'Grey's Anatomy' launches Portland singer's song into mainstream

PORTLAND, Ore. - It started with a MySpace comment.

Then her grandfather died.

Earlier this year, there was a Grey's Anatomy episode. Then another.

Sara Jackson-Holman's path to musical success has not been normal.

The Portland singer's 2012 song "Freight Train" was launched into the mainstream when it played during the season finale of ABC Grey's Anatomy last spring.

She said the song was inspired by the sudden death of her grandfather, who was hit by a car while she was recording the album "Cardiology."

"I don't even really feel like I could cry about it," she said. "It was just so shocking and I just couldn't even comprehend it and so writing Freight Train was sorta my way of sorting through it at least in a small way.

"The memory of him and being able to remember him at my shows is really special to me."

Jackson-Holman's career launched when she posted a comment on the band Blind Pilot's MySpace page several years ago. The president of the company's label saw her comment, went to her page, loved what he heard and a career was launched.

"It was random," Jackson-Holman said.

Random, but not out of the blue. Jackson-Holman had a taste for music from an early age, learning to play the piano at the age of 6.

She still has lots of aspirations.

"I think the thing I would like most is for people to make it their own song," she said. "I definitely want people to have their own associations with each song. I don't need it to be my song. I want it to be their song."