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Sara Azriel - JPop.com
Artist info
Sara Azriel

Sara Azriel

Sara Azriel


I grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan in a musical family. My parents claim that they knew I would be a singer, even when I was still in the womb. As early as twelve months, I was copying lines my father sang to me note for note. In my spare time I played my baby piano and laid in the grass singing to the trees. This was how my musical life began. Luckily, my parents played lots of records around the house. When I was about six years old I heard a local woman singing one of my favorite songs, "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" at a talent show. Read more on Last.fm
I grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan in a musical family. My parents claim that they knew I would be a singer, even when I was still in the womb. As early as twelve months, I was copying lines my father sang to me note for note. In my spare time I played my baby piano and laid in the grass singing to the trees.

This was how my musical life began. Luckily, my parents played lots of records around the house. When I was about six years old I heard a local woman singing one of my favorite songs, "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" at a talent show. It was underwhelming.

I was outraged at the lack of feeling in her performance. Didn't she know that music is supposed to make you feel something? I realized at that young age how deeply I longed to affect people through song. Music was officially in my blood. From there on, I dug into whatever musical opportunity I could find. I sang in front of a lot of people throughout adolescence.

Fresh out of high school, I accepted a scholarship from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, where, in 2001, I received my degree. Berklee completely opened up my world. I started writing songs; I met people from all over the world. I began performing my original music and sang in a reggae band for a few years.

I also collaborated with one of my favorite bands, The Slip. Studying and playing so many new kinds of music, I had begun the journey of finding my own voice. But Boston started feeling too small. When I was 24, I decided to move to Los Angeles.

I had big dreams of taking my music to a larger playing field, and large it was. I played a lot of gigs (most notably at The Knitting Factory and the revered Hotel Cafe in Hollywood). I went back to school for a bit at Musician's Institute and won a "Best Stylist" award. To pay the bills I nannied for some film industry folk and celebrities, and taught a lot of private music lessons.

In 2008 I taught a series of piano lessons to Oscar-nominated actor Ryan Gosling, and this year one of my compositions ended up on Ryan’s band’s debut record, Dead Man’s Bones, released on Anti- Records. Wow! Big fun and crazy stories ensued during my time in L.A., but the over-sunned and industry-obsessedl vibe of the city was really wearing on me. And so, in late 2009 I decided to head back to the east coast to begin production on my debut album. Every time someone asks me what kind of music I make, I stumble. I don't know how to encapsulate it into a few words.

Here I have a bit more space: I explore sound within mostly traditional song formats. I like the comforting elements that popular music provide--the swell of a gospel hymn, the lilt of a ragtime number, the feeling of longing from a pop ballad, and the angelic realms of stacked vocal harmonies. But I also enjoy the quirky, the off-center, the pleasant surprise. Most of my music is based on personal experience.

Although I come from a long line of story-tellers, I make music from the inside-out. My musical influences come from all over the map including jazz, American folk, choral, indie, children's music, West-African, classical, Japanese, Afro-Cuban, rag-time, country/Americana, reggae, liturgical, and more. I draw from it all, and never really know what kind of song will come through. And, I am happy to keep it this way. Exploration is essential to my livelihood.

I am looking forward to what unfolds during my new adventure in Massachusetts. I am making a record with an awesome production team: Overclock, Inc. I'll be living on a little farm and recording in a studio on another farm. Just as it has always done for me, I really hope this record helps people connect with their humanity.

If I can inspire, bring joy, or help one process a difficult time, then I will feel I've done my job. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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