Sabira Jade is a one-woman powerhouse. A vocalist, songwriter and producer, she is a versatile artist who isn’t short of inspiration. Her recent collaboration with producer Akranes, ‘Takeover Me’, features on the Manchester With Love compilation and has met with glowing reviews.

This summer also saw the release of her debut single, ‘Law of Attraction’ via Saving Grace Music. A sumptuous and sultry reflection on reaping what you sow, the tune’s cosmic beats are kissed by Sabira Jade’s rich, smooth vocals.

With community projects and new collaborations up her sleeve, it feels like Sabira Jade is only just getting started. She spoke to us about what lies ahead.

How long have you been singing?

Probably all my life. Professionally since 2004, but definitely since I was very little.

What do you love about singing?

It feels wrong not to do it. It’s my expression. It’s my way of being and who I am. It’s my way of communicating.

You’ve just released the single ‘Law of Attraction’. What else have you been doing recently?

This year’s been amazing for me. I wrote ‘Law of Attraction a year or two ago, but this year I got a scholarship to an artist development course with Unspeakable Records, which is an LA-based, female-run label. They were doing this course online called Sonic Identity. I got a place on that and it was all women on the course, and we were supported to develop production skills and to develop our sound. That really gave me a confidence boost, because I’ve never done production before.

I’d already planned to release ‘Law of Attraction’ and ‘Back To Zero’, but the scholarship coincided. That was happening while simultaneously working with the Saving Grace label to put that out. But then I was making this whole bunch of new music on the course and that’s what I’m focussing on now, getting that finished. I’m also doing some stuff with a guy called Aron Kyne, who produces with the singer Thabo, and we’ve made some beautiful songs.

I’ve also done a great collaboration with Ruby Wood (Submotion Orchestra) and we need to get that out.

Now the focus is on finishing things, getting them out and finding the right home for them.

Do you enjoy the production side?

I do, yeah. I’ve got really geeky about it, and then I started looking in to more women that do this, and I found out about the Yorkshire Sound Women Network, which is a group of women that put on workshops and events to get women more included in the music technology side of things and create inclusive safe spaces.

I’ve set up a Hebden Bridge branch of it to meet more local women and to skills share and support each other. There’s a local radio station called Recycle Radio, and I think we’re going to do a live show on there.

What’s your collaboration with Ruby Wood?

I was sent some tracks ages ago by Pitch 92 (Verb T/Jehst/Levelz) and I just kind of jammed along to one. I was talking about being a woman, talking about the Goddess and how beauty is within. I sent it to Ruby, and she wrote this beautiful verse to it with harmonies. We just need to get it mixed and I want to do a video for it.

We performed it recently, actually. Ruby’s in a collective which does a monthly podcast called Time of The Month, and it’s all women artists based in London. They got asked to do a live show, and me and Ruby performed it on there. It went down really well, so we just need to finish it and get it out.

 

What inspires you to write?

Quite often it’s the music itself. I used to just write lyrics, like poetry. But now, I just get sent tracks and I literally will put my headphones on, turn the mic on and press record. I connect to the music and hear what the music is wanting to say, but also, what I’m wanting to say in response to the music. It’s often reflective of what’s going on with me in life, or something that I’ve read. It’s quite rare now that I’ll write lyrics and then add it to something.

Which other artists influence you?

So many. All my peers that are around at the moment – Savvy (Saving Grace Music), Thabo, Aron Kynes, Ruby Wood, Pitch 92. Erykah Badu is definitely a massive influence, Stevie Wonder, D’Angelo, King, Prince, Kelela, Emma Vie, Goldlink. I also love Bjork, Joni Mitchell and Laura Marling.

What advice would you give to singers?

I think that your physical and mental health are incredibly important, because the body is your instrument. If you’re not in good shape, you’ll definitely struggle. By this I mean a healthy balanced life – eat well, nourish your body and mind, be active and keep grounded. Surround yourself with good influences in your personal and professional life. Have fun. Create from the heart and enjoy it. Remember it’s your passion. Don’t forget to be an artist.

Are there any people you’d like to work with?

It would be really cool to work with another female producer. I don’t really have anyone in mind right now, but it would be dope to collaborate. We’ll just see what happens naturally. I’d love to work with D’Angelo or Erykah Badu but I would probably not be able to concentrate as I love them so much!

What would be your dream gig?

I suppose somewhere in a really magical space, lots of fairy lights. I guess somewhere like The Wonder Inn. A really quiet audience would be great. You know when you feel like you’ve got the audience’s loving attention, almost like they’re under your spell. Not in like a control way, but they’re really engaged and enjoying it.

I would love to perform with a live band again. I haven’t done that for ages. I’m exploring Ableton and live looping, which is a whole new experience for me. I’m really excited about that.

What was your inspiration for ‘Law of Attraction’?

At the time, I was listening to a lot of Abraham Hicks about the Law of Attraction, so that was definitely in my consciousness. I wrote it on the train on the way to the producer’s house. I’m really lucky in that way, hopefully it will stay that way. Quite often, songs will just fall out of me quite effortlessly and when songs aren’t doing that, I know that something’s not right within me, so I have to get back to that space.

So your song writing is quite spontaneous?

Yeah, when I’m trying to force it, I know that it’s not right. That something’s not right in me or that song’s not right. I’ve definitely learnt to say no to certain things if I’m not feeling it. I won’t force myself, even if someone’s offering me lots of money. It feels wrong to do that. It’s just meant for someone else.

There’s a line in one of my songs, “Don’t force me, ‘cos I am a force of my own.”

soundcloud.com/sabirajade

Anna Tuck