Sahara Beck sounds like she’s having the time of her life! The singer songwriter was voted Most Popular Female at the 2015 Queensland Music Awards and has been described as ‘top-shelf’ and a ‘premium artist’ making music for the folk tent with heart and a little bit of torture driving it. (Sydney Morning Herald November 2013)
I caught up with her ahead of her first time performing as part of Women in Voice, which for the uninitiated is an iconic cabaret institution which showcases sensational songstresses and their vocal talents.
Becoming a woman in voice
Sahara is one of three newcomers to the production this year and despite being just twenty, she’s packed a whole lot of life experience into recent years.
In fact, she previously applied to join Women in Voice three years ago but didn’t make the cut back then.
“I auditioned when I was like seventeen so I didn’t get in and the next couple of years’ things started getting really busy for me,” she says.
“And they asked me to come back the next year and the year after that and I really couldn’t do it but this year it just worked out.
“I’ve become a lot more confident I think and like with anything, I always end up looking back – I am so happy I didn’t get it then because now I can probably do a much better job of it.
“The style that I’ve chosen which I won’t give away, but it’s going to be completely different to what I usually do and I will get to go all out without having to change my own on stage style,” Sahara says. “It’s awesome that we all get to do a set of music and we get to do whatever style of music we want because we have a different band behind us.”
A great place to make music
Originally from the Sunshine Coast, Sahara has been living in Brisbane for about five years and says it’s a fantastic place to make music.
She originally wanted to be an actor, and hasn’t closed the door on that opportunity either.
“I always wanted to be an actress when I was younger but I auditioned for the school choir because everyone was doing it… something to do at lunch I guess,” she laughs.
“I joined that and the music teacher said ‘oh you can sing’ and I guess until then I had thought that everyone could sing.”
The last few years have been a frantic pace of performances, festivals and tours and albums.
“I do have a plan; it’s step-by-step, you can’t really know if it’s going to work out,” she admits. “The only thing you can do is try as hard as you can.
“I could never have seen anything coming (like this) but yeah I am so happy with the way everything is going at the moment.”
Her most recently released album Panacea (May 2016) showcases her evolution as an artist.
“Every record I make is a bit different to the last one but at the moment I have pretty dramatic music,” Sahara says.
She counts Edith Piaf and Etta James as musical idols but it’s the Kinks that’s on high rotation at the moment.
“I’ve got this really great best of the Kinks CD in my car that I listen to everyday,” she muses.
“There’s a lot of sarcastic humour in their songs and they’re very honest songs and the way they play you can tell they learnt the songs before they went into the studio.”
Honest and passionate are also some of the words used to describe Sahara’s own sound.
Don’t miss Women in Voice featuring Sahara along with fellow newcomers Alicia Cush and Emcee Judy Hainsworth and ‘Women in Voice royalty’: Leah Cotterell and Alison St Ledger.
The Women in Voice will perform at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts from Thursday 3 to Saturday 12 November. Tickets are on sale now and start at $39 (concession and group rates available).