I could listen to Sierra Ferrell talk about music and her life story all day. She is one of the most real and authentic people in country music.
With the recent announcement of her sophomore album, Trail Of Flowers, accompanied by a new single, “Dollar Bill Bar,” Ferrell is out on a press tour sharing her story to those outside of her fanbase (or that might have been turned onto her music after her national television debut).
While today we see the glow of a country music star in interviews and throughout her music videos, Sierra Ferrell does not shy away from telling the story of her hard life that led her to where she is now. The West Virginia native spent many years homeless, train hopping, and busking on the streets in cities all over the United States.
On a recent Zach Sang Show podcast episode, Ferrell sits down with Sang and opens up considerably about this topic. One part of the interview that gets really raw and vulnerable is when Ferrell speaks about a near-death experience she had. When she was living a nomadic lifestyle, hopping from train to train, Ferrell used to use heavy drugs, and she tells Sang she has died five times and had to be revived via CPR and/or Narcan.
Sang asks if she can detail what she saw when she died:
“I remember shooting up, and I was just on the floor… and then I reloaded and did it again. And I was like ‘Oh no’ and I just fell over. Before I knew it, I was kind of looking through my eyes. And then everything was going at the same time… like time did not exist. So I was seeing all these tracers of the future and the past, and the present. And my friend was pacing and crying and shaking me and was like, ‘Wake up, wake up.'”
Ferrell then says that she almost “left” her body and could see her friend shaking her from a different corner of the room. She then said she felt immense darkness, unsure who she was or where she was before she felt a flying sensation.
“All of a sudden, I feel like I’m flying up. I’m flying toward this direction, and I’m terrified and scared. And then I see this tiny pin of light, and it’s getting bigger and bigger and bigger. There are these little beings around the circle of light, and they are all leaning in and cheering me on.
Then, the only thing I felt was total bliss and joy and happiness. I had no idea what pain felt like. I had no idea what suffering felt like. I had no idea what any sort of negativity…anything negative was gone. Everything positive was there, and I was in pure bliss…”
She then continues saying that the “being” was calling her to them, almost like her soul was going towards an afterlife. As she is experiencing the bliss of going towards the light (so to say), she then starts falling back to “reality,” returning to the scared feeling.
She then snapped back into her body, waking up, and immediately questioned her friend why he shook her back to life.
“I was depressed for months after that because after coming back here after what I felt there…it’s just like there is so much pain here. So much suffering here. And there is no pain or suffering there at all. I don’t know where I was going… maybe purgatory where they judge you… I’m not 100% sure, but I know what I felt going in.”
She tells Sang this experience happened the third time she died, and although she claims it was the most painful feeling sore for weeks after, it also brought her a lot of peace.
“I’m more afraid, at this point, of the pain of dying than the actual death itself.”
Later in the interview, Sierra Ferrell says that after the fifth time, she decided to get clean because she was tired of putting herself in those situations and wanted to heal more. She knew that the lifestyle she was partaking in was not conducive to that. This story is not only raw and beyond vulnerable to share, but it also highlights Ferrell’s life and how it’s inspired her sound today.
If there is one thing I am beyond glad about, it is that Ferrell is here and is sharing her stories and music with the world. She is a talent beyond words and is making great strides in the country music industry.
The whole podcast episode is well worth the watch.