Catch up with pop singer-songwriter Sabrina Salice and watch the video for her new single, "I'm All In", off her debut EP to be released later this year.
What first got you interested in music and performing?
Sabrina: I was really young when I first started singing. My mom and my dad put me and my siblings into piano lesson at a super young age 'cause they wanted us all to take piano and I started singing while I was playing my simple songs, like "Jingle Bells" and all that stuff [laughs]. So, my mom and my piano teacher realized that, I guess, I had a pretty good voice and a lot of people were like, 'oh, you should get her into voice lessons!'. So, at the age of 8 I think, I started getting into voice lessons and into community theater and I just loved it; I loved being on stage. Yeah, that's pretty much how I got into it [laughs].
Do you remember the first concert you went to?
It was me, my mom, my godmother and her daughter - which is my cousin. We would go to a Celine Dion concert every single year - this was back when I lived on Long Island - and I was so young and the first one I went to, I remember we drove all the way into the city and saw her and I knew a couple of her songs because my mom just listened to her on repeat in the car all the time but, in the middle of her concert, she announced that there was a friend there watching her and she invited him up onto stage to sing and the whole time - I had to be 7 or 8 years old - and the whole time I was like, 'oh my gosh, what if it's me? Oh my gosh!'. [Laughs] I don't know why I was thinking that! But then, when I saw her invite him up there and they started singing, I was like, 'oh my gosh, I want that to be me so bad'. So, from that point on, I was like, that's what I want to do.
Which musicians, other than Celine Dion, have you been influenced by?
She's definitely a big one. I guess her, also Billy Joel, Elton John, and The Eagles my dad always listened to. At a very young age, those were the artists I listened to the most because my parents had the pre-programmed radio station on and those were the songs that were pretty much going on and so I took a liking to '80s rock and stuff and I liked the raspiness that people put into their voices and the soul, so that was influenced into my music. As I got older, I loved listening to Christina Aguilera and Kelly Clarkson because they had that grit, that soul to their sound. Also, as I matured and really got into music, I really liked Jay-Z, his producing and all that kind of stuff. I really like Kanye West's producing - his music [laughs] - but yes, all the people that I mentioned. And Katy Perry is a big one too, just because I really like her songs and how they're such feel good songs and that's how I want my songs to be.
How would you describe your sound to someone who had never heard your music before?
I would definitely say that I have a deeper tone to my voice. I have a richness sound but I think it's also clear, when people listen to my voice, that I have a trained voice. I would say, trained but with a soul richness, because I do have a deep tone - I've been told that. I don't know, I have a big range but, other than that, there are people that refer me to Amy Winehouse - her sound - or Celine Dion - I've been told that, too - and I think that's because I was also influenced by them, so some of the things that I do are because I was always listening to them and I was like, 'oh, that's so good, let me try my own kind of thing like that'.
What were your inspirations behind your single "I'm All In"?
My inspirations were definitely my parents. I went through a really tough time my freshman year at college and, pretty much my whole life, I never imagined really going to college: I would always be like, 'oh, that's a really pretty school,' or, 'I would love to go to this campus,' but I never saw myself going and picking a major and all that stuff; I always just saw one path for me, and that was I'm going to work hard until I make this singing thing my job. It was my senior year and everyone's applying to colleges and I was like, 'oh my gosh, what am I doing?' and so I went along with everyone else and started applying and I was like, I guess that's what you're supposed to do. I have nothing against college, I think it's a great thing, it just wasn't for me and it put me, personally, in a box; that's how I felt and so I made a decision with my parents.
They actually took me home the summer after freshman year because I was kind of hating on music because it wasn't making me happy - I guess 'cause I was unhappy and it was always able to make me happy - so they made me cover some songs with a friend they knew and right when I got back - it was even just a home studio - but literally the first day I was back I was like, 'oh my God, now I love this'. I was literally going to transfer schools and be a finance major because I was just so bummed out because something that always made me happy and I loved, I was unhappy so I blamed it on that, and my parents just wouldn't let me; they were the ones that were like, 'no, she's not going back to school next year, this is her passion and we're going to go at this together and she's going to go at this'.
I wrote that song and the bridge is like, 'thank you for bringing me back, you saved me,' and that was thanking them and the song starts with, 'I can't believe I almost threw it all away,' and that's what that's all about. I think it's a really good feel-good song, because the chorus is simple but it's like 'I bet on myself', and I think that's a huge thing for so many people; take a chance on yourself, believe in yourself, so that's where it came from. [Laughs] That was a long explanation!
Could you tell us more about this upcoming EP?
Yeah, there are five song on the EP including "I'm All In" and "I'm All In" definitely has the most dance/electronic vibe to it. The other songs definitely remain in the Top 40 pop genre, but they're not as dance-y. I have a song called "Love Heist" which is like a fantasy song, a romance; every girl, you know when you daydream and you think of things that could never happen, it's kind of like bringing that into reality. "Iconic Love" is another song and I based that song off of that famous picture in Times Square when the soldiers came back from World War II and there was that famous kissing picture in Times Square and it's very imagery and huge and I think that one, because of how distinctly it paints a picture, it really stands out from all the other ones. There's a song called "Leave Me Curious" which is a very different sounding song; it's a little darker and mysterious and it's really cool. The last one is "I'm Sorry" and that's a ballad, almost along the lines of an Adele pop song, if you're going to try to relate it to something. It shows off my voice and it's the biggest song for me that really shows my talent, so I love listening to it and I'm really excited about that one. It's a little slower, but it still really catches the audience and really tells a good story.
Which of those tracks are you most excited for your fans and listeners to hear?
I think it would be "I'm Sorry" just because it mixes the two worlds of 'this girl really can sing and she's showing off her voice, showing off she really does have talent and training' but also it puts in contemporary Top 40 sound and that's why I'm really excited about that one.
What do you hope listeners are able to take away from your music?
I hope that people really listen to the words, not just listen to the sound of the song [laughs] because I think music is supposed to tell a story and take people to a different place and I hope my music takes people to a different place; takes them to a good place where they just want to dance and you're excited about anything, something simple or something huge, it just amps them up just a little bit more.
Is there anything you want to add?
If anyone wants to find out about my events or anything coming up, they can find me at sabrinasalice.com. The rest of my EP is coming out soon; in the next month, month and a half, we should be releasing the songs and I'm super excited about that and if you want to keep up with the release dates and everything, definitely check out my website and all my links to all my social media and everything is on there. And thank you so much for having me!