Sarah Story

We catch up with the multi-hyphenate Northern selector, presenter and vocalist taking the electronic music world by storm.

If you don’t know, get to know.

 

Born and bred in the rural plains of Carlisle, Sarah Story has taken her sweet time assembling a mini music empire of her own.

 

Since starting out in radio at the tender age of 16, Sarah’s evolved to become one of the most dynamic names coming out of the British broadcasting scene. Driven by a timeless love for music, she’s built her way up from her student radio days to become a mainstay of the Capital FM airwaves.

 

To describe the musical inclinations of Sarah Story, though, is to attempt to understand the human connection that lies at the heart of electronic and dance music. Whether it’s through her deep cuts, soulful disco-infused beats or thumping house sets, Sarah’s ultimate goal is to bring people together through warmth that the power of community and solidarity can ignite. Armed with an infectious sense of humour and a palpable, joyous optimism that pervades every show she presents, what sets her apart from so many others is her open-door policy – she’s the kind of selector who welcomes all to the dancefloor and wants you to bring your mates too.

 

All the same, Sarah’s not the kind of creative who likes to adhere to rigid categorisation or labels. No stranger to the hustle, she thrives best when she’s taking on multiple projects at once, applying her interdisciplinary mindset to everything at hand. So, besides residing over the Capital FM airwaves, you’ll find her writing bits, spearheading pounding DJ sets, singing on tracks and on the box too.

 

So, what lies in store for the artistic polymath? Well, you can catch her hosting a panel event amplifying the importance of female role models within electronic music, as well as playing Snowbombing and Highest Point festival later this year.

 

But, enough from us – get to know your latest internet crush below and follow her on Instagram here.

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If you could summarise it, what would be the story of how you came to be the Sarah Story we know and love?

My story is one of graft, determination and love of radio and music. It all started by listening to Sara Cox on the Radio 1 breakfast show. I’d never heard such a northern female voice on national radio before. She was feisty, funny and unapologetic and I thought, one day I want to be like her.  At 14 I got my first work experience at a radio station (CFM in Carlisle) and at 16 got my first radio show there. I studied Music at uni in Liverpool and the main reason I went to uni there was because of Cream and the amazing nightlife. I remember seeing Annie Mac play at Chibuku and she blew me away, she jumped on the decks and just didn’t give a f*ck. These figures and club nights have influenced my journey and definitely shaped my music tastes. I’ve got lots of exciting things in the pipeline for 2020 so keep your eyes peeled!

How would you describe your career?

Varied! I’ve worked in a chip shop, at River Island to dealing with PPI complaints. A few years ago, I told myself if I like the idea of something to just go for it. If you don’t try something out, you might regret it later down the line. That’s why I host a radio show, DJ, write and record music and have now become a voice-over artist. These were all the things I liked the idea of doing, and now somehow I’m doing them all. The one thing that always ties everything together though is music!

What are some of your first memories of music?

Listening to the radio in the car going on holiday to Blackpool when I was around 6. Early 90s radio was flooded with dance music and I used to love listening to the radio with my family. I also remember my Mam coming back from the Clothes Show Live with a CD, she said they had played this track loads on the catwalk and she loved it. She blasted it through the speakers on the way to school, the track was Underworld – Born Slippy. God knows what the other parents must have thought of us rocking up to school with that blaring out of the car! I think this was the beginning of my love for electronic music.

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What’s the best part of your job? The worst?

The best part is that I’m doing something that I really enjoy. Meeting new people all the time and getting paid in some ways to just be myself as a presenter or for playing some bangers that I love in a field. The worst is that I miss out on a lot of events/family celebrations as I generally work weekends. I was a bridesmaid at my friend’s wedding last year and I couldn’t get cover for my radio show, so I went to the studio in my bridesmaid dress and did the show!

What is something that not many people would know about you?

I’m a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I used to teach it to kids and spent most of my teenage years dedicating myself to the art. I think every kid should do some form of martial art as it really disciplines you to keep fit, respect adults and be calm.

What energy do you want to give off when you are DJing and presenting?

When DJing it has to be fun! I want people to see how much of a great time I’m having behind the decks and it resonates with them. I love nothing more than seeing a DJ really enjoy themselves and just going nuts for the music. The crowd feeds off that energy, and that’s what can make a great set. When presenting I want to give off a warm energy where people feel like they can trust me. I think there’s something really interesting about being able to hold a crowd, being fun and confident is the key to this.

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What are you most looking forward to in 2020?

Festivals. I’ve got quite a few bookings over the summer and I’m really excited to try and build on that. I’ve also got some new music coming out with Matrefakt, a trio of producers from Liverpool. I’ve been working on a few tracks with them so I can’t wait to see where they will take us.

What does being in love feel like for you?

Happy and exciting. You should feel like your partner is your best friend, that you’re a unit who can take on the world together.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

Someone told me the worst someone can say is no. I feel like we shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help and when I reach out to people to try and get work then I just think, the only thing they can say is no. Generally, 9 times out of 10, most people want to help. Be the person that just went for it.

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Who is an artist you’re obsessing over right now?

Honey Dijon! I’ve seen her play a few times and each time she blows me away. The energy she gives out and her track selection are insane. Even when she plays really hard techno it’s still got groove. She’s also breaking down barriers and is her true self which is so refreshing.

If you could say one thing to baby Sarah, what would it be?

Stop caring about what other people think. People will judge and people will try and put you down but this is only because they are jealous or missing something in their lives. If you do something with conviction, then people will respect you and say ‘fair play’. As RiRi once said ‘Don’t let the bastards get you down’ haha!

Dive into Sarah's latest mix below!