Since her last album, 2013's Grammy nominee "The Blessed Unrest", Sara Bareilles has been brave enough to move from Los Angeles to New York, compose and star in a successful Broadway musical "waitress" host of Tony's last year . But now it's time for the 39-year-old singer-songwriter to come back to make pop music with his new LP "In the Chaos" out Friday.
Here she focuses on getting her pop mojo back, tying with John Legend and being part of the waitress club.
It's been six years since your last album of new material, so why so long?
"Waitress" reorganized my entire life in such an intense and beautiful way. I want my life to fall into two categories: Before "Waitress" and after "Waitress." Depending on the "waitress" is better. But I published [201
Were you worried about getting your mojo back as a songwriter of pop music?
Every song you write, you are like "Uh is the last thing I ever get?" But one of the many beautiful things I received from my time at "waitress" was a new understanding and excitement of cooperation. I got the chance to work with just incredible people and really got to see for the first time in my career the incredible value and increase that comes from feeling like you're part of a team. There is way more coding for this record than I have had before. I felt I could write music with other people and still feel very connected to it.
Some people would say that your album title, "Among the Chaos," describes living in New York City.
Secure. [Laughs.] My life for the last 10 to 12 years has been a really intensive trip, personal and professional. It's just been a crazy roller coaster. And what we have undergone culturally and politically is a truly chaotic time. You're just like, "Oh God, weren't we all just really comfortable before?"
You and John Legend made "Jesus Christ Superstar" together, and now you have made "A safe place to land" together on the new album.
I wrote the song with an artist named Lori McKenna. This was right after the first pictures of the kids were taken away from their families on the border [Mexican] was surface. I was sitting right in the living room and shouting. All you can do as an artist is to try and do something, try to create art in his name. So I just reached John and said, "I'll do this and donate proceeds to the ACLU." And of course he is so generous that he said yes.
And then there is "Miss Simone." What kind of influence and influence does Nina Simone have on you?
It is the high priest for me. I'm always in the mood for Nina Simone. Basically, I fell in love with my girlfriend [former “Waitress” actor Joe Tippett, now on NBC’s “Rise”] to the soundtrack of Nina Simone.
How was it to make the transition from writing the music to acting on stage in "waitress"?
I really loved being on stage. As a person who has always felt a bit out of place in the music industry when I finally started working on a theater project, there was this feeling in me like, "Oh, it's my people!" I felt like I had been to the wrong party all my life and was finally into the room where all my friends were.
Do you have a special connection with waitresses now when they see you?
I do not know if I noticed it, but I have to start looking for it now when you mention it. I think I've always felt a relationship with that community because I was a waitress for a long time and I loved my time as a waitress. But I will begin to put more emphasis on seeing if I make my sisters – and brothers – proud.