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“Miss Little is all about presenting the story of the song, in whatever way that blossoms. Sometimes it’s pretty and sometimes it’s challenging for the listener but it is always about being honest.”
So says Sydney based Miss Little front woman Sarah McCallum who is an accomplished composer, arranger and producer.
And it is Sarah’s songs that are starting to make a name for Miss Little. Late in 2010 she won the Crowded House lyric writing competition after Neil Finn and band ran a global competition where they put up the backing track of a song they were working on minus any lyrics or melody. The competition was to finish the song adding melody and vocals to the band’s track – and Sarah’s entry won. The band was so impressed by Sarah’s vocals that they asked her to get up on stage with them at the Hordern Pavillion in Sydney earlier this year.
Not your usual pop musician, Sarah grew up in New Zealand and made a name for herself as an award winning choral composer. Her father is a folk singer and her brother a saxophone playing dance musician, but it was her mother’s Classical violin playing and piano teaching that introduced Sarah to the classical world. She gained ATCL in oboe at the very young age of 15 and also topped the country in both school certificate and Bursary music (HSC Equivalent). She was the first person to receive the NZ secondary students choral composing award and gained a BMUS from Auckland Uni.
Sarah’s pieces have been sung by choirs around the world and her work “The Moon’s Glow Once Lit” featured on the 2006 Voices NZ CD, which won best classical album at the NZ music awards. In 2007 Sarah received a silver medal at the New York advertising awards for the music she composed for the Allblacks “Black Blood” campaign.
Sarah has provided string and brass arrangements to many Australian albums including Andy Walton, Uncle Jed and Johanna Cranitch and produced E.P’s for the Rougue Balloon, Katie Merryweather, Johanna Cranitch and Rosie Catalano. Sarah is also featured singing on Mr Percival’s album “Microphones”.
Miss Little’s debut album was recorded, mixed and co-produced by Richard Belkner at Free Energy Device studios in Camperdown. Belkner is best known for his work with Triosk, Pivot, Bertie Blackman, Brackets, Mr. Percival and House Of Orange.
“Songs that soar, with melodic hooks that dig into your ears like cattle ticks and lyrics with lines of poignant prose that go straight to the heart of things. This is music of both substance and beauty – like the woman behind the band. As the sax player said Miss Little has more balls than boobs.” Peter Nelson 2SER Radio Sydney