This singer-songwriter is releasing her debut album at age 55, saying it’s time to take a step forward

Hansen embarks on her first solo tour of Newfoundland and Labrador. (Carl Hansen/Submitted by Sarah Hansen)

A musician in Newfoundland and Labrador is excited to release her debut album – at the age of 55.

Sarah Hansen released her first single Along the Gray River last April, and continues her efforts with her first studio album, collect your days

The St. John’s Singer-Songwriter Explained to CBC Radios weekend AM that once her children were grown and alone, it felt like the right time to pursue her own dreams.

“The journey started about ten years ago. I just made the decision to focus on music like I’ve never done before. I never really had a chance to make it a priority,” she told presenter Paula Gale .

“I did what people do, where they sell everything they own, and I went on a trip. All the time I was traveling, I was working on music every day, like it was my job.”

A woman standing in a garden wearing a denim jacket and scarf
Sarah Hansen recently released her debut album “Gather Up Your Days”. After raising her children, she decided it was time to pursue her own dreams. (Carl Hansen/Submitted by Sarah Hansen)

Hansen’s travels took her from Nova Scotia all the way to Guatemala. She signed up for singing groups, singing lessons and guitar lessons, all with the goal of becoming a full-fledged musician.

Fast forward a decade, and Hansen says her younger self would never believe the path she’s on now.

“I could never have imagined it. When I was 30 I had my second child. I had my first when I was 24. I focused on them for 20 years. I focused on my children and my married life and my garden and the laundry. There wasn’t much time for music.”

Hansen’s marriage finally came to an end in 2010. In 2012, she said she could “embrace her new life” and use the time she had left to do what she wanted to do for the first time. Hansen, a graphic artist by trade, could take her laptop with her and work remotely wherever she wanted.

“I’d work for a few hours, and then I’d play music for a few hours, and then go for a swim or whatever,” Hansen said. “Getting my groceries. Doing everything and hanging out. It was a really nice place to be, in a nice life. Then I started taking courses.”

An album cover with an animated woman, the forest, the mountains and birds.
Cover art of Sarah Hansen’s debut album, “Gather Up Your Days.” (Submitted by Sarah Hansen)

Finally, Hansen got to a point where she felt like she really knew what she was doing. After writing songs during her travels, including the song Rosalienamed after a woman she rented a house from in Guatemala.

Hansen feels that while a music career in her twenties would have been exciting, she’s grateful that she’s now been able to go through the process of releasing an album.

“I feel like I have a good head on my shoulders now,” she said. “If I had done it when I was younger I wouldn’t have been as sober as I am now. If I had done this then I would have had crazy expectations. I have no expectations for this.”

Hansen is gearing up for a solo tour.

weekend AM23:34Listen First: Sarah Hansen’s Debut Album, Gather Up Your Days

Paula Gale speaks to Sarah Hansen about launching her music career at 55

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