NEWS from Sabrina Maria!- 07 Apr 2017 -
Image: Sabrina Maria, singer songwriter from Kent, UK
Hey Sabrina! Thanks so much for stopping by. Your album “Blank Canvas” is just out… you must be so excited?
Yes, it’s all quite surreal, and all happened so quick! If I’d been told this time last year that I would write an album, record it, have it produced and released on all major download/streaming platforms, I’d have laughed at them!
First of all, tell us something about you. When were you first introduced to music?
As a child at school. My father paid for me and my brother to have guitar, recorder and violin lessons. But I did lose interest, to my utmost regret. However, I always performed in the school shows, and sang in school choirs up until I left school at 16. The karaoke era then started and you couldn’t get me off the stage. From then, I started singing in a duo, performing in pubs and clubs locally, and got some leading roles in amateur dramatic performances. I only started writing about 7 years ago … so I guess my love of music keeps evolving.
Who’s been the greatest influence on your sound?
When I write it’s from the heart and whatever tunes fit into the lyrics is how I write them. TBH, I don’t really have any influences; I just love a variety of artists … Sia’s dramatic songs, which have a way of making your soul come alive … Alison Krauss, a Country artist … Sheryl Crowe … the 80’s band Heart … I just love their rock style.
How did you go about choosing where to record your album?
At the end of last year, I realised I’d created 10 songs, with lyrics and songs written in a Country style, so I set about finding someone in Nashville. I was even prepared to fly out there from the UK to record my album. I did find someone, but it didn’t work out. Then, by chance, I saw a Facebook Ad on a Country music page from Justin Johnson a Nashville producer based in the UK. I got in touch with him… and the rest is history. Justin introduced me to the band who recorded my music and recommended the prestigious Parr Street Studios in Liverpool where we recorded. I was very lucky and grateful to find Justin, and I couldn’t have done any of this if it wasn’t for him.
When did you start work on Blank Canvas? How was the process?
About 7 or 8 years ago – there are 3 songs on the album which I wrote back then. I went on holiday on my own for the first time and I found I had a lot of time on my hands laying by the pool. I had a notepad and pen and started to write a few lyrics. A few years later, I was lucky to be working at a university in the School of Music and Performing Arts as an Administrative Manager. One of the sessional lectures I worked with is a song-writer and producer who helped me record 2 of my songs which are now on the album, but since re-worked by the Parr Street Studios musicians to fit in with the style of the other songs. So I guess I was in the right place at the right time; and being in a school of professional musicians and excellent lecturers really fuelled my passion for music even more!
How did the album title come about?
In September last year, I lost my beautiful mother, left my job for various reasons and suffered a break up – all around the same time. I therefore had a couple of months where I was grieving losses, and writing songs was a means of healing for me. Before I knew it, I’d written about 12 songs. And this is when I knew I had an album in the making. I hadn’t set out to write an album per se, it just turned out that way. Blank Canvas is a song within the album and it is so raw and heartfelt. When I realised I had the potential to release an album, I knew I wanted that to be the album title because lyrically it was such a profound song about my life; being in a place where I had nothing left and I was going to have to start again with a clean slate – a blank canvas.
Can you sum up the album lyrically? Does it have a theme running through it?
A couple of love songs on the album, ‘I Feel Love’ and ‘A Moment in Time’, were written when I was away on that holiday – I was in a happier place then. The other songs are about loss and betrayal, but also having hope for the future. This is what helped with my healing last year – having hope that things will work themselves out in time… ‘this too shall pass’. I really hope anyone who’s going through a tough time will listen to the lyrics within my album and see they’re not on their own.
How do you work on your songs? Does the music or lyrics come first?
I always write the lyrics first without a tune in mind. I then pick up my guitar and start playing some chords and rhythms and see if the lyrics will fit. I end up re-writing most of the time so that words or sentences will fit properly, but the theme of the songs always remains the same. I’m not one of these people who can write lyrics and the tune at the same time. I need to focus on one and then the other, and then perfect them both when I put them together.
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
I haven’t played live yet, but I hope to start performing in the not too distant future. The song I am most looking forward to singing is ‘Survivor’ as it is such a rocky/feisty tune. It’s one I know me and the musicians will have fun singing and playing. I hope the crowd will love it too!
What’s next for Sabrina Maria?
That’s a very good question as everything has been such a whirlwind. My debut single ‘Survivor’ was released on 2nd March and it has just landed on the doorstep of over 70 DJ’s through the global audio and video provider known as Hotdisc. This is a chart show, so I will find out – very soon – where in the UK and British Country charts I will be – if indeed at all, LOL. I am hoping to receive a lot more airplay through this and for my songs to be heard internationally. I’m already getting airplay from some internet radio stations in the UK and USA which is great. Hotdisc focuses on promoting airplay in Europe and Australia, so that would be awesome! I’m also going to start performing locally to where I live, and need to find a good band of excellent musicians so that I can travel further afield.
So, if there is anyone out there reading this article who is an excellent musician based in Kent, UK, PLEASE get in touch 🙂
Where to buy Sabrina Maria’s music: iTunes, Amazon Music, Deezer, Spotify and all other major streaming platforms.
Soundcloud: Sabrina Maria