It took an adventure to bring Sarah Vitort back to the music she once loved.
Vitort, 26, who graduated from Mountain View High School in 2006, sang in her school choir and has been playing guitar since she was 7.
But after she graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism from Washington State University in Pullman in 2010, her musical ambitions fell by the wayside. Instead, she focused on her career in public relations and supported the launch of Microsoft Windows 8.
But that all changed in 2013, when she left her job and bought a one-way ticket to Lima, Peru — a destination where she didn’t know anyone and didn’t know the language.
“It was a good job for me at the time, but it was more sitting at a desk from 9 to 5 than I could handle,” she said. “Why did I pick Peru? It was between that and Southeast Asia, because they were both cheap.”
She spent seven months in South America looking for herself, when music, seemingly with a will of its own, found her, she said.
“In October in Mancora, Peru, I borrowed a guitar off of someone and played a few covers for my friends, who were blown away,” Vitort said. “It had been so long since I’d played, I wasn’t even sure what it would sound like, but the response was so positive that I began considering buying a guitar. From then on, guitars seemed to materialize everywhere, and I even began playing in bars.”
She finally broke down and bought one for $65 in Peru, before heading to Colombia to continue her adventure. In Colombia, she wrote her first song, called “Sorry I Couldn’t Stay,” which she initially didn’t like very much.
From Colombia, she went sailing to the Bahamas, and reluctantly unveiled the song for her friends, who told her they loved it. Since then, she’s written 40 songs.
When she got back to Clark County in May, she had a new mission: to record her first album and become a professional musician, while also encouraging others to follow their dreams.
“I want to inspire people to do what they love, not feel like they’re stuck,” Vitort said. “There’s always a way. You just have to find it.”
Still, she isn’t supporting herself with music just yet. She took a job as a bartender in Portland and is hoping to crowdfund her first record. Even if she doesn’t get enough money, though, she said she’s determined to produce it herself and release it in December.
“When I was on my trip, listening to music in my headphones was my comfort whenever I was lonely or scared,” Vitort said. “Music can give you so much, it can make you feel safe, it can make you excited.”
Some of her songs are available on SoundCloud at https://soundcloud.com/sarah-vitort.
Her crowdfunding campaign closes Sunday. Those interested can contribute at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/music-that-empowers.
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