Passenger Profile: Sarah Lewis

By Kenny Kerner
taxi member success rate lewis
Sarah Lewis and her band Jag Star were chosen as one of the Top 10 bands in the Dick Clark/Coca-Cola New Music Awards. It was nonstop from that point on! Touring. Opening for major artists. Releasing CDs—not to mention almost 50 forwards from TAXI.

When did you first start getting into music seriously?

SL: In the year 2001, when our line-up was finally solid and we started playing a lot of shows. Our fan base started growing exponentially. Our shows have gotten better and better over time, of course, so we're very comfortable on stage now and we have the time of our lives up there!

Were you serious about music in high school and college?

SL: I've been writing music since my feet couldn't touch the piano pedals, so I knew it was something I would always do. In high school, I would stay home and write songs instead of going out and partying with my friends all the time. So it doesn't surprise my friends that I'm touring in a Rock band now, playing my own songs!

At what point did you form the band? How long have you been together and what was the most difficult part of keeping a band together?

SL: The band was full-time starting in 2001, so we're going on five years together. It's been easy to stay together, because we've continued to see success and that has been very motivating. Knowing that people are out there waiting to hear our next album, and see our next show, is what drives us to keep on going. Plus, we all really love to be together and we laugh all the time! Don't get me wrong, we can disagree on things, but when you're all going for the same goal, it always works out in the end.

What was the first success your band achieved?

SL: Our first success was probably being chosen as one of the Top 10 bands, out of thousands across the country, in the Dick Clark/Coca-Cola New Music Awards. They flew us to L.A. to perform at the Knitting Factory. It was an awesome night!

How did the band get so successful with no major label support?

SL: We work our tails off. It gets hard when you self-manage because you're spreading yourself very thin. We're doing the writing, booking, promoting, everything. We definitely don't sit around and wait for it to fall in our laps. We've traveled all over the world, and have had many songs featured on television shows, and have made some hard-core fans that help us spread the word. It's definitely tough, but we wouldn't still be doing it if it wasn't working!

What achievement are you most proud of to date?

SL: I won the grand prize in the USA Songwriting Competition, beating 28,000 songs! I couldn't believe it. And Elton John was a judge! (Please, Elton, call me.) Also, we're very proud of our overseas tours. We flew to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Singapore, Guam, Qatar, and five other countries to play concerts for the U.S. troops for a total of two months. We stayed in the tents, and learned a lot about what they do. We got to give them a little break from their daily grind, and show them how much we appreciate them. We all agree that no matter what someone's views on the war is, it is important to acknowledge that there are tons of men and women over there sacrificing their lives for our freedom. We made a lot of fans on that tour!

With all this success, why join TAXI?

SL: TAXI is the BEST outlet to get our music out there to the people looking for our specific sound. We also get great feedback from the "pros" in the biz, which is great. Obviously, music is subjective, and we've received a lot of positive feedback, but any criticism they have given has been very constructive.

How has TAXI helped you specifically?

SL: It's really motivating to work so hard on a song, and send it in, and get great feedback on it from someone who has been in the biz and KNOWS what works. They're very good at complimenting what works, but also inspiring you to maybe try something a different way if they think it might work better. Some of the staff members have even told us that "this is just my opinion" and that they passed on some HUGE artist, so sometimes no one knows what really works the best. But if anybody knows what they're talking about when it comes to hit songs, it's the TAXI staff. If you read the bios on the TAXI page, you know you should probably listen to their feedback!

Would you recommend TAXI to a friend? Why?

SL: I would definitely recommend TAXI to a friend, and I have! Anybody who is serious about songwriting and making a career out of it would be crazy to miss out on an opportunity that TAXI could give you.

What's next for you guys?

SL: We are playing the International Freedom Festival in Detroit, and some college shows, and then off to CUBA for a 10-day tour, and then straight into the studio to record a bunch of new songs that I will be submitting to TAXI!

Well there you have it. Sarah and her band have entertained the troops around the world, have gone to Cuba, toured the USA, and still can't wait to submit new material to TAXI. This band is burning on all cylinders, baby! Take it from Sarah and Jag Star... "You'd be crazy to miss out on an opportunity that TAXI could give you."

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