Sarah White: No one needs to see me swinging on a wrecking ball

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Photo courtesy of the artist
We've all averted our eyes from the modern blur and peered into the heavens above us to find wishes in the uncomplicated beauty of the sky. Who knew that something so bountiful as the sky would bring back one of the Twin Cities' own shooting stars, Sarah White.

In 2007, Sarah White left for Brooklyn at the height of her band Black Blondie's popularity. It was a gut feeling and heartfelt instinct of change. Five years later, she's back, starting all over again with a new band, and trying to find her way in a scene that has changed much in her absence.

Before White bolted for Bedford-Stuyvesant she was one of the premier female artists in this city, blessed with the triple threat of singing, rapping, and beauty. She first broke ground with the Interlock collective and Traditional Methods -- she once performed while five months pregnant to a sold out First Avenue crowd -- and blossomed with Black Blondie. At that point, she was opening for such acts as Jill Scott, Amy Winehouse, and the Roots, and sparking her taste of something bigger and different. In a blink, she moved.

"I was looking to grow more and wanted to see more. Just yearning to be closer to a community of color, especially with music," says White. "I had this fire under me to travel while my daughter was young and see more things. I'm really impulsive and listen to my heart." 

A hippie at heart, White fell in love immediately with the eclectic vibe of the borough. While growing up in south Minneapolis, she was looked down upon by other kids in the neighborhood because she didn't act like the typical hardcore black girl. She placed in the top of her classes in science and math, and had an interest in Japanese and art. Neighborhood kids would often harasses and tease with chants of "white girl" because her education and fashion sense didn't fit in with the street normal.

"It was hard but I was taught by my parents that God put me here to be this person. I have something to offer, and I really fit in New York. Black women had this stereotype in Minneapolis that we have to be this certain image, while in New York, black women are everything there." Says White, "I felt like I could really grow, and I did." 

While in Brooklyn, White became more comfortable with her talents as a signer and caught the focus of DJ/