Friday, May 2, 2008


My story with Sarah White began with this portrait on the left. It was one of those myspace connections that led to a real life friendship and continued mutual inspiration.
After she reached out to me, I checked out her page again and was completely blown away. As a portrait painter, I think I've developed a fairly refined intuition about people by looking at their photos. When I looked at her pictures, I just knew I had to draw her face. Trusting my self-representation as a sane artist (as opposed to some freak stalker), I reached out to her and asked if I could draw her portrait. The outcome was this drawing that brought the two of us together. One of the fruits of our friendship is WRONGLIPS, our joint endevour/blog.

I continue to be amazed and at awe at Sarah's never ending creativity and talent. Her multilayered, honey-glazed voice can melt over a sultry flamenco melody just as smoothly as when she is rapping to a heavy-hitting broken beat or reggae tune. Yeah, she's got the whole package: she emcees, sings, writes and produces many of her songs (not to mention her other talents as stylist, writer, and photographer under the pen name Artistic Bling, to name a few). She has also collaborated with several international producers/musicians such as Arch_type, Papastomp, M.anifest, and last but not least, her partner in crime, Dj Don Cuco.

Something about Sarah's presence that always has an air of mystery makes me envision her as part of a royal tribe of wandering singers. Imagine a world without the voice of Nina Simone, Jill Scott, and countless other female songstresses who continue to heal, inspire, turn on, make us smile and relive experiences through the sheer power of their voice...knowing the heart-transforming power of this lady's vocal abilities, I can no longer imagine the world without the voice of Sarah White...Watch as her inner star leaves the galaxy within to shed her brilliance all over the globe. Stay tuned for her new solo LP coming out later this year.

Those who live in NYC, come check out the upcoming concert I'm organizing for Sarah and two other brilliant female performers, Yolanda Zama & Eagle Nebula in collaboration with WRONGLIPS and DOPE SWAN at SMOOCH on May 8, 2008. Peep the flyer below to get the details.

You recently moved to Brooklyn from Minneapolis where you have been on the music scene for a while. You emceed in the hip-hop group, Traditional Methods, and were the lead singer of Black Blondie and had many collaborations under your belts. How has the move helped you grow as a musician?

Sarah White: My move to New York has been kind of a two steps forward, two steps back process in my world of music. Though I am positive it was/and is what my soul needed to get closer to the music I was put here to make, finding time to work on music and still work to pay the rent has been the struggle. No pain no gain. I have been growing everyday, and remembering more and more who I am and what music is to me.. I love BK and I feel more home than I have ever felt. I am so inspired...

L: What kind of venues (online and live) are available to musicians in your genre in NYC and beyond...where can one find you?

SW: It seems that venues are poppin' up around every corner. I think that music like mine can fit very well in the majority of the venues in BK, depending more on the crowd it pulls. Definitely Smooch (Fort Greene), Soloman's Porch (Bed Stuy) and the Stratosphere (Crown Heights). I will be playing at all 3 within the next 2 months. Online, the world is your venue. Easy access!! Myspace has opened many doors making a WORLD of difference for us independant types. Do it yourself marketing, right in your fingertips. You can find me on Virb, Myspace or Coopr8.

L: Do you think that the relative democratization of aspects of the media (youtube, blogs, internet radios,myspace, etc) helped independent, underground musicians like you to get yourself out-there and grow faster or did it make it harder because of the competition?
[photo by Skye]

SW: It definitely made it easier .. but maybe a little too damn easy. Every 14 year old high school kid has a band with a html'ed out myspace page that pops. I think its great that people can now market themselves, and really do the whole process independently, but I also think something was special about the way people used to have to work hard for their name.. tours, street hustle, face to face- hand to hand real life music... I want to go back to putting tape on cassettes to tape over old radio mixes...bringing it back…Did i even answer the question?

L: Beside making music, I know that you always have a lot of other creative projects going on… you do photography, art, design and styling for shoots, studied 5 languages, and do so much more!..Where do you get your creative energy? Were you doing this many things as a child too? How do you see yourself now in relation to what you dreamed to be as a child?
[DJ Don Cuco & Sarah White, photo by Artistic Bling]

SW: Ha! I just don't sleep. I dont know where the energy comes from, or where it goes when I need it most. I just have some craving I cant satisfy so I stay as creatively busy as I can so i can feel somewhat full. I have really been like this since I was a kid. My mom says I would never stop...talking, singing ,creating, dreaming.. kind of like an addiction since birth. I used to sing church songs in the stroller as a toddler, Broadway in middle school, freestylin with cyphers in high school, ..I cant see myself slowing down anytime soon. I wanted to be like Bill Cosby as a child ( Delivering babies, not acting) so .. I’m a little off of my first path, but right on track with my dreams. Birthing rhymes, baby! The gift of song. I am definitely learning to put focus in certain areas and trying to narrow down the wheels I am spinning. My man focus now is Music, Photography, Writing, and of course Motherhood..that's still too many wheels..

L: I heard that your single is coming out soon. What are you working on these days? Any new collaborations?
[photo by Protius]

SW: Yes, I will have a single out for this track, "C train" out soon. Working on getting it mixed and mastered as we speak. We will also begin shooting the video for it early summer. Im drooling...Collab wise, I just finished a track with Arch_type, Im working on one with Papastomp, an EP with M.anifest, and last but not least, my main project with Dj Don Cuco. The more the better...

L: If you had a wish for 2008, what would that be?

SW: 3 wishes:
That I could find a way to use my heart to heal, everyday...
That I can find a way to get PAID from doing what I love
To do a track with K-OS...I love his music lately…

check WRONGLIPS our new project, Sarah and I started a couple of months ago. Stay tuned for backstage photos of the shoot we've done for the upcoming show at SMOOCH, and read more about the other two amazing ladies of the show, Yolanda Zama and Eagle Nebula.
[design by Lichiban]