NAME: Sarah Shafey
LOCATION: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
MAIN GENRE: Piano-Pop
TRAINING: 9 years of classical piano, books, endless amounts of internet tutorials, and of course listening to every genre of music known to man.
ARTS AFFILIATIONS: SOCAN, THE ARTISTS FORUM, GoodSoundsGood
LATEST WORKS: Jan 2009, Album “Tiny Music Box” release
Tell us about your work
I have been playing piano for pretty much my whole life. Eventually, I picked up the guitar out of boredom, and that led to a vast array of other instruments. When that was all said and done with, this new invention called the computer and internet entered my life and my world changed. I naturally plugged comfortably into the matrix, and producing became my first love. After a few years of fine-tuning, I started recording myself and other artists working with all genres of music. I decided to make an album and wanted to stay somewhat loyal to my piano roots since they led me to where I am, and my album “Tiny Music Box” was born. I have a hard time putting my music into once specific genre, but it’s piano-based and a proverbial soundtrack to life. I have always enjoyed a good story, and the best way I know how to tell one is through song.
Please describe your artistic themes
Melody wise, I have always veered towards a haunting sound; a lone skeleton-bride dancing on a black lake holding a dying bouquet of roses. That sounds morbid, but it’s comforting to me. I often sing about my observations of the world around me, and that includes both the beautiful and the ugly. When I am producing with/for other musicians, I am able to step outside of that box for a moment and create other genres of music simply because I find it fun and can appreciate a good pop song when I hear one
Please describe your creative process
Generally, I will sit in front of my computer with no melody or lyrics in mind. I log in to my programs and literally just make music. I do this everyday of my life, and maybe once a week, one of those tracks will pop out at me, and lyrics just come out of my mouth. On occasion, I will be walking down the street and I will just stop in my tracks because a song is coming to mind. I laugh to myself about the latter because I’m sure to the innocent bystander I look like a Cylon or Data whose machinery has just malfunctioned.
What are your artistic goals?
Honestly, I have a million and one. I would really love one day to be able to compose for film on an on-going basis. It is a dream of mine and it’s one of the few areas in life that I am 100% confident with my skills. To be less vain, I would love the chance to be able to be financially stable enough that I can use my time to travel to less fortunate places in the world and build, teach, learn, and be a [better] human.
What are your views on the industry?
I get asked this question a lot. Of course, as an indie musician, I think about this often. I am quite comfortable with my views on the industry. I believe the internet is a good thing because it has forced musicians to learn about the business and rights that we otherwise may not have known about. On the other hand, I am not opposed to major labels or men/women in suits, because as far as I am concerned, the majority of these people have also worked extremely hard to get to where they are. I think it is important for musicians and leaders of the industry to respect each other’s positions and find a common ground where honesty is what propels both sides forward.
How has being a winner in The Artists Forum Electronic Music enhanced your career?
I am very grateful for being part of such a wonderful organization. I feel as though I have made a great friend in THE ARTISTS FORUM ever since the competition and hope to one day come to New York and meet some of the lovely people behind the scenes in person. It’s always nice to get some sort of recognition for my efforts, and they went above and beyond to make me feel proud of a product that I put into the hands of the public. Every nice deed that has come my way is a part of my career and a part of who I am as a person. Thank you The Artists Forum!
What advice could you give to emerging artists?
Find the thing that you are best at doing within the arts, hone in on that talent, and master your skills. Be prepared to work hard — always being on your tippy-toes. Get comfortable with rejection. Be comfortable with change. Be comfortable with being broke. Embrace terrible shows (because you need some bad in order to appreciate the good). Never blame anyone else for your own blunders. Listen to people’s criticism with open arms and ears. Be comfortable with the fact that you may not “make it”. Music is a great thing to do, but being kind to human beings is more important, so never lose your grace and use unkind remarks about your chosen profession as fuel.
THE ARTISTS FORUM is super-uber-duper COOL, and… please buy my album! Rent is coming up! Haha!!!