live shows for the last 2 years it truly was the only way forward. That being said, it is kind of hard to shift gears, and I am sure a lot of musicians are struggling with that same mentality. However, the Internet is powerful, and we have learned a lot about how to utilize it during the pandemic, and we will continue down the path of self-promotion for now until something else comes up. Live shows are sorely missed, and we plan to build a band back together and start gigging as soon as possible.

Sound Child - Sarah Grace & Troy Jackson Tate
Sound Child

We definitely dream of world tours, but it WOULD be enough just to know people are streaming our music and enjoying what we do. We believe we do have a lot of energy to give to a live audience, and both have been comfortable on stage for a while now. There is nothing like the exchange of energy during a live performance. But again, the main purpose is to help others feel something and possibly help them in any way by listening to our music, so if streaming does that then that is more than enough!




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