Thursday, 20 July 2017

New To You: UK based Sabrina Maria offers FREE download track Blank Canvas

Free Download of her title cut Blank Canvas
+ an exclusive Q & A with Country Routes

The Kent, UK based Sabrina Maria generously reaches out introducing her music to her fans and our readers.

Listen and download Blank Canvas here:

Other songs are available to stream on her Reverbnation website

As of July 19, 2017, Sabrina is ranked #1 in the UK Country Reverbnation chart

❤ Please show Sabrina some love by sharing on Social Sites using graphic above

Suggested Tweet: 
Listen to "Blank Canvas" by @SabrinaRMaria

About Sabrina Maria
Home Town: Canterbury, Kent, UK
Birthdate: 23 March
Country/Rock Music - Singer/Songwriter
Sabrina is a new Country/Rock artist, who released her debut single and album in March 2017.
In October 2016, due to her passion for Country music, on an emotional rollercoaster she took up the task of writing again in a country style and wrote 8 out of the 10 songs for a self-penned debut album. The remaining 2 songs were written and arranged 5 years previously, but reworked for the album.

On March 26, 2017, she released the 10 track Southern Country Rock album BLANK CANVAS (Amazon UK - UK iTunes - CD Baby). The heartfelt set tackles a number of different emotions: a lucky escape from a dire situation; losing her mother; ending a relationship; but with hope for a brighter future.

It was recorded in the prestigious Parr Street Studios, Liverpool (33-45 Parr Street, Merseyside L1 4JN) under the guidance of J Room 3 Productions ( top producer and British Country Music Association Award 2016 Musician of the Year Justin Johnson.

Other UK artists who have recorded there include Raintown, Narn, Blue Genes, Samantha Lloyd, Sam Hollyman, Mike Ward, Angie King, Acoustic Journey, Thorne Hill, Dahlia, Jade Helliwell, Darcy, Southern Junction, Hollie Barrie (from The Voice UK), Emma Moore, Kira Mac and Jeannine Barry.

Sabrina describes the style of music as "very raw and draws on my life experience, particularly this past year. The music is kickass, happy, emotional, sad and fluctuates between a rock sound and pure country music. It is very diverse and will speak to the heart as well as the the ears" :-)
Listening carefully, to the lyrics you notice that each song Sabrina penned resonates with her own life experiences involving pain, loss of loved ones, betrayal, love and most importantly never losing hope or faith.
Photography Credit: Anthony D'Angio (Frography (By Flex): Website | Facebook
He has done some stunning photoshoots with and for Eric Church, 
CMA, C2C Festival and many British country stars and up-and-comers!  
The red boots were given to Sabrina as a Christmas present from a friend! 

On March 2, 2017, she released her debut single 'Survivor' (available on iTunes) after quite a journey to get to this point. It was a birthday present to her late father who used to say "do something with the gift that God has given you". 
Promoted on the Hotdisc #220 April 2017 promotional disc it made a #19 debut on the Hotdisc Top 40 (dated April 9, 2017)  and peaked at #16 and #4 on the Hotdisc British & Irish chart (dated April 23, 2017)

Published on Feb 28, 2017 (1,032 views) the official video for her debut single 'Survivor' surfaced which was filmed on a bitterly cold day up on the cliffs. The video aired on Hotdisc Top 20 TV show broadcast on Keep It Country TV (Sky TV 389, Freesat 516 and Freeview Channel 87).

Published March 26, 2017 her >> videoMama” was a song written and dedicate to anyone who had lost their mother or anyone dear to them. ❤

On June 26, 2017 she released her single “Show Me The Love” (Amazon UK | UK iTunes) the lead-off track to the album. She dedicated it to all victims and families of the London/Manchester terrorist attacks.  

With the cut ‘Blank Canvas’ her hope is that fans would pick up an air guitar and dance around the living room or even go visit a best friend and give them a hug. 

She shared - The melodies will make anyone feel good on a bad day and the lyrics have been written from my own life experiences. If just one person were to find solace from any of my songs, it would make be a very happy person. I truly believe that music has the power to heal and it certainly helped me during my tough times.

Listen to this edited Country Belles interview with Graham Barnes first broadcast March 11, 2017 (Mixcloud) on Belter Radio.

