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[Herald Interview] Sara Bareilles anticipates fun concert in Seoul

U.S. singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles said she is looking forward to visiting Seoul to hold her first concert in Korea, as she is already familiar with Korean culture.

Bareilles plans to showcase her latest songs and familiar songs by other artists at the Hongdae V-Hall in Seoul on May 14 at 7 p.m.

“I know that Korean food is amazing and I heard a lot from people who traveled around Korea that the city is so amazing and wonderful. I can’t wait to go shopping and enjoy night life there,” Bareilles said in an email interview with The Korea Herald. She said she has a cousin who is a Korean doctor through whom she was exposed to Korean culture.

However, Bareilles said she is not familiar with K-pop, adding that she would like to collaborate with K-pop singers if the chance arises.

For the upcoming Seoul concert, the singer said she will not only showcase her songs from her latest album but famous cover songs by other artists.

“I prefer to choose familiar songs because they are more fun and exciting to the audience. I sing tons of different cover songs, from Beyonce to Cee Lo Green,” Bareilles said.

“I can’t wait to perform at the Seoul show. It must be fun, energetic and full of love.”

Sometimes compared with Sarah Mclachlan, Vanessa Carlton and Norah Jones because of her vocal ability and the use of piano in her songs, the 31-year-old vocalist rose to international stardom in 2007 with debut single “Love Song” which hit more than 3 million downloads in online music markets and stayed on the Billboard Single Chart for more than a half year.

Bareilles has been nominated for a Grammy three times. In 2009, she was nominated for the Grammy’s Song of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocalist.

Born in 1979 in Eureka, California, to a Catholic family, she showed her musical talent in her high school choir Limited Edition and participated in community theater musicals.
U.S. singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles (9 Entertainment)
U.S. singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles (9 Entertainment)

Her most memorable concert so far was her performance at the White House, Bareilles said.

“I couldn’t believe that I was the one singing there,” she said.

Bareilles often incorporates piano into her music.

“I started playing the piano when I was six because my elder sister was taking piano lesson and I was like a copy cat of my sister. Soon, I was fascinated by it and it took less than a year before I fell in love with the piano.”

After graduating from UCLA in 2002, she started to perform at local bars and clubs in Los Angeles and made two demo tapes. As some of her songs such as “Undertow” and “Gravity” were starting to get popular in the India music scene, Bareilles was contacted by Epic Records in 2005 and released her first album “Little Voice” in July, 2007.

She released her second studio album “Kaleidoscope Heart” in early September in 2010 and the album beat Eminem’s “Recovery” for the top spot in the Billboard 200 in the second week of September, 2010.

Bareilles said when she writes songs, she gets inspiration from “all sort of things.”

“I get inspirations from my own experiences, romantic relationships, good friendships, sometimes even from strangers, joyful moments, painful breakups and from touching moments,” she said.

The singer picked Elton John as the person who inspired her most in her musical career.

“I heard his songs over and over again since I was a little girl. His songs were so beautiful they made me write songs for the first time.”

She said it takes quite a long time for her to write a song, although “Love Song” and “King of Anything” were produced quickly.

Sara Bareilles Live in Seoul will be held at Hongdae V-Hall at 7 p.m. and tickets are standing seats, priced at 88,000 won. For more information, call (02) 332-3277. For tickets, visit

By Kim Yoon-mi (