Interview with Sabina Sciubba of the Brazilian Girls!

Sabina Sciubba embodies everything I love about music, culture, and the art of a good time. Best known for her work as the lead singer of the Grammy- nominated group, The Brazilian Girls, Sabina has just released her first solo record, Toujours, to critical acclaim. Rock On Philly got to chat with Sabina this week about where she finds inspiration, life in Paris, and even offers advice for aspiring musicians out there.

ROP: Sabina, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us today!
Sabina: My pleasure.

ROP: So with Toujours being your first solo release, how was the music making experience different from your past work with The Brazilian Girls?
Sabina: Working in a collective is a rich experience, because there are different creative inputs. Working alone is more intimate and I suppose the result is more personal. I really enjoyed not having to make any compromise but I feel really privileged to have both platforms and playforms.

ROP: Where did you record the album? How long did it take? Who did you work with?
Sabina: Fred Rubens and I recorded the record on my downtime in Paris. I recorded plenty of stuff at home, which is something I love doing because you can record when you have the idea, when it’s fresh, and when you’re feeling the feeling that initiated the idea.

ROP: That definitely makes for a really organic experience, which is what I love about your music in general. How do you go about finding inspiration? What’s the songwriting process like for you?
Sabina: Mostly inspiration finds me. Sometimes you have to sit down when you don’t feel inspired and work just to feel like you’re a professional. But mostly I record an idea for a melody or lyric when it first arises, then I come back to it a while later. But there really isn’t a method there. I’m a terribly messy person. Chaos is my order.

ROP: I love it. You certainly have quite the international life, it’s understandable for things to be all over the place. I read somewhere that you currently live in Paris. (!!) How is the music scene there? What do you like to do in your spare time?
Sabina: I’ve lived in Paris for 6 years now. It has a very lively music scene with influences from many international places. My favorite thing to do in my spare time is sleeping.

ROP: I couldn’t agree more on the sleep part! Now with your new live show, what can the audience expect? What songs are you most excited to perform?
Sabina: I’m excited about all the songs about the new band. In Italian you say: “La vita e bella perche e varia.” (Life is beautiful because it’s varied.) I like changes and changes like me.

ROP: That’s a beautiful way of looking at things. So this next question is a bit random but fun. If you could duet with any artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Sabina: Nina Simone, Paolo Conte, John Lennon, and David Byrne because they are and were the greatest.

ROP: What are you listening to right now music wise? Do you have any favorite artists you’d like to share with us?
Sabina: I listen a lot to classical music and recently a lot to Chilean music, too. If you’re not familiar with Inti-llimani, Victor Jara, Violeta Parra, and other folcloric bands, I highly recommend them.

ROP: What else do you have planned for 2014? Any more touring? Any more collaborations?
Sabina: Of course there a more dates in Europe and US before and during the summer to promote this record. Also the Brazilian Girls record is almost done, so that’s the next chapter, next year.

ROP: Very cool. So a lot of up and coming musicians follow our website. Do you have any advice for them as they advance in their musical journeys? What are some valuable lessons you’ve learned over the years?
Sabina: OK, I have PLENTY of advice, and I encourage them to write me on my Facebook if they have specific questions. I think passion and perseverance are key. Follow your instinct. always.

Be sure to check out Sabina’s new album, Toujours which is streaming online via the New York Times.


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