Sarah Hardwig 2023
Sarah Hardwig
Sarah Hardwig's career as a songwriter is due to the Island Hopper Songwriting Festival. The Naples native went to the first festival in 2014, and when BMI's Dan Spears heard her singing along to songs during rounds and noticed her voice, he told her that she should learn to play an instrument so she could write songs. She instantly began taking acoustic guitar lessons, and the next year, songwriter Kristen Kelly had her come up and play a song -- "Girl Crush" by Little Big Town -- during her set at the Mucky Duck. She was 12.
Sarah counts many of the songwriters through the years of attending Island Hopper as influences -- and friends. She has been fortunate to be asked to sing with Natalie Hemby, Kylie Sackley and Frank Myers, and invited to perform by Danny Myrick, Megan Linville and Jimmy Stanley. All of that led to her wanting to go to Belmont University in Nashville, and after getting a merit scholarship and passing the audition into Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business' songwriting program at Belmont, she moved to Nashville in 2021. Since then she has played the Bluebird Cafe, the Ford Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Listening Room Cafe, and also won a contest to sing the national anthem at the 2022 Music City Bowl at Nissan Stadium. She released her first single "Who I Am" in November 2022 and plans to release more music by the end of this year.

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