Port Colborne singer/songwriter Sarah Boulton is hosting a free concert at Riverstone Event Centre in Welland on Monday, Dec. 29 to celebrate the launch of her debut album, Undefined. (Supplied Photo)
Sarah Boulton isn’t ready for Plan B.
She knows her dreams are risky, but it’s a chance the singer/songwriter feels she needs to take.
The Port Colborne native had set off on the path to become a teacher, beginning her first year of Brock University’s concurrent education program in fall of 2013.
But the now 19-year-old had difficulty finding happiness in the classroom.
“I had always wanted to be a musician, but was encouraged to do Plan B first,” she said from her lakeside city home.
It was a health scare in early 2014 that helped Boulton come to the realization that if she was ever going to pursue her passion, it had to be now.
The singer was struck with a particularly bad bout of laryngitis, which left her unable to perform for months.
“I couldn’t speak for a week and it was two months before I could even make a sound when I sang. Everything was so swollen,” she said.
The inability to sing left Boulton feeling trapped.
“It was like something was stuck inside of me. I wanted to let it out but I couldn’t. It was horrible.”
She underwent several intense sessions with a vocal specialist in hopes of getting her full range back.
“I was worried I’d never get back to my full potential,” she said.
When Boulton’s voice eventually returned, she promised herself she would set Plan B aside and follow her heart.
“I just had to take the chance and try.”
On Monday, Dec. 29, Boulton will host a free concert at Riverstone Event Centre in Welland to celebrate the release of her debut album, Undefined.
Singer/songwriter Shannon Doherty will open the show, which begins at 7:30 p.m., followed by Boulton and her band.
“It’s a huge accomplishment. I’ve always wanted to have that finished product,” Boulton said of the acoustic-style album, which is filled with personal reflections from the past year.
The CD is now in the hands of about 75 college radio stations across the country, a handful of which, including Brock, have added Boulton’s songs to their on-air playlists.
Undefined will be available at the release party, but can also be purchased on iTunes or by contacting Boulton through her website at www.sarahboulton.com.
Local artist Sarah Boulton has already seen huge success in her musical career even at the age of 19. She is currently working on improving herself as a singer, musician and songwriter with her debut album which will be out in December. Boulton grew up in Port Colborne where her love of music began and flourished into what is now her life’s passion. She performed through the summer at the Fort Erie Friendship Festival, Canal Days and recently at the Food Festival in Welland.
“For me, music started as early as I can remember,” said Sarah. “I started singing lessons when I was seven and those lasted for ten years, but even before then, I was always into the music wherever I was. When I was 13 I picked up the guitar and started gigging at a lot of cafés and eateries.”
From a young age, Boulton has been participating in shows and festivals at which she has received many awards, high standings and honours for her musical talents and accomplishments. Inspired by vocalists Amy Lee of Evanescence, Sarah McLaughlin and Alison Sudol of A Fine Frenzy, Boulton has developed her own unique, powerful voice which she has been able to adapt into a variety of different genres and styles to the point she’s at now where she’s working on solo projects.
She attended Brock University for one year in the concurrent education program but has since decided to take a break from her education and put all her efforts into her musical career.
“My first performance in front of anyone was when I was only in grade two but I was so nervous that, at first, I backed out. It’s funny looking back on that because I absolutely love performing. I feel like I’m two different people on and off the stage. It’s funny, but I’m almost more comfortable in front of a lot of people. The larger the crowd, the bigger the rush.”
Boulton has always been a talented vocalist on her own but she has also had the opportunity to collaborate with other artists in the Niagara Region.
“The first collaboration I ever did was with my vocal coach. From there I did a country collaboration with Angela Siracusa and Jeff Brown and we were called Sweet Diezel. That was a lot of fun and different from the styles I’m used to. I ended up staying with Jeff and working with our friend Jordan Sheldrake and we were Midnight River.”
Her collaborations are a testament to the talent and range of skill. Boulton has, but she has since decided to work on her own and has an album coming out by the end of 2014 and is very excited about how the finished product will be.
“As much as I enjoyed collaborating with people, I always kind of felt like I was trying to suit a genre instead of being myself. I didn’t know what my writing style was. Now I feel like I’m coming into my own. The songs meant more to me. They turned into the songs that are on this album, and I ended up writing more songs in five months than I have in a couple years.”
“I write what I write now. It’s usually folk-rock, but there are influences from a lot of different genres.”
The songs on Boulton’s upcoming album are focused primarily on her experiences from the last year that have impacted her as an artist.
“I even wrote a song on getting laryngitis,” laughed Boulton. “It sounds silly but I lost my voice for nearly two months and as a vocalist it was a really big deal and it was actually pretty scary.”
A lot of the songs focus on relationships, loss, personal struggles and moments of clarity, which are all things that have impacted Boulton and influence the creation of this album.
“Mainly what I want is for people to have connection. Any song I can connect to are the ones I love the most, and I think listening to music on that level is extremely therapeutic. I really made myself open and vulnerable on this album in my song writing and I hope it pays off when people listen to it.”
The album will be finished recording at the beginning of October, and in the meantime Sarah and her team are planning on doing a college radio campaign in the hopes of gaining airtime on campuses across Canada. She also intends on booking more shows in the area before the album’s release and is in the process of planning a release party for the album.
Boulton is a true illustration of someone who has put all of her efforts into what she absolutely loves, and for her, that is music. She is a very talented young woman with a lot of promise and all the dedication of a true musician. As this is her first solo album, she is both excited and hopeful that people will respond well to her hard work.
“I’m just so passionate about what I do. I want to share my writing with people. I appreciate any fan that I get, and I try my best to make sure each one knows it. I just hope people will like what I’ve been working on.”
For more information on upcoming shows and to listen to Sarah’s music visit sarahboulton.com or ‘like’ her on Facebook.]