NEBRASKA CITY – Eighteen-year-old Sage Hammond, a Nebraska City –raised girl who is being described as an emerging force in the pop music market, released her first extended-play recording today including the title song “Anyway.”
Like most Nebraska City kids, she attended Northside Elementary School and spent many of her summers swimming at the pool in Steinhart Park, but her passion for singing seemed to grow with her from the cradle to her teens and led her to the doorstep of Grammy-nominated producer Jan Smith.
Smith: “Sage clearly had the ability to emote in her voice in a way that a 14-year-old wouldn’t normally be able to do.”
At Jan Smith Studios in Atlanta, they see over 200 hopeful singers a week, as well as major touring artists, including Justin Bieber, Usher and Nicki Minaj. Even with so many voices, Smith said she took notice when Sage’s mother, Jill, sent her a Facebook message with Sage singing a cover song.
Smith: “I was tremendously impressed with her vocal prowess at that point and her amazing delivery as a 14-year-old. She definitely had some qualities in her voice that I don’t normally hear in every run-of-the-mill 14 year old.”
The release, which is showcased at sagemusiconline.com along with her video premiere of her song “Fray,” is an example of Sage’s dedication. The third song is called “Diamond Heart,” which features the nationally-known rap artist Swift.
Smith: “I anticipate great things, not only for the releases and also for the support with Swift being involved, but we are very, very excited for this release for Sage, because it really is her debut as a recording artist for the first time with professional work that she has actually participated in as a song writer.”
Smith began working with Sage as a vocal instructor. Now, as a producer, her team works to deliver the best work that involves the artist and put together the sounds that exemplify who the artist is.
Smith: “Sage is really a pop artists which some R&B threading in what she does. She has a beautiful voice, so the melodies have to be exemplary with that and allow her the room to sing, because Sage is a real singer.”
She said her job as a producer is to ensure that the product is done with integrity, reflects the artist and is competitive in today’s marketplace. She is not ready to make a declaration on day one of the independent release, but says she believes it passes on all counts.