Meet the fabulous Sabrina Parker. At just 21 years old she is beginning to cause quite a buzz with her enchanting and powerful vocals. Now with the renowned ‘Man on the Moon Records’, this rising star is going nowhere but up. Sabrina talks to us about her first time performing in a pub, her car antics and how her hype-man, has been through it all with her.
What was the first venue you played at and were you nervous?
The first venue I played was the Ailsa tavern when I was 14, it was the only venue we could find that would let me play since I was under 18. My mum had to specifically write to them and promise that I wouldn’t drink anything. I was so nervous! I’d just started playing the guitar, I played entirely KT Tunstall and James Morrison covers and as soon as I was done I wanted to go home. I still get nervous performing now, but that was truly terrifying.
What kind of music were you brought up listening to and did vinyl/tapes influence you?
I was brought up listening to quite a variety of music: my parents love a lot of world music, like Marisa Monte and Anjelique Kidjo, and I loved a lot of music from the 60s. Stevie Wonder was by far the artist that most inspired me, his “Innervisions” album was the first I ever sat down and listened to the whole way through, and I covered it in my Barbie stickers. The only tape I remember owning was the Mulan soundtrack, and I was never trendy enough for Vinyl. Although I recently found a vinyl copy of the Stranger Things soundtrack in New York and I was tempted…
What is your favourite venue in London and why?
My favourite venues to perform in are The Bedford and The Troubadour. I also really enjoyed playing Paradise. The Bedford has the best acoustics, and I’ve met some truly wonderful musicians there. For going to gigs, my favourite venue is the Roundhouse, that’s definitely the dream. I’ve seen Kwabs and Bastille play there, and the sound was just amazing.
How did you feel when you first heard “Fire and Ice ” play on the radio?
The first time Fire and Ice was played on the radio we were sitting down in my friend’s kitchen, right before her 18th birthday party. All my friends were gathered around this little radio, dead quiet, and my face was bright red. The second time was when I was driving back from Norwich with my family and we ran out of radio signal so we had to turn around just so we could finish the song!
Do you remember where you were when you got the call from ‘Man on the Moon’ Records?
I’m pretty sure I was with my mom, and she’s my biggest supporter / hype-man; we both just screamed and jumped up and down. It was such a big deal for us because I’d been gigging for so long (around 6 years at that point), it was such an excitement and such a relief. I love working with Man in the Moon and everyone there. It could have been so intimidating going to a label, especially with a legend like Nick Stewart leading it, but they all make me feel so at home there.
Can you describe what you think and want other people to hear/feel from your music?
To me, the best music is when you put on a song and something about it, either the chord progressions, the melody, or the lyrics, something just speaks to you and seems to articulate what you hadn’t realised you’d been feeling. The most recent time I felt that way was listening to London Grammar’s ‘Big Picture’, the way I connected listening to that song is how I want my listeners to feel with my music. I think music has this awesome power of making you feel just a little less lonely, and that someone else might be feeling like you’re feeling, and I think that’s what makes songwriters like Sia so powerful. If I could do that for just one person who heard my songs, I’d be happy.
Sabrina Parker’s latest single ‘Babysit Your Happiness’ is available to stream now
Interview by Mia Seabrook