WAHS Alum Sarah Lopez Releases EP



Lopez’s album cover

Sophie Creager-Roberts, A&E Editor

Former Western student and a crowd favorite at any and all WAHS events, Sarah Lopez, released her first EP on the 21st of September.
Her interest in performing music began in third grade after participating in the elementary school talent show alongside her friend whom she loved to jam out to Taylor Swift and “High School Musical” with.

The opportunity to record reflected her musical start as it arose during her performance last February at “WAHS Got Talent.” When Mr. Kompelien heard her sing for the first time he was amazed by her talent and clever lyrics of her original song, “Sticks and Stones.” After years of participating in “WAHS Got Talent,” he was excited to hear an impressive voice that wasn’t overshadowed by a cover.

Hoping this would not be the last time he heard her song, Mr. Kompelien reached out to his good friend, Hartwell Gary, to see if he would be interested in helping Lopez record a few songs.

“He emailed me the day after the spring talent show to say that he was very impressed with a student who had won with her original song, and asked if I might be interested in helping her record a few or her songs. Sarah picked five of her best songs, and the three of us got together several times throughout the summer at my house to record them,” Gary said.

After Lopez played each song on her guitar, they recorded her singing on top of that primary track and added layers of vocal, harmony, piano, guitar, and percussion tracks.

With Gary’s expertise in baseline and in-home 8-track digital recorder and Kompelien’s aid in recording percussion and piano, the group was able to help Lopez produce her first EP, titled “Ready to Drive.”

“On August 10th, just a few days before Sarah was due to leave for Vanderbilt, we got together to create the final mixes of all the songs, which I then mastered and shared with everyone via Google Drive. Neither Craig nor I were involved in getting the music on Spotify and other platforms- Sarah took all the initiative on that,” Gary said.

Lopez’s EP can be described as catchy, yet also far from mainstream. There’s a folky sound and soothing lyrics of her songs that draw listeners in.

Gary commented on her music, saying that Lopez “doesn’t try to make her lyrics sound esoteric, she just tells stories about her own life, and isn’t afraid to get very personal and vulnerable.”

In addition to the support she got from Kompelien and Gary, the community’s response to Lopez’s recent release has been overwhelmingly positive. Only days after the initial release on Spotify, Lopez had already amounted thousands of streams.

“Can’t Be Yours Anymore” is a whole bop! I’m really proud of her. She’s so talented and it’s so good to see her really put her creative voice out there,” senior Thomas Jackson said.
Although Lopez’s intendeds to pursue the Pre-Medicine track, she has also been able to continue her passion for music at Vanderbilt University by singing the national anthem at both the relocated UVA football game and the Vanderbilt women’s soccer game.

Listen to Sarah Lopez’s EP on Spotify here.