+the scene
(Photo © Zac Mahrouche)


Written by Skylar Zachian. Published: August 30 2023


If you love delicate, dreamy songs that make you want to watch raindrops race down your window and pretend you’re in a music video, Sadie Jean has you covered. Sadie’s music career skyrocketed as soon as it began when she released her song “WYD Now” in 2021, which now has over 130 million streams on Spotify! Since then, Sadie has released three more hit singles — “Locksmith”, “Just Because”, and “16”. We recently chatted with her about her songwriting, tours, and her most recent release “16”, which came out earlier this month. Check out the interview below!


YH: Can you tell us about your journey toward pursuing a music career?

SJ: My whole life, I was writing songs, learning piano, and then I eventually started playing guitar. Once I turned 8, I became very insecure about it. I posted a YouTube video of me singing, and one person kind of made a mean comment. I shut down, literally so dramatic… But after that experience I didn’t tell anyone I was writing songs for like the next 10 years. When everyone was talking about applying to colleges, I was telling everyone, “I’m probably just going to go to business school and figure out what I want to do.” I knew I wanted to do music, but nobody else knew that. I realized there was no way that I could live with myself if I didn’t do music. I think that’s when I started being brave and sharing that part of myself with people. 


YH: What does your songwriting process typically look like? When do you feel most inspired and what emotions spark your creativity most?

SJ: I’ve never wanted to write a song when I’m in a good mood! If I’m having a good day, no song is going to be written. I’m just going to try and enjoy the good day. It’s always been the thing that I do when I’m overwhelmed… I’ve always just processed my emotions through making them into songs. The best songs happen when I’m the most “down bad”. I guess I just need to go through some stuff and the songs will get good! 

@sadiejean Just Because! Also can we normalize crying on camera already !!! #justbecause♬ Just Because - Sadie Jean


YH: How did NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music affect the way you approach your music?

SJ: I loved my time at NYU! I did not think I was going to get in at all. Getting in was such a big moment for me. That was the first real validation I felt that I may be good at this. I didn’t know any other musicians or anything, so I was just like, “I think I might be kind of good. I don’t know.” When I got in, I was like, “Maybe I can actually do this for real.” Going there was really important in my path. That was my first time writing with other people. My friends Grace [Enger] and David [Alexander], the three of us started writing together because we were in school together. I ended up writing “WYD Now?” with them. It was definitely out of my comfort zone to move across the country [from California to New York] during the Pandemic. It was emotionally crazy to be kind of isolated in NYC during that time. The songs became a lot more vulnerable at that point.




YH: Your first song “WYD Now?” went gold! How did you feel when you found out? 

SJ: It’s crazy! It’s just weird. I don't know how that happened. I knew that it had gone gold, but then it takes a while to get the plaque. It’s really weird to see a physical representation of people that listen to the song, and it’s really cool. I don’t really understand what it means, but I’m just like, “I know this is good and I’m just gonna celebrate it.” Super excited about that! I’m still processing.



YH: Earlier this year, you opened for Cian Ducrot on tour in Europe! What were some highlights of that experience? 

SJ: So, that was my first time going on tour ever. It was really exciting to have my first tour be in Europe. I love Europe and I love the U.K.! It was the best! Cian and I met 6 months before then. We wrote together for my project… Those song’s aren’t out yet, but one day! He’s an amazing writer. He was popping off with this huge moment for his music, and it was really, honestly, so cool to see him have this moment and see his fans. He has the best fans! It was also really crazy because I was in these countries that I had never been to before, and people were singing along to my music. I did not expect people to know my songs. It was really eye-opening, inspiring, and emotional. 



YH: Last year, you posted a TikTok saying that “Locksmith” might just be the best song you’ve ever written. Is this still your favorite song of yours? 

SJ: I love “Locksmith”! Since then, I’ve written songs that I now think are the best I’ve ever written, but it kind of depends on the day. I kind of think about my songs as my children. I don’t really have a favorite… but, like, some days I kind of do!