Interview with Roger Peck on the British Country Music Show broadcast on CMR Nashville (18 May 2017). Listen from from 20 mins on Mixcloud
She’s got a great voice and a great future on the British scene” – Roger Peck

Sabrina Maria - Interview

Hi Sabrina, thanks for talking to Country Routes

How long have you been writing songs?
Sabrina:  I’ve been writing songs for about 7 years now.

Do you find it easier writing from a place of hardship and hurt rather than a place of happiness?
Sabrina:  Much easier.  The reason is it’s healing for me too.  Putting pen to paper when you are feeling sad is like a therapy session and it helps you to analyse.  The majority of the songs on the album are songs I wrote within the past year as it has been quite a tumultuous one.

What inspires you with your music and writing?
Sabrina:  I always try and write a song by thinking about other people and how it could help them get through a tough situation similar to one that I have had.  Wisdom inspires me and I think I’m quite wise for my years.  I’ve been through a lot of trials and you can either let situations destroy you or you can turn them into something positive and I’d like to think that’s what I have done with my music.

What were your hopes and expectations for your debut Hotdisc single “Survivor”?
Sabrina:  My debut single ‘Survivor’ did so well in the Hotdisc chart. I was blown away. It got to no.4 in the UK and Ireland chart and no.16 in the Europe chart.  I definitely wasn’t expecting that.  I was and am so grateful for the positive responses I received, particularly as it is quite a rocky tune.  

Do you feel both excited and a little nervous about how your single would be received by the 700+ DJs and media across the UK, Europe and worldwide?
Sabrina: I was quite nervous that such a rock tune would not go down well as my first Country single.  I took a risk, but it did go down well.  The feedback showed that some DJ’s found it too heavy, but that is OK.  I was expecting that response from the majority of them if I’m honest.  However, I was amazed at just how many DJ’s love the track. I think this goes to show that you just have to be yourself when writing music.  I wanted a rock/country track, I did it and it worked well.

You received airplay for “Survivor” by some high profile British Country Music DJs and radio presenters to positive comments. How did it make you feel?
Sabrina:  Absolutely over the moon.  As I said previously, I was expecting more criticism, but instead I received praise and DJ’s said they were looking forward to what else I had in store.

Did you write/ co-write all the songs on your album Blank Canvas?
Sabrina: I wrote all the songs on my album ‘Blank Canvas’.  I have not co-written any as my songs are about my personal experiences. I’ve had quite a few people offer to co-write with me, but it doesn’t feel right at the moment, as I still have so much to write about.  However, saying that, I have actually co-written one song (lyrics) with a dear friend of mine in the States, but that was more as a fun thing to do over messenger.  Before we knew it, we had written a set of lyrics going back and forth.  I put a tune to it and I actually like it a lot. I may add it onto my next album or just release as a single.  I’m not sure yet.

Who were the musicians who played on the album?
Sabrina:  The musicians on my album were session musicians and they are absolutely incredible.  When I first heard them play my tunes, my jaw literally dropped. The first one they recorded was ‘A Moment in Time’ and it was my least favourite of all the songs when I walked into the studio, but it is now my favourite on the album.  I was so lucky to work with extremely talented musicians who will hear a tune once and then make it come alive.
Sabrina Maria (centre) in Parr Street Studio with producer Justin Johnson (2nd from left)
and guitarist Scott Poley (3rd from right)

What was the experience like and biggest challenge recording the album tracks in the Parr Street studio and how long did it take to record them?
Sabrina:  I can’t tell you the natural high I experienced.  The excitement was overwhelming. To hear a bunch of musicians, bring your music to life is an experience I will never forget.  It took two full days to record songs at Parr Street studios and then I had a day in a studio in Maidstone, Kent (near to where I live) to record the vocals.  I suppose the biggest challenge was driving up to Liverpool and the traffic - I live in Folkestone, Kent, so it was quite a trek, but other than that, the whole experience was amazing.

Did you go through a lot of songs in the album song selection and was there a lot of advance work ahead of going into the studio to cut the tracks?
Sabrina:  When I went into the studio, I did have 10 songs, but I realised that I didn’t really like one of the songs, so I decided to scrap the recording of it.  I then wrote the 10th song shortly after I returned from Liverpool (Show me the love) and it was recorded in a London studio.  There wasn’t any advance work for me luckily, as I had already written the songs.  There wasn’t really any advance work for the musicians either as they are so talented and just pick it up as they go after having received the chords (charting) that are needed.
Blank Canvas (inlay)Photography Credit: Anthony D'Angio: Website | Facebook 

