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WPGM Commentary: S.A.A.R.A Is Searching For What She Knows To Be True On ‘Deliverance’

For me, creativity is all about empowerment, feeling empowered in yourself, your voice, your unique place in this world. It’s about not being afraid to be all that you are and all that you can be. My name is S.A.A.R.A, I am a singer, producer, bass player and sound artist from North London.

Music has always been a big part of my life. As a kid, I was obsessed with MTV, sitting in front of the television for hours on end studying the videos, the songs and singing along. Needless to say, ending up in a band was inevitable.

One afternoon, I arrived home from school and announced to my mum that I’d swapped my clarinet and spot in the school orchestra for a bass guitar and was now in an indie band.

Picking up the bass was an incidence of pure serendipity, I often think the bass found me rather than the opposite way round. But despite the fun and the freedom I experienced playing with a number of different projects and bands, there was a huge part of me that lacked the confidence to consider that this is something I was good at and could do.

Following the break up of my last band, I found myself retreating from music, deciding that it was now time to focus on a 9-5 career as a sort of ‘safe bet’. But the longer I tried to ignore my creativity, the more persistent that nagging voice deep in my psyche that was imploring me to not give up, became.

Eventually, following the unexpected death of my father, I decided that I owed it to myself to see what would happen if I put a little bit of energy and self belief behind my creative curiosity.

I quit my job and embarked on an MA in Experimental Music at Brunel University as a means to discover what kind of musician/artist I wanted to be. Whilst studying to create experiential sonic environments, I began to create tracks that would eventually become part of my solo project; S.A.A.R.A.

“Deliverance”, my third release, is about not giving up on what you are searching for in life and love, for the things that you know to be true, even if the journey is of Odyssean proportions. It’s about trusting in yourself to make it happen and giving yourself the opportunity to succeed.

When writing “Deliverance”, I was reflecting on my own journey to reconnecting with my creativity and, as a result, with myself. For the time that I had spent away from making music, I had felt lost and without direction, autonomy and agency. Returning to making music enabled me to finally experience a sense of empowerment in my life. It literally felt like moving from black and white to technicolor.

I wanted the music video to reflect both the theme of the song and the aesthetics of the production. Taking the reins as director and stylist, I decided that the video should be rich in colour with a 1970’s soul train vibe crossed with an element of afrofuturism that speaks to the contemporary production of the track.

I wanted to tap into the defiant nature of the track, the idea that nothing or no one can stop you once you are trained on what you know is true, once you know what is for you and once you know the depth of your own power.

I wanted to visually evoke the essence of a warrior spirit, the woman that I know I can be when I step into my own power and self trust. It’s a tribute to that persistent little voice that told me not to give up on my creativity.

Creating the video was great fun, shot in one day in a studio in East London. Working with an incredibly talented crew of ethnically diverse women, there was a real sense of feminine power in the room. Angel and Izzy Baker choreographed the movement, A Touch of Blu designed the make-up looks and Sheerin Aswat ran the production.

In poetic irony, I encountered some setbacks with the video that meant I had to delay the release. But in the spirit of the track, I reminded myself that all you have to do is keep going. Pleased to say that I didn’t give up and despite the setbacks, we created something powerful to share.

The video, filled with its spirit of defiance, is a reminder to anyone and everyone who may need it, to never give up on yourself! Watch the video for “Deliverance” below.

Words by S.A.A.R.A // Follow her on Instagram + Twitter

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