French artist s a r a s a r a wants to blur the boundaries between underground culture and pop.
Coming of age in Belgium's labyrinthine club scene, s a r a s a r a absorbed house, techno, disco, and more, perpetually seeking out The New in amongst the debris.
Gradually evolving her own identity, the performer displays a powerful ability to fuse music and visuals, pop with the left field.
New album 'a m o r f a t i' is out now, and it's a remarkable document: at times dark, at others light, but always infused with an incredible sense of creative energy.
Set to touch down in London for a rare headline show, s a r a s a r a spoke to Clash and revealed a few Influences...
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Depeche Mode - 'When The Body Speaks'
Along with 'Ultra', 'Exciter' is my favourite album of Depech Mode. It's really different compared to the rest of their work. It was produced with Mark Bell. To me, it’s more about the whole atmosphere of the album, It’s not a record that you can listen to very loudly or enjoy fully around a lot of people. It’s filled with subtle micro-beats, which gives it a super sharp texture. It highlights the words and make them enter your body very directly. It’s a strange sensation. 'When The Body Speaks', 'I Am You', 'Goodnight Lovers'… It goes directly to your heart.
I usually listen to it when I work late at night with candles, it enhances the experience. I try to remember the power of these songs whenever I’m scared and I’m tempted to hide my voice behind sound.
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Thievery Corporation - 'The Forgotten People'
I remember I started to dig into their work after seeing them play at a festival. It was such a strange vibe, a little bit trance hippy or something... They’ve been a part of the walls since then. I like the influences from very different cultures in the world, all the drums, and they also add philosophical or political messages that makes the whole thing even more interesting.
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Portishead - 'Humming'
There's something so dark and creepy about this song. It's a weird atmosphere, and I love it. Whenever I'm starting to think that I'm being too dark and that I should change something, I listen to it and I feel better, because it reminds me that it's okay to like black and dark. I also love her dramatic way of singing - it almost feels like a Greek tragedy sometimes.
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Vanessa Paradis - 'La Ballade De Lily Rose'
I don’t listen to a lot of French music but I really like all of Vanessa Paradis's work. Variations sur le même t’aime, produced by Serge Gainsbourg is a piece of art. But there’s something special about the album 'Bliss', written with Johnny Depp. It is just pure sweetness, it’s my favourite. All the texts and melodies are really poetic and gracious. It’s makes you feel like you’re lying in cotton.
'When I Say', ‘Pourtant', 'St Germain'... and this lullaby. The texts alone can seem very simple at first listen, but this simplicity is what makes them even more powerful and beautiful, this is definitely in my mind when I write my songs.
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Matthew Herbert / Radio Boy - 'Bottle'
It’s symbolic, because it was the first time I heard the name of Matthew Herbert. It was indeed a massive hit around here in my club rat years. And by the way, 'Wishmountain Is Dead Long Live Radio Boy' is one of the only records I still have with me.
Obviously, to me, the lesson out of it is that you can make music out of everything, there’s no limit except those of your own imagination. As simple as that, but you know, most of the time, you don't realise things until someone speaks the words to you, in that case with his music. How liberating for someone like me who doesn’t have a traditional musical education, it was kind of a big deal. That’s what I tried to do, mostly with my voice.
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Photo Credit: Michel Jocaille
Clothes by: Stéphane Laurent Marcel Artworks
'Amor Fati' is out now. Catch s a r a s a r a at London's Old Blue Last tonight (November 21st).