Interview: Sarah Teibo

Jul 18 2018

MOBO nominated soulful songstress, Sarah Téibo, has just released her new album, 'Keep Walking', featuring some of the biggest names in US and UK Gospel music including Fred Hammond and Muyiwa. LTTM spoke to Sarah to find out the story behind the album, the feeling of chart success, and her musical influences.

Tell us a little bit about this new album 'Keep Walking'

Keep Walking is my sophomore album released this June and the core message of the songs on the project is one of encouragement and inspiration. In life, we experience different kinds of setbacks and need to hear uplifting messages every so often. I personally experienced the tragedy of losing my mother during the process of recording the album. It was a very difficult time for me and I found it hard to see the blessings that were around me because of my loss. Songs from the album turned out to be a source of strength for me, especially the title track ‘Keep Walking’ and my prayer is that everyone who listens to the album would find encouragement for whatever situation they might be in

Which is your favourite track on the album and why?

My favourite track is ‘Make You Smile’ because in a few words, it is the 'confessions of a frustrated gospel singer'. You need to listen to it, to understand. But the long and short of it is, as creatives and independent artists, we sometimes feel unappreciated and may feel frustrated, but we need to remind ourselves why we do what we do. I do it to make my Father proud and to put a smile on His face. That spurs me on

The album went into the Official Christian & Gospel chart at Number #3. How did that feel ?

Seeing my album perched snugly amongst giants in the Christian music industry like Integrity Music and Hillsong, gave me a mix of extreme excitement, a strong feeling of fulfillment and an immense sense of gratitude to everyone who contributed to making this happen. It is my greatest achievement yet and I’m still over the moon about it

If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?

Well, my answer to that question was always Fred Hammond - more of wishful thinking than anything else - and that happened on this album, where I had the privilege of having him feature on the remix of the lead single from the project, ‘Like A Child’. Another person I would really like to work with is Kim Burrell and maybe Matt Redman

Do you prefer playing live or working in the studio?

Live sessions are completely different from recording in the studio and I would choose a live performance over a studio session any day! The energy you get from the fans, the adrenaline you get from the live music, the spontaneity of creative expressions on stage. Those are moments that can only be captured live

How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?

In a few words, I would describe my style as Soulful Gospel. The message being undeniably infused with the hope and light that comes from God’s love and the style being firmly rooted in soulful sounds that touch your heart strings and make you want to put the song on repeat. My musical palate has somewhat evolved over time, but it has remained firmly grounded in R&B and Soul. I have had so many ‘favourite’ artists at different stages of my life, but I can say three of my biggest influences have been Whitney Houston for the power in her vocals, Kim Burrell for her vocal dexterity and Fred Hammond for his incomparable writing and production skills.

How would you define success in your career?

Success is a journey with many milestones. I believe we achieve one milestone at a time, but we must never rest on our laurels. The moment we think we have attained success, complacency sets in

What is your favourite album of all time?

'Songs in the Key of Life’ by Stevie Wonder

You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your mp3 player. What track is it?
‘Holy Ghost’ by Kim Burrell

Where can people catch you live in 2018?

I will be in on tour South Africa this August and will also be touring the UK and hopefully Europe with the new album as well. I can also be found posting random inspirational stuff on Instagram at @sarahteibomusic.

What does the next year hold for Sarah Teibo?

I think it is going to be a very busy year, with the main focus being promoting the album and possibly starting to think of the next project.

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