WILD ONES | SARAI
This month's WILD ONE is the one and only SARAI! Sarai is musical powerhouse, with her first EP due for release this November,. Check out the interview for insights into her process and how she will take over the world ;)
Firstly, can you tell us a little about yourself and your music?
I'm currently producing out of my home studio in Sydney. It has taken me a little while to consolidate my unique ‘sound’, since being a muso for so long and having so many influences along the way has allowed me to explore music from a variety of perspectives. Being a performing artist, a writer and a producer leads you in and out of different genres and styles, and different aspects of music become important and influence how you write.
At the moment, I'd say I've taken vocal inspiration from some all time pop princess favourites like Mariah & Christina, and paired that up with the production styles of Quincy Jones & Solange’s 2012 EP ‘True’.
I would summarise my most recent work as Electro Soul Pop.
What was it that inspired you to pursue a career in music?
To be honest, a ‘career’ in music was never seriously discussed or considered growing up... I always dreamed about it, but never knew the steps to take towards it.
Around 2012 I got into a jazz duo with a friend and we started getting booked every weekend for all kinds of gigs and events. People were always asking “where’s your album? Who are you? Where can I find your music…” and I realised that maybe I should look at doing music professionally.
So I checked out a few performing arts universities and enrolled at AIM the following year.
So, you’ve recently signed with an independent label for your next EP, which is due out later this year. What can we expect to hear on this record?
Yes, very exciting to finally be putting something out there with my name on it. A first stamp as such, that I'm really excited and proud of. It's a unique combo of a few things I love; glistening, feminine vocal layers with happy, edgy lyrics that lean towards self empowerment, on a bed of electro beats and soulful melodies. It's all really positive and that's where I'm at.
How do you balance creating and performing with being a mum, and still find time to look after you as an individual? How do you keep up your energy for performances, avoid burnout and keep the creativity flowing?
Hmm that's a hard one, because I don't know how you ever find balance once you find your ‘passion’. Music, production, recording, writing, executing it in the studio, on a live film set, behind the scenes, costumes, branding, networking… a whole lot of the process is spontaneous and unengineered. Its project based, so you do whatever needs to be done to finish the project.
Music and its platforms are the thing that I can burn out on and still be in love with. I love to create, and then make those ideas come to life, its totally my passion, and I love to inspire others that way.
Those late night recording sessions, or brainstorming story boards when I could be catching up on sleep or relaxing, sometimes produce epiphanies and ideas I may have never otherwise had. Its always been worth the hard work and late nights.
Everyone has a unique gift and once you realise what it is, the adventure of expressing it gives such a creative meaning and purpose to life, whether your balancing it well or burning out, its all part of the journey.
Performing definitely requires more control, since you cant perform if your sick or run down. So when I know Iv got performances or a live vocal recording session coming up, I get into a zone.
How do you separate work from down-time, and what do you do you to maintain a balanced lifestyle?
Since Ive found that thing I love, work doesn't feel like work, it feels like fulfilling potential and like this is what I was made for.
I love to get outside for a brisk walk, breathe in some fresh salt air and listen and connect to my spirituality and what I am learning in that season.
I find soul food in connecting with people who know me and get me, and who are on a similar path and Ive been blessed to find those genuine connections wherever I’ve travelled.
On a lighter note, I definitely love a good TV series, coffee and chocolate are a MUST, and an afternoon beverage with friends makes any day happier.
What does your ideal day look like?
For me…Waking up in a mad rush to get a million things done with people who are as excited and happy about your vision as you are.
Wether its being in the studio all day long, jamming in a tonne of vocal tracks, shovelling sushi into 5 minute lunch breaks.. Or madly driving around, swirling down that third coffee, getting last minute costumes, locating film spots, setting up scenes, all with some fantastic 80s disco pop playing in the background, or! Your own track..
It sounds chaotic, but these are the highlights for me. The days where your seeing it all wonderfully come alive, and sharing it is super precious.
What’s next for SARAI?
A lot of exciting talks are underway. This first EP is looking a lot like a business card, and its striking up some exciting conversations with other producers in Canada and the UK who are keen to collaborate. Im definitely keen to collaborate and take the music internationally. Thats where Im headed.
And lastly, what is your favourite quote or piece of advice that keeps you motivated and inspires you?
Oh anything like...
GET SHIT DONE.
DO WELL, LIVE WELL, EAT WELL.
KEEP YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT, YOUR MIND RIGHT & YOUR HEAD UP.
DO WHAT YOU LOVE.
LOVE WHAT YOU DO.