Before independently amassing hundreds of millions of streams and views and quietly building an audience of four million-plus across social media, Sarah Cothran drew up a “dream board” on the wall of her bedroom.
The 19-year-old Mississippi-born and Nashville-based singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer didn’t just passively manifest her future though; she tirelessly worked for it. She flooded the internet with viral performances and spent countless hours writing solo material and teaching herself production.
Now signed to Republic Records, she is focusing her emotionally charged pop sensibilities and vocal prowess on a series of upcoming original song releases.
“I wrote down twelve of my most unbelievable goals on the wall,” she explains. “It was things like, ‘I want a million followers on TikTok and a million listeners on Spotify’. I didn’t think they’d ever happen, but I put them on there anyway. All of them ended up happening, and it’s been insane. I still can’t believe it.”
For as humble as she may be, she hustled hard to get here. Born in the tiny town of Seminary, MS [pop. 400], she immediately gravitated towards music as a kid. After growing adept at an iPad keyboard program, she begged mom and dad for the real thing. Initially, they said, “No,” but she proved herself by performing a real song on the iPad. Around the same time, Sarah’s father played guitar and taught her the Metallica classic “Nothing Else Matters” on acoustic in addition to a few key chords. She also learned how to produce by watching YouTube videos, cooking up tracks on an old PC before eventually switching to Logic. Simultaneously, she listened to everyone from Nirvana and Breaking Benjamin to Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, and Regina Spektor.
At the age of thirteen, she started penning songs, but unfortunately faced incessant bullying in school.
“When I became really interested in music, my friends would tell me to quit,” she sighs. “It was really mean. They wouldn’t invite me out anymore and bullied me about my hair and my clothes. It made me dig deeper into music, because I’d come home from school after a toxic day and put all of it on paper. It was therapeutic to get everything out.”
During sophomore year of high school, her family moved to Nashville and “ended up loving it.” Following her 2020 high school graduation, she launched a TikTok page. Exploding on the platform, she introduced her “in a minor key” series, regularly cracking 1 million-plus views per video.
However, her take on Matt Maltese’s “As The World Caves In” shook the platform with over 100 million total views. That success translated to streaming platforms as it eclipsed 53 million streams on Spotify alone.
In between somber piano chords and organ strains on “As The World Caves In,” her vocals ring out with soaring soul and spirit, glowing in the apocalyptic flames of the lyrics.
“Somebody commented on one of my videos and asked me to cover it,” she recalls. “I tried to bring my own passion and intensity though. Matt Maltese even reached out, and we became friends after. As far as the songs goes, I feel like listeners could relate to the idea of the world caving in, because the past year has been really tough for everyone. I hope I could give them a little bit of relief.”
That energy carries over to her original music. Uplifted by her traffic-stopping range and from-the-heart songwriting, Sarah immediately captivates with a signature style, which she describes as “pop with a darker undertone.”
As Sarah brings more of her dreams to life, she may just inspire you in the process with her upcoming original music.
“When you hear my music, I hope you’re moved in some way,” she leaves off. “I want my songs to make you feel happy, joyful, or understood. I’m just a normal girl with a passion for music who wants to share it.”