On Feb. 7, I received the honor of sitting down with Sarah Cecil, a sophomore from Little Rock, Arkansas, with a dream. We had a candid conversation about her songwriting process for her new single which is set to be released on Feb. 22, not-so-coincidentally called “222.” From a musician’s standpoint, I found myself wholeheartedly relating to her songwriting process and greatly admiring her work ethic. During the entire discussion, she was beaming—her deep passion for music was something that anyone could sense from miles away.

Image of Sarah Cecil '26. Photo credit: Kisa Tamai.

Cecil’s  songwriting journey began at the young age of 6. She attended Taylor Swift’s Speak Now tour in 2011. After watching Swift perform, Cecil knew that’s what she wanted to do. The next day, she learned her first full song on the guitar and began playing during open mic nights a month later. That same year, she began writing her own songs—her first song was called “Summer Fun,” one that, when looking back, she laughs at. Her first song that she was truly proud of was called “New Beginnings,” which she wrote when she was in her early teens. Just as Taylor Swift did when she was getting started in the industry, Cecil played at the Bluebird Café in Nashville, Tennessee, which was her first time ever performing an original song live.

Upon hearing about her early beginnings, I had to learn about Cecil’s songwriting process. The guitar is her main instrument. She keeps multiple journals in which she records poetic diary entries and occasionally writes phrases that she plans to use. Her main industry connection is with Roller Recording Studio in Branson, Missouri, where her family owns a timeshare. She plans trips during school breaks to relax and record new music. She said that studio was the same place where she recorded New Blue, her first EP that is available on all streaming platforms. She gushed about the musical production process, saying that the coolest thing is that the people she works with know exactly

Image of Sarah Cecil's EP "New Blue" cover art. Courtesy of @sarahcecilmusician.

what she wants and how to bring her song to life. 

Her biggest musical inspirations are Taylor Swift and the pop band Alvvays, the latter being what she “wants her music to sound like.” She does not like being confined to one specific genre, and always tries to do something different with each song. As a consequence of finding her sound, her songs share a lot of similarities. However, she goes into the studio knowing what she wants. She has a vision in her head and tries to get the final product to sound as close to it as possible. She loves when a song is a “moment in time,” expressing a unique story which makes songwriting an honest, raw process.

She writes songs all the time, many of which on campus. Her common songwriting spots are Humbert Hall, Alpha Chi Omega, and 7 Brew in Plainfield. To manage her busy schedule, she plans “months and months in advance,” especially since she does not record her songs nearby. 

Image of Sarah Cecil's "222" EP cover art. Image courtesy of @sarahcecilmusician.

Her upcoming single, “222,” was inspired by her steadfast interest in angel numbers and putting faith in the universe. Her boyfriend at the time told her that he would “pop the girlfriend question” soon, on Feb. 19. “But that’s such an ugly day!” she recalls thinking to herself. So, he ended up asking her out on Feb. 22. Maude Latour, an artist whom she greatly admires, had also released a new single entitled “Heaven” that made a reference to 11:11, further inspiring Cecil to get to work on a new song. She remembers writing, “I’m finding my footing in my past lives” in her notebook and ended up using the line in the second verse. The song came together fairly quickly—across the span of a few days—and she posted it as her March demo on YouTube and SoundCloud last year. 

She describes “222” as a cliché, soft pop song and very “on the nose.” It is fairly similar to her other released songs. She is currently in the process of another EP—set to be released this fall—and describes the new song as a bridge between New Blue and her upcoming EP. “It was originally three and half minutes,” she explains, before she revised it to the final cut. She calls “222” the “perfect song for Valentine’s Day,” and says that “if you are a fan of cheesy rom-coms, you will love this song.”

Sarah is active on her social media accounts and keeps them up to date with new releases and upcoming performances. You can find her on Instagram @sarahcecilmusician and her music—including her debut single, “Overdramatic” and her EP, New Blue—on all streaming platforms. Be sure to stream “222,” out Feb. 22.