Does the lead-off single “Survivor” best represent the album?  Yes, it does - I was toying with naming the album Survivor, but I wanted to release that as a single.  Then I thought Blank Canvas was the most appropriate title.  It was how my life was when writing my album and I was entering into the unknown in the music industry, so that is why I decided on having that as the title.
Sabrina recording vocal
tracks in Parr Street
What do you hope a music fan will feel when listening to the Blank Canvas album?
Sabrina:  I really hope that they will feel my passion for writing, and get inspired.  Yes, the tunes are important, but to me the lyrics have meaning and everyone goes through tough situations in life, so I hope that if they listen to the album, it will help them not to sink into the abyss as can happen sometimes, but instead help them to have faith and hope and to understand that ‘This too shall pass’ which is one of the songs on my album.

Are there any plans to make a follow up official music video?
Sabrina:  Yes, I have been talking with Ben James (BSJames Media), the Director of my ‘Survivor’ video.  After ‘Shotgun’ (which will be my next single and already has a studio video recorded), we are going to record another official video, but I’m not going to tell you the song so it can be a surprise. :-)

What music are you currently listening to?
Sabrina:  To be honest, I have my music on shuffle, so whatever pops up on my stream is what I listen to and that is a mixture of Country, Rock, Classical, Musicals and 80’s music.  I love variety - it’s the spice of life :-)

QUICK-FIRE Questions

I have noticed some of the American country stars are affiliated with sponsorship with shop brands. If your picture was to appear on a product to represent you what would you choose and why?
Sabrina:  Oh my goodness, this is a tricky one.  
I’d probably say a vintage wine.  The longer you leave a good bottle of wine to mature, the finer it tastes.  I’ve started late in the music industry and I guess due to my experiences, I’ve matured into a positive, fine person. Plus, I love wine - where’s my glass? :-)

If invited onto CMT Crossroads (which pairs country artists with someone from another genre) who would you pick and why?
Sabrina: I think I would pick Gary Barlow from Take That.  I have a lot of respect for him.  He writes his own music and is an extremely talented artist. I love his music and voice.  In fact, the piano player who played on my tracks on Blank Canvas is a good friend of his.  Ooooh so near, yet so far lol!

Who would be a dream male duet partner?
Sabrina: Ooooh it has to be Kip Moore.  I love his style, his voice and his zest for life. I’ve seen him in concert and he has the crowd buzzing.  He’s also very easy on the eye - ha ha!!

Favourite concert?
Sabrina: Country 2 Country in 2015 (both Kip Moore and Little Big Town).  I was literally buzzing - which doesn’t usually happen to me.  I tend to get fidgety if I have to stand/sit around for too long, but these acts kept me entertained and I hadn’t heard of them before C2C so I couldn’t sing along, but loved their shows.

Favourite Food?
Sabrina:  I’m Italian, so it’s got to be Pizza (Italian style).  No pineapple on my pizza thank you :-)

Favourite Colour?
Sabrina: Hot pink

Favourite TV Show?
Sabrina: Big Little Lies had me hooked.  I hope they do another series!  

Favourite Magazine?
Sabrina:  Health and wellbeing magazines.  I don’t read the gossip magazines - they are all about who is seeing or cheating who; how much weight someone has put on etc.  Doesn’t interest me in the slightest.  I find it all very negative and it’s the cause for far too many eating disorders and far too much self-loathing in the world!  Don’t get me started on this subject lol!

Favourite clothes, make-up?
Sabrina: If I see something I like, I tend to buy it - I’m not really into brands. I love Primark!!  However, makeup is a different story.  I love the stuff, particularly Makeup Geek, Bare Minerals, Urban Decay, MAC - in fact any high-end brand that sells makeup - particularly nice packaging.  Darn - you make-up marketers have sucked me right in!

Favourite Time of Year?  
Sabrina: Definitely the summer - the majority of people are happy and jolly (apart from those who moan about the heat) and I love the long bright evenings where you can sit outside, have BBQ’s, chill with friends and family and enjoy the sun on your skin.

Favourite Country to visit?
Sabrina: United States - I really want to get out there more.

How Do You Like To Relax?
Sabrina: I tend to relax by binge-watching TV series in the winter.  It’s the only way I can switch off my constantly chattering mind.  However, I don’t have much time to do that in the summer as I try and get out more, so long bike rides and sitting on the beach just looking out at the sea is pure relaxing bliss for me.

CONNECT with Sabrina Maria:
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