Interview with Sarai Juelz. Winner of the Artist Of The Month contest for August.
August 24, 2012
Recently, we held our August "Artist of the Month" contest on MyMusicMylife.com. Hundreds of votes were cast from music fans all across the world. In the end, the powerful and soulful voice of Sarai Juelz reigned victorious. Sarai won with her song "Beautiful (let em hate)". Sarai Juelz, is on her way to the top.
Q: Sarai, congrats on winning the Artist of the month contest. Tell us a little bit about where you are from.
A: I'm from a little small town called Soperton, Georgia but due to a house fire we moved to Dublin, Ga when I was 11. I spent some years with my father in Fayetteville, North Carolina and I've been in Atlanta since I was 17. Soperton is small. We had 3 red lights, a couple of caution lights, my grandparents grew their vegetables and raised their own animals, etc, etc. It was country living at its best.
Q: When did you start singing?
A: My singing career started when I was about 6 at First Baptist Church in Soperton, Georgia.
Q: Who are some of your musical influences?
A: There are so many! Let's just say that outside of the girl groups of the 80's and 90's black and white, I was inspired by people like Diana Ross, Betty Wright, Cheryl Pepsii Riley, Millie Jackson, Candi Staton, Denise LaSalle, Janet Jackson, Prince, and Michael Jackson. But it was always changing. Honestly, I wouldn't say particular people were my musical influence because of the era I grew up in. I grew up in the bass music, traveling gospel band, pop era so when I saw a particular style of singing or heard a song that caught me I was ready to tamper with it as well.
Q: How would you describe your sound?
A: I would say I'm pop/soul. But the soul would only be what I'm talking about you know? Like, I won't be compared to Mary or Keyshia cause I don't have that tear dropping pain in my voice, but it's in the lyrics you know? I'm pop because of the tracks I write to and because of the way I sound. I mean vocally I can take it there if I wanted to, but I feel comfortable delivering the way I deliver and that's sweet, simple, and cool.
Q: We know you have a great voice. What are some of your other talents?
A: I am good at impersonations. I can dance. I paint and I'm an outstanding actress.
Q: The song "Beautiful (Let em hate)" what's the meaning and inspiration behind that song?
A: My ex cheated on me with this woman, who, by American standards, was not as beautiful as me. I found myself bashing her looks with my friends and to him, and was just being really mean about the situation. I mean she did things to me that made me go there but I should have addressed the situation and not her physical aspects. Long story short, he didn't care how she looked because she rode and died for him more than I ever could. I wanted him to be an honest, hard-working, not in the streets guy, but she helped him get money the illegal way and bailed him out of jail every time he went. He said he was in love with me, but he was in love with her hustle for him and he didn't care what people had to say about her looks. Fast forward, years later, I start dating this rapper guy who was used to badder chics than me. So now I'm not the "standard", but because I was down for him he loved me and didn't care what anybody had to say about my weight, about what I looked like; he was happy with me because I made him happy in areas that were shunned. So for the first time I was who this chic was to my ex and I understood. So, that's how the song was born. I built it around the words, "our love is based on what is inside" and it just went from there.
Q: What projects are you currently working on?
A: I finished my EP mixtape ANTHEM which is basically a short preview for my cd, ANTHEM, which is scheduled as a December release. I'm working on a lip gloss line and I have some local designers who are interested in me being a spokes model for their brand; mostly stilettos and jeans.
Q: Where do you see yourself in this industry within the next two years?
A: I see myself writing songs for everybody from country to soul. I hear my music being played in movies and on reality television shows. I see myself managing a strong and successful songwriting company that does everything from hip -hop ghostwriting to orchestra.
Q: Tell me something about you that's personal and not many people know?
A: Before I go to sleep when I'm alone I still check underneath my bed, in my closets, and I look behind the shower curtain. Not because I'm afraid karma is coming for me, but I have dream scares yet I love scary movies, so it's more of a separating real from dramatization type phobia.
Q: What are the attributes that make you stand out amongst the 1,000's of other artist out there?
A: I don't compare myself to the other artists out there so I won't know what makes me stand out amongst them. This economy has driven people who never thought even thought about rapping or singing to want to rap and sing. I pulled up to the gas station and met a truck driver right? After I gave him my number, he gave me his mixtape. It's just so many people out here grinding to do this music thing. I hustle, I grind, I sing, I write, I'm cute, but so are 10,000 more people who want a deal. All I can do is work hard to make my stamp and I'll let my fans and my future fans explain why I stand out.
Q: What's the most important thing that you want people to know about the Sarai Juelz movement?
A: I want people to know that I'm gonna always represent the everyday dreamer. I'm gonna always bring music that teaches a lesson and I'm gonna ALWAYS ride for my sistas. I believe in fighting ugly girl syndrome and have built a movement around it. I want to heal people who have been scarred and give them hope that you can find love even though you've had a tough love life. I'm gonna cry on my tracks through my words and hope that it enables some woman or girl to change. And I'll occasionally throw in a love song for the fellas cause I don't want them to think that just because I'm elevating women that I want them to decline. I don't want that and that's not my message.
Q: Thanks for taking the time to talk to me. I really feel that I really got to know a lot more about you. Once again, congrats on being our August "Artist of the Month". How can people follow your movement and hear more about you?
A: You can find me on twitter @therealsarai. My website is under construction, but music can be heard on reverbnation. Or friend me on Facebook.
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