This Toronto-based artist is the embodiment of musical versatility. Singer-songwriter, producer, and mixing engineer Sarah Shafey brings the heat in her latest single, "Competitor."
With over a decade in the busy Toronto music scene, Sarah Shafey's music has ranged from piano folk-pop, emotive alternative with grungy shoegaze rock, to present electro-pop/rock. She's built quite a solid reputation around town and even co-produced, co-engineered, and co-mixed with a Juno award-winning producer.
There's no end in sight for Sarah Shafey as she continues exploring new sounds with her synth-heavy upcoming album 'Blackbox Universe.' Her recent heavy hitter, "Competitor," is the latest single released off the forthcoming record and gives us a glimpse into Shafey's exciting newfound sound.
Shafey's ready to shake your speakers to a whole new and intense level. She's starting the journey with her new track, "Competitor."
The song opens with a wall of punchy synths that pulse through our speakers alongside sci-fi pads and a driving drum arrangement. As the minor keys begin drenching the verse, Sarah Shafey jumps in with intimidating and confident lyrics that sing of getting her vendetta on and challenging someone who did her dirty.
It's not too often we hear a song that's an anthem for revenge, so needless to say, we're hooked and ready for the ride. This tune is packed with angst, dense synths, and powerful vocals that strike the listener with authority. The ethereal bridge is a whole other aspect that leaves us drifting into the celestials. Reaching the outro, Shafey closes the song inviting us to throw our flames and see what she's got.
Get ready to level up with Sarah Shafey's new single, "Competitor," now available on all digital streaming platforms.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Sarah Shafey. We're stunned by the power and dominance you've brought to your new single, "Competitor." What inspired this battle-like song?
I like that description, a battle-like song. For all of us, there are moments in life that can sometimes feel like a battle. I think that is a pretty normal human emotion. I think it's very important to recognize that it's ok to have those moments and all we can do is try our best to make life a good one. After each battle, you become stronger.
What were you feeling during your songwriting process for "Competitor?" Was this a rather cathartic experience?
I wanted to make a song that was an anthem-like feeling, and I find releasing thoughts into musical and lyrical form to be very therapeutic. I want people to feel like they can be who they are at their core, and I suppose that is what this song is about. Cathartic indeed.
Did you produce "Competitor" solo? Or did you have other hands on deck to help execute your vision?
This was fun. I love making albums, and recording music is honestly my favorite thing on the planet to do. Me, studio, headphones, and loud music in my ears, equals happiness. I had the lucky experience of co-producing/mixing/engineering the album with Hill Kourkoutis, who is a lovely and talented person. I am big on women's equality and having the chance to work and learn from her on this was a treat. She just became the first female to win a JUNO award in the Recording Engineer of the Year category (2022). So proud of her, and it's an awesome step of progress for women producers out there.
What led you to transition into this exciting and synth-heavy sound with "Competitor" and your upcoming album 'Blackbox Universe'?
I love synths. I am a piano player to start, and I love messing around with keyboard sounds because it's fun. The full album crosses a lot of genres, but they generally are a mix of electronic, pop, and rock. The difference is that each song's ratio mix of those three genres changes around. I don't think too hard about what I am making when it comes to music. I just go into a zone, mess around, and see what comes out on the other side. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. All that matters is that I am having fun.
What's next for you?
I am super pumped to be releasing two more singles and a video before the full album release, which is in September 2022. What's really fun is that each single released leading up to the album will be accompanied by a comic series beautifully illustrated by Sarah B. Moore. Princess Layla is the character for "Competitor." In this series, I celebrate my Egyptian heritage. As the comic unfolds, Princess Layla marries King Reh out of duty in the name of the Great Order. The first Act can be read here.