Carpenter was 12 when she first signed with Hollywood Records, a label under Disney Music Group. In addition to granting her the ability to record her own songs and perform them, it meant she’d be sent into boardrooms with men many times her senior telling her about her future. “That was probably the weirder thing that I had to experience from a really young age,” she says.
Then there was social media, which nobody, Carpenter included, could have predicted would be such a requirement of the job when she started in 2009. Today, she sees it from two sides. “It’s heartwarming if you think about it in the way that it provides togetherness,” she says. “It’s scary if you think about it in the way that you’re like, ‘Oh, people think they know me from videos on the internet.’” For Carpenter, there are ups, and there are “down, down, down, downs” when it comes to social media and the role it plays in her career and personal life. That’s when she reminds herself just how fortunate she is. “I literally get to sing into a microphone. That’s my job,” she says. “It’s everything that I’ve always wanted. I’m really lucky that my childhood thing… I stuck with it, and, you know, we’re hand in hand through this.”
Writing her own songs also contributes to her calm and collected nature and her ability to move past any road bumps that have and will continue to arise as she navigates her life as Sabrina Carpenter: pop star. “I really feel like I disconnect and fall off the face of the Earth [when I’m making music],” she says. It’s through this process that she found her voice and fearless disposition. (She does admit to being “a sarcastic little snippy ass” since, well, forever, which is presumably why she’s never really been walked all over.)
It’s through music that Carpenter is able to turn off from the online world, where everyone has an opinion and heaps of time to share it. “Sometimes, I bang my head against a wall repeatedly,” she says of hate comments online. But at the same time, she can’t harp on them. She adds, “If someone says, ‘Oh, she’s ugly,’ what am I going to do with that? Okay, well, bummer. I have to just move on with my day, regardless of whether you think I’m ugly or not.” Sitting at her piano, no matter what the situation on hand may be, escape and resolution are only a few keys away. “It is so satisfying when you can take a negative situation in your life and turn it into a positive memory with a song,” she says.