Sabrina Carpenter has been a star in the making for quite some time. With a knack for balancing several artistic skills at once, the 22-year-old got her start on YouTube, when she began posting videos of herself singing at the age of 10.
She’s been releasing albums since 2014, tip-toeing her way to pop supremacy one super-catchy tune at a time. That same year, Carpenter got her big break on the Disney Channel show Girl Meets World, which she starred in until 2017. Since then, she’s performed in Tina Fey’s Broadway musical rendition of Mean Girls, alongside regular acting gigs and writing plenty of banging pop music, while amassing 26.8 million Instagram followers in the process. Feeling dizzy yet?
Carpenter was even caught up in an assumed love triangle between High School Musical: The Musical: The Series co-stars Joshua Bassett and Olivia Rodrigo, when the latter released her viral hit drivers license early last year.
Never mind all the gossip, though. Carpenter has plenty going on in her own right. Building off the back of her two critically acclaimed 2021 singles, Skin and Skinny Dipping, this month saw the release of Fast Times, a seductive, feel-good anthem about finding your feet and making the most of whatever life throws at you.
My feelings used to be serrated/But you speak in such a perfect cadence/Tip-toein’ past so many stages/But what the fuck is patience? she sings softly over a compulsive guitar riff. Fittingly, the music video for Fast Times opens just like a movie, with Carpenter transforming into various Bond girl-adjacent characters, fighting off villains in high heels and hot pink flares.
“We didn’t know the product that we were going to get, which is what made it so special and unique,” she says. “I wanted the song to feel indicative of the time in my life right now: my young twenties, not really knowing what’s going on, but processing it later. Thinking on your feet and appreciating moments for what they are, because they don’t always last.”
For Carpenter, this year is all about stripping off layers of herself to find out who she is and who she’s becoming, by being as thoughtful as possible in her songwriting.
“My friend said to me, ‘I can feel the way you word things in your songs is the way that you think’,” she continues. “I was really grateful, because I think it’s hard to write in the way that you actually feel sometimes. It’s very easy to think about the way people will perceive you and change your [writing] based on that. I’ve been trying to be as honest with myself as I can be.”
Get your 100% fill on Sabrina Carpenter below and soak in Fast Times while you’re at it.
10% Where were you born, where were you raised and where are you now based?
I was born in Pennsylvania, raised in Pennsylvania and California, and now I’m based in New York.
20% At what point did you realise you’d be able to do what you love for a living?
Luckily, very young. I was 6 years old and I can remember watching the pilot episode of Hannah Montana. I was like, “you can do that?! For a career? Sing, dance, act…” That was the moment I realised I really wanted to do it. I didn’t know if I would get to, but that was the moment where I was like, wait… That’s a job. I’m still working on it.
30% What’s a piece of advice that changed your life?
Nobody really knows what they’re doing and nobody has it all figured out. Some people might act like they do, but even they don’t. Even the strongest, most amazing, confident and powerful people have their moments. That has really enhanced my life, for sure. It made things a little easier when I was being really hard on myself.
40% What kind of emotions and experiences influence your work?
All the really intense ones! I think there’s a certain urgency for me, when specific feelings need to be let out. I always believe that [my] songs write themselves and find their place in this world because they need to be there, rather than the other way around. Every feeling that has inspired me to write has been something strong enough that I felt compelled to say something about it.
50% Love, like, hate?
I love Rihanna, I like long walks and I hate forgetting passwords to my accounts. It doesn’t matter how many times I write them down, I lose ’em, can’t find ’em and always forget ’em!
60% If you’re cooking food to impress someone, what will you make?
If I’m trying to impress someone, I would definitely use Uber Eats and then pretend I cooked it. I am not impressing anyone with my cooking, although I did recently learn how to make spicy fusilli with vodka sauce. Maybe I would make that.
70% What’s your takeaway of choice?
I love Italian, I really do.
80% You rule the world for a day. What goes down?
I don’t think I should rule the world… I shouldn’t be given that type of responsibility. I can rule my world, though!
90% What’s the strangest DM you’ve received?
Oh my God. I really don’t open them. I think what’s weird is that people I’ve never met send me voice messages, which is a ballsy first move. Sometimes people try to call me via DM. Why would I pick up? Why?! I don’t know if I can think of a specifically strange DM, but you can imagine.
100% What can artists do to help save the world?
Make art. The amount of times I have been saved, inspired and rejuvenated by the art that other people have made… As cheesy as it sounds, that saves the world one person at a time.