Meet Sariah :: the Queen of Hearts

by Robert Nesti

EDGE National Arts & Entertainment Editor

Wednesday June 9, 2010

Amongst the reasons to attend the Boston Pride Festival at City Hall Plaza on Saturday, June 13 are dance divas Kristine W and CeCe Peniston. Add to that pair another dance diva, the up-and-coming Sariah, who has joined the talent line-up to sing her hit club track "Deep N Luv" at the afternoon event.

The appearance is a homecoming-of-sorts for the Brookline-born-and-raised singer. She left the Boston area at 18 when she went to New York to pursue a career in music, as well as to attend college. In New York, she immersed herself in the club scene, danced hip-hop with a dance group, and wowed audiences with her vocals. She dubbed herself the Queen of Hearts and released her first EP - Lethal, all while working on her undergraduate degree.

Hometown pride

EDGE spoke to Sariah recently about her upcoming appearance, how she became a musician, her style and her influences.

EDGE: You'll be singing at Boston Pride - what does Pride mean for you?

Sariah: What a great question! When I think of Pride, I think of freedom and a commitment of being true to you. I am SO excited and honored to be a part of Boston Pride!

slug>EDGE: You grew up around Boston, so this is something of hometown gig for you?

Sariah: Absolutely, home is where the heart is!

EDGE: Are your friends and family coming out to see you?

Sariah: Yes, my family will be coming to see me and my sister is bringing many of her friends! My friends from elementary school, high school, and from growing up will be coming to support. I am very thankful for all of their continuous love and devotion.

EDGE: How did you get started as singer?

Sariah: I began singing in school in choir and for Musical Theater shows we had every year. As a sixth grader, I was Gretyl in the High School production of The Sound of Music. After opening night, I knew the stage was my home. I continued to take vocal lessons until I realized that Pop was my true passion. Singing Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston classic records really made me realize this. I began writing my own material about my experiences with love, both good and bad. I am still learning so much about music, everyday.

EDGE: You moved to New York after graduating from high school and immediately began your singing career. That took courage - where does your ambition come from?

Sariah: My ambition comes from within, from my heart. My parents are wonderful role models for me. They never give up, no matter what obstacles are in their way. I never will either.

EDGE: You recently graduated from college. Congratulations. But sas it difficult balancing college and your career?

Sariah: It really was difficult balancing college and my career. I even took off a semester to focus on my writing for music. There came a point where I knew I had to put in the extra hours because graduation was very close and I really wanted to complete my education. Finally, I did! The timing couldn't be better.

Queen of Hearts

EDGE: You've said in other interviews that you've developed your own style - how would you describe it?

Sariah: I describe my style as: sexy, powerful, positive, and edgy.

EDGE: How did "Deep N Luv" come about?

Sariah: "Deep N Luv" came about because I really wanted to do a club record about the nightlife and about love. I thought about what happens when I go out to my favorite club in the city! I realized that many times, we want to fall in lust when we go out. We put on our best dress, sexiest shoes, and fierce lip-gloss in hopes to dance the night away!

My producers and writer understood where I wanted to go with the record and we, all together, created Deep N Luv. The spelling of Luv signifies the desire to fall in lust in the nightlife. I had chills in the studio because of the intensity of the record.

EDGE: Why did you call your EP "Lethal"?

Sariah: I called my EP "Lethal" because it was dangerously sexy and highly addictive music!

EDGE: Who have been your biggest influences?

Sariah: Growing up, I loved listening to Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston's older albums. Michael Jackson was a major influence on the stage as well. I rehearsed my dance moves over and over again in hopes to one day make them as smooth and crisp as Michael's were.

EDGE: What has been the best experience so far in your career?

Sariah: Honestly, I have had so many incredible experiences that I am so thankful for. One show that I truly loved was Gay Pride in New York City. My dancers and I performed on a float going down Fifth Avenue!

EDGE: What's been the worst?

Sariah: Luckily right now I'm surrounded by an incredible team and there have been no horror stories!

EDGE: Who would you like to collaborate with?

Sariah: I have always dreamed of working with Usher Raymond. I love his performances and his music has always been a favorite of mine. I would love to see how he works in the studio. I feel it would be a great learning experience and we would certainly create a hit record.

EDGE: You have said that "It's always been about the performance." Could you elaborate a bit?

Sariah: Whenever I create music in the studio, at home, or wherever I am at the time, I immediately picture performing it on stage! I truly create music so I can perform it for the world to hear and connect with. Boston Pride will be a very special performance because it will be the first time I am performing my single: Deep N Luv!!!

EDGE: I read where you said you like to shock people - in what way?

Sariah: I like to make people realize that they should not judge or stereotype anyone. Some people don't expect me to sing what I sing about or dance how I dance. The sky is the limit and I like to make my own rules ?

EDGE: Are you touring this summer?

Sariah: YES! I am so excited to be taking Deep N Luv on the road and traveling all summer to make many new friends!

EDGE: Is it true you're a neatness freak?

Sariah: Absolutely, I am. Even on the road, my hotel rooms have to be clean before I can leave. Cleaning also helps me clear my mind.

EDGE: And why are you called The Queen of Hearts?

Sariah: Growing up, my nickname was Queenie. I am in love with love. My family always realized this about me. As I continued to grow into a young lady, my experiences with love and matters of the heart were my main focus for writing poetry and creating music. I have always been an extremely passionate person and I don't stop until I get what I want. So naturally, my childhood nickname Queenie grew into the Queen of Hearts. It has continued to be the inspiration for my writing and for the artwork with my single and EP coming soon ?

Thank you so much for these questions and can't wait to see you Saturday!

Robert Nesti can be reached at [email protected].