Pushing boundaries early on in her music journey, Sarah Nabil is Bahrain's first female R&B/Hip Hop producer and composer. Curious over a piano, she discovered music at a young age of nine and never looked back since. At seventeen, Nabil met her mentor DJ Outlaw and fell in love with music production. However, unlike the Western world, for Sarah, there was no predecessor for her emerging career in production.
She recalls “at the time no other women were doing this; there were no stepping stones for me as a woman in the industry.” Sarah persisted. In retrospect, she [along with her crew] has built Bahrain's music scene, into a growing industry. Now, she enjoys the fruit of her labor. With style.
You seem to have worked in different facets of music (DJ, producer, solo artist, radio presenter and more) which one do you think has been the most significant and most enjoyable?
All of them are very different but equally enjoyable. Although, I got into music as a producer before anything else, so that is definitely my main focus. I also love engineering just as much, so that’s something I’m focusing on as well.
you deserve so much better
Tell us about your single 'Good For U.'
It was a follow-up to my first single (as a singer) 'Confused.' I heard the beat from a Canadian producer called Jay Urban, and I instantly knew I wanted it. It was written by singer/songwriter Breland, who has worked with multiple Billboard charting R&B artists including Trey Songz, mixed by DJ Outlaw (I hate mixing my own vocals), and mastered by Grammy award-winning mastering engineer Colin Leonard at SING Mastering.
The song is all about having an unbothered attitude towards breaking up with someone who wasn’t putting in effort into the relationship and knowing you deserve so much better.
Any new song in the works?
Yes, I’m working on a few. There is an EP in the works that has been put off for a while.
What is the core message of your music?
The message behind everything I do is to do and say what you feel is right. That applies whether you’re a singer, songwriter, producer, composer, or engineer. Every sound, melody, and element I add is there because that’s what I felt should be there.
What’s your songwriting process? Is it melody first then lyrics or the other way around?
I don’t really write lyrics. It’s not my strength, so usually I’d rather work with someone who can bring that element to the table and know it’ll be good. My first song Confused was written by Daffy and Good For U was written by Breland.
In general, I’d make the beat and send it to the songwriter. The process is very intertwined though. A lot of times there’s a back-and-forth exchange. Sometimes for example, the songwriter will come up with something and record a demo, and then from that you get a new idea for the music. You start building things around each other (or taking things away) until the song is complete and everything complements the record overall.
Let's talk about fashion and music. What do you think is the correlation between the two industries?
Fashion and music have always gone hand in hand as a means of self-expression for artists, and that’s why we see artists develop their own style and set trends. Over time there have been attachments between certain genres and the style of clothing that typically goes with them, but what we’ve been seeing in recent years is more of crossovers and blurred lines. I find that cool. You no longer really have to adhere to dress a certain way to be considered legit in your genre.
How would you describe your sense of fashion? Any era that influenced you most?
Very casual, chill and sporty, but honestly it switches up depending on my mood and my plans for the day. On most days, I’m up at 4:30 and am out of the house the whole day, so I like to dress comfortably. I love the 90s! That will probably always be my favorite era in both fashion and music.
Who do you look up to in both fashion and music?
There are so many artists whose styles I appreciate as a form of individuality and creativity, and they’re all very different. These include Aaliyah, Lenny Kravitz, Rihanna, Cher, and Pharrell.
I appreciate every moment
Most memorable moment in your career?
I never really think of that; I appreciate every moment, good or bad. One of my favorites though is spending a week with Jaycen Joshua, Dave Pensado, and Timbaland in a Mix With the Masters seminar in France. The knowledge that I got out of one week with the greatest in the game is priceless.
If you are given the power to change one thing in the world what would it be?
Racism. It’s the core of so many issues.
They say what you wear affects your mood. Don't you agree?
Absolutely! Sometimes an outfit change completely switches up my mood.
On that note, Sarah leaves us with this message. "Keep an open mind. Always try and learn/draw from different influences, and never box yourself."Follow Sarah Nabil: