An Interview with singer
Sa’Rayah is a soulful, multifaceted vocalist, recording artist, producer, actress, and motivational speaker. The Chicago native fell in love with music as a young child and started her journey as a singer in church where she performed her first song at the tender age of five.
She is most known for her heart-felt performances on the hit television show, NBC’s ‘The Voice’, where she was mentored by Grammy Award-winning artist, Alicia Keys, and pop star, Miley Cyrus. Her vocal performance of Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind” and Joe Bonamassa and Beth Hart’s, “I’ll Take Care of You,” served as one of the show’s greatest highlights and even landed her at #1 on the iTunes Blues Charts.
When did you first discover you were a singer? What’s the story?
I honestly don’t remember a time in my life where I didn’t sing lol. My family says I started at about four years old. My first solo in church happened at five, which I remember clearly. The song I chose was called, “I Know I’ve Been Changed”. I learned that song watching a scene in the movie, “Jason’s Lyric”, where a church choir was featured singing at a carnival of all places. I’d watched it so many times that the song was ingrained in my mind and ready for use when it was my time to approach the mic at church. The interesting part about it all is that, at the age of five, I actually felt something when I sang the song and couldn’t help but cry. I didn’t finish the song, but that is where it all started.
What’s your favorite Chicago landmark to visit?
I’m not sure I have a FAVORITE landmark but there’s just something special about the Sears Tower (now known as Willis Tower). When you think “Chicago” you see its beautiful skyline. The Willis tower is like the featured skyscraper no one forgets. So going inside, or even simply seeing it up close, always feels like such an experience!
How do you think the Teatro ZinZanni show experience differs from other productions or shows you’ve been part of?
Teatro ZinZanni is most CERTAINLY different from any other show I’ve done. I’ve never been part of something that’s almost “hard to explain” lol! It’s not a circus. It’s not merely a “play”. It’s not merely dinner and live music. You’d almost have to be there to understand it because TZ is in a lane and class of its own! It’s literally one, action-packed, never-ending moment created with the idea that no particular form of art is greater than the other. But all of them come together to tell a story and create an experience that’ll only happen once. It’s such a unique expression of collaborative creativity. I definitely enjoy the idea of being part of an ensemble that makes no sense until you witness it. This is, indeed, a first.
If you had to describe yourself in three words – what would they be?
If I had to choose three words to describe myself I’d go with a couple that I often hear: radiant and captivating. The one I’ll add is purpose-driven.
If you had to describe the role you’ll play in the show in three words – what would they be?
If I had to describe Madame ZinZanni in three words they’d be confident, ravishing, and alluring.
Do you have a favorite song to sing? If so – what is it? If not a song – is there an artist’s music or a genre you love to sing most?
I don’t really have a favorite of many things at all..I just love what I can connect with in the moment. I CAN say that my favorite genre of music to sing is gospel/worship music. Although I love to sing many styles of music, I connect most with what speaks to and about God.
Can you give us a sneak peek of the atmosphere or vibe the audience can expect from the upcoming Teatro ZinZanni show?
I would advise not to expect anything. Just come ready to eat, drink, and enjoy an unusual, but amazing experience that they’ll get to help create. TZ is all about the moment. Just be open to enjoy.
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