YH: Out of all of your songs, can you share some of your favorite lyrics you’ve written?

SJ: I have one in my head for a song that’s not out, and I don’t wanna spoil it... So, I’m gonna think of the ones that are out. Right now, I’m most excited about “16”, ‘cause it's my most recent song. I think I like “Girl talk, talk about boy’s like it’s business / Mom’s mad gotta get home this instant...” It just feels so visual and nostalgic. And kind of silly. Which is new for me in my songs. Every other song I’ve released thus far was so intense. It’s a refreshing lyric to me. 


YH:  “16” came out on August 18th! We’d love to know all about it! What was it like writing this song?

SJ: I wrote it over the most recent winter break. I was home for the holidays, and all of my friends from high school were also home. Ah, it was just so weird because most of us had turned 21, and we were being adults and they were all working their jobs. Everyone was about to go back to their colleges. I felt very nostalgic. It’s weird to be with them and be older but then also feel connected to who we were together when we were like 16. Sometimes I’ll be with them and I’ll be like, “I swear we’re 16 right now at this moment.” Then I’ll realize we’re not, and I’ll get really sad. I wrote “16” to process that and bottle up that nostalgia. I think we did a really good job. I’m really proud of this song! It’s also super-nspired by my favorite artists when I was 16… [At that age], I kind of had an Indie phase. I loved Claro. I also really loved Lorde and Charlotte Lawrence. And I’ve always been a Swiftie [Taylor Swift]! 




YH: Can you tell us more about filming the “16” music video with your friends in your hometown?

SJ: This is my favorite music video I’ve ever done. It was directed by Sarah Eiseman, who is just a fairy princess. It was the most magical day ever! We got to film it in my house, at my old high school, and at the park I would always go to. All of my best friends when I was 16 were in it. It was really trippy! It did feel like we were all having a day of high school together. Especially when we were filming on the football field and all of my friends showed up for me. It’s just so sweet that we can all still be there for each other even though it’s been a minute since we were in high school. We also filmed all of the behind-the-scenes and put that video on YouTube. I’m excited that this really special day can just live forever. 




YH: If you were to write a letter to your 16 year old self, what would it say? 

SJ: Hmm. I would probably just want to tell her that things get really awesome and fun. When I was 16, I was really insecure. I was just comparing myself to everyone all the time. I would want to tell myself to just relax and know that it would all work out, 'cause it did all work out. And to just enjoy it while it’s there, because 16 is a cool age as well. It’s a really beautiful time. 


YH: If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

SJ: Taylor Swift… I always say that. But today, my answer is Miley Cyrus. I’m so obsessed with her. This morning, I’ve just been listening to her new song [“Used to be Young”]. Actually, I think I’ve listened to it 15 times just on a loop. I want to work with her or meet her so badly. I just think she’s so cool. 


YH: You’ll be opening for Johnny Orlando on “The Ride” Tour in September! What are you most excited for on this tour? What should fans expect to see from you?

SJ: It’s my first time touring in America, and it’s also my first time sleeping on a tour bus! I’m a little nervous but I’m excited. Johnny’s the best! I’m just excited to hang out with him and his team. People can expect my set to get really, really intimate. I just kind of lose a filter a little bit on stage. I definitely overshare the background context to my songs. Then I go off stage and regret it, but then I do it again the next night… So I guess people can expect to get some tea about my personal life!



YH: You’ve posted some clips of unreleased songs on TikTok and your fans can’t get enough! Can we expect to hear more of these songs in the near future? Anything else we should be on the lookout for? 

SJ: I have so many unreleased songs. It’s very overwhelming because I love so many of them. People can expect a lot of music to be coming out a lot faster than it has so far. I’m so excited about these songs. They’re my favorite songs I’ve ever made.


"WYD now"? Stay in the loop for all things Sadie Jean by checking out her website for updates, tour information, and more!