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Interview: Sandra-Mae Lux

Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your latest album, and what themes or stories you aimed to convey through your music?

I have always loved performing cover songs; it’s a way to connect to an audience with something that is already familiar to them. The true joy comes from putting your own authentic spin on that cover, and sharing your spirit through that unique lens.

Music often has the power to transport people to different places and times. Can you describe a moment in your life when a particular song or album had a profound impact on you?

When I first heard Diana Krall’s “When I Look In Your Eyes” album as a kid, I was completely mesmerized. Diana’s vocal performance and killing piano playing was so inspiring; and her incredible band that included guitarist Russel Mallone and swinging bassist Christian McBride. Add to that the classy, tasteful string arrangements from Johnny Mandel and the ultimate brilliance of legendary recording/mixing engineer Al Schmitt and perfect production from Tommy LiPuma – and you really have a perfect album. Not a note out of place. From that moment, I knew that someday I wanted to make an album that sounded that good, and share it with the world.

As a child and teenager I was extremely bullied, so this album became a sanctuary, an escape to a beautiful place in my mind and soul. I guess that’s what I hope people can take away from the music I create, too.

Many artists have rituals or routines they follow before performing or recording. Do you have any unique or quirky pre-show or pre-recording rituals that you find help you get in the zone?

I make sure to do all my worrying and panicking long before the gig or recording session, that way I’ll have exorcized most of it! I also like to be hyper organized so that I have zero to worry about for the gig that’s in my control. I do suffer from anxiety, so making sure I’m as prepared as possible helps a lot. However, I do like to be able to stray from the plan, but having a plan / vision of how I want the gig to go first is key.

Your lyrics often tell a story or convey a message. Can you share the story behind one of your songs and the inspiration that led to its creation?

I had an extraordinary high school music teacher named Jeremy Hepner, and I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for him. He is absolutely the reason why I am here, and why I pursue music with such passion to this day. Sadly and shockingly he passed away from a rare and aggressive form of cancer. Overwhelmed with grief, a song fell out in a rush, and the words that kept coming into my head and onto the page was “I’m still here.” This is how the track “I’m Still Here” came to be, and it is one of the songs I am most proud of.

The lyrics speak of how, even when a person we love leaves the physical world, their spirit is still around, guiding us always.

If you could curate a music festival with a lineup of your dream artists, who would be the headliners, and what would the theme of the festival be?

Wow – well it would be a very eclectic music festival! The headliners for me would be Earth, Wind & Fire, Young Gun Silver Fox, Jacob Collier, Diana Krall, Patrice Rushen, Kings Return, Seth MacFarlane and Silk Sonic. The theme would be something like “great music transcends genre.”

Music can be a powerful tool for advocacy and change. Are there any social or political causes that you’re passionate about, and how does your music play a role in promoting these issues?

I’m passionate about humanity. A great performance has the power to evolve consciousness on a universal level. A great performance that integrates craft, honesty and integrity can help someone feel emotions that they’re afraid to feel, or want to celebrate in feeling.
I hope my audience takes with them the joy, openness, curiosity and honesty I convey through a performance or interaction. Catharsis through art is deeply powerful, and deeply healing. I hope people who hear my music experience it in a similar way as I did when writing and recording it.

The music industry has evolved significantly with technology. How do you see artificial intelligence and emerging technologies impacting the creation and distribution of music in the future?

The music industry has gradually eroded the earning power of artists, to the point where they are being paid virtually nothing for their creations. When someone buys an album, song, mug or t-shirt directly from an artist, they circumvent the middleman, and all the people who have nothing to do with the actual creation of the music. Why should a music fan pay multi-billion dollar record company executives, or CEOs of streaming services (who have virtually nothing to do with the creation of the music), for the songs they like, when they have the ability to pay an artist directly?

The current system of remuneration for an artist is unsustainable. Purchasing music directly or becoming a patron to an artist cuts out the middleman.
If I have to work three jobs just to survive (which I do), that leaves me very little time and mental capacity to create new work.

In the near future, I see that we as artists (and even people in different jobs/areas of work) are going to hit a crunch point because so much of our work will be taken over by AI, and there will be no choice but to introduce Universal Basic Income for everyone.
Composers and artists like Mozart and Beethoven were financially resourced through direct patronage. Maybe it’s time to look at that system again.

But right now, if you want there to be more music, and more variation of music, please buy artists’ music. Not stream, but actually buy it. And if you want to make even more of an impact, consider supporting an artist either directly, or on Patreon. This makes it possible for artists to continue doing what they’re meant to do, and making the world a more beautiful and worthwhile place to live in for everyone.
On that note (pun intended), feel free to purchase my music on iTunes or BandCamp at

Many recording artists evolve over time. How do you see your musical journey changing and growing in the next decade?

The past few months have been an interesting exploration at more intimate and “inner voice” performances on both sax and vocals for me. I love performing the high energy songs from my back catalogue, but this exploration of “soft and sweet” has really sparked a lot of inspiration. I see my musical journey continuing in that direction, along with the exploration of different genres; everything from classic country to pop to traditional jazz, and more. It’s going to be an amazing next decade of music!
If you’d like to listen and follow along the journey, feel free to sign up for updates on my website at: