Interview: Catherine Hockley
Sa'ra Charismata is a singer based in London who has released a brand new single called 'Life Is Not About Control'. The single is a big advocate to mental health and as a few days ago was Mental Health Day we interviewed Sa'ra about the track, the feedback from her fans and you can also watch the music video below.
How would you describe ‘protest music’?
Protest Pop is political revolutionary music disguised as pop music. I designed it to infiltrate the mainstream market while getting different messages across.
I coined the term ”Protest Pop” when I noticed that there was a gap to fill in the mainstream pop scene. Protest Pop is a mix of catchy pop hooks, R&B, punk and hip hop - but the real common thread in all my music are the lyrics that always convey a healing message. Self-love, personal power, existentialism or understanding of life’s greater organisation - it’s all there in my sound.
You’re a big advocate for mental health, who do you admire for their ability to speak up about mental issues in their music?
I can’t think of any of recent. Not that it doesn’t exist, but because I’ve lived in a cocoon the past few years, so I don’t really know what is out there. But even if I don’t recognize it in the music output, there are some major mainstream artists that I admire for having the guts to talk about their struggles, such as Demi Lovato. People tend to want to define others based on isolated incidents, which is why not a lot of people speak up. One day you are brave for speaking up, and the next you are “problematic.”
Could you talk us through the process of writing the lyrics for ‘Life Is Not About Control’?
Life Is Not About Control aka #LINAC was written in parts over the past few years. I began writing the verses of the song in 2013. But I didn’t release it until now because it was lacking vulnerability.
See over the years I told myself that I was writing the lyrics about someone else, when in reality it was about myself and my own experiences. So I was still hiding. I always struggled with being seen as flawed somehow, so I built up a lot of defenses over the years. One of them being that I couldn’t write music about my personal feelings fearing I would be seen for what I really am.
After breaking free of years of self-isolation, I was finally in a place to complete the song authentically and release it.
What was the feedback so far? Are people reaching out to you?
The feedback for the song has been great. It is really a great pop tune. But to be honest, I still haven’t found my audience. Or maybe they haven’t found me. I don’t know how it works.
People like my music. It is streamed and saved a lot on streaming platforms. But I don’t do a whole lot as a person. My experiences have really mellowed me out. I’m just a normal, drama-free person, and maybe I am not intriguing enough as a persona. We’ll see what comes of this.
What would you recommend for people going through a tough time now that fall is approaching?
Get rid of all the crap that is contributing. Get rid of the stimulants and ingest calming foods, beverages and CONTENT. Stay away from the things that agitate you or upset you. There is a time to face your triggers and there is a time to just acknowledge them and turn away. Some triggers are lessons, and some are serious red flags to stay away from.
What are you working on at the moment? Any topic you would really like to cover?
Right now, I am not working on anything. I am still plotting my next move, but nothing is apparent at this time.