Artist Profile – Sahara

Photo credit: Instagram, Malcolm McEwan (@malcolmmcewan)

If you’re anything like me, you love finding smaller artists or bands with loads of talent and the potential to grow. Meet Alternative R&B/Soul artist, sahara. Originally from Vancouver, BC, sahara moved to Toronto back in May of 2018 and “after visiting the city for the first time that January, [she] applied to York & Ryerson and was accepted to both for business. [Her] intention going into the move was to get settled over the summer and head back to school in September.” That summer was soon filled with unexpected song-writing and music became a main focus that snuck its way into what was supposed to be the fall term. 

sahara started writing when she was sixteen as a way to work through adolescent emotions. It also helped her come to terms with her sexuality. She mentions, “It was a natural coping mechanism. To be able to turn a difficult situation into something positive gave me strength.” She had never thought of music as a career until she started to prioritize it for the past year or so. Her first single, LVOE, is a soft reminiscing and longing of what could have come out of a blurry-lined friendship. The lyrics, almost creating a movie inside your head of memories from a perfect-sounding summer romance that ultimately slips away. “I think LVOE was me saying, ‘hey, we have so much potential here, I’ve seen it, we’ve experienced it, maybe now isn’t the right time, but I know at least some of you feels it too’.” From start to finish, LVOE took about a year and two months to release. sahara notes that she has a nice handful of songs written from when she was sixteen to nineteen but doesn’t plan on releasing them into the world.

As an artist myself, I always enjoy talking to other artists about their creative process. Sometimes it’s different each time, sometimes they find somewhat of a structure that works for them. When I asked about her process, sahara said she starts with words and lets them flow with complete honesty in her emotions. “Interestingly, every line that I write on the page already has a melody attached to it in my mind; as soon as a lyric pops into my head, I know what it’s supposed to sound like… I never really have to think about what chords I will put to my lyrics; they’re already there. When I have a verse, bridge or chorus, I’ll sit down at my piano, or grab my guitar, and find the notes to the melody.” She adds that it can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 months to finish, but it ultimately all comes from that process. 

Between being in school and working, it can be more than stressful for sahara to check things off her musical ‘to-do’ list. Regardless, she recently dropped a new single, bitches broken hearts, on October 30th. 

When asked if she would like to thank anyone that’s helped or supported her career she took the chance to do so, saying she would like the thank her producer Tochiora Mba-Uzoukwu for being an incredibly hard worker and a joy to be around. “This guy literally takes the time to build all the production from scratch around stripped versions of my music. I hope to keep working with him for years to come!” She’d also like to thank her parents for making it all possible and being her biggest supporters, “I truly couldn’t have done it without them.”

sahara plans on releasing another single within the next two months, or an EP in early 2020. In the meantime, you can listen to both LVOE and bitches broken hearts on all streaming platforms and follow her on Instagram at @sarahbkthompson.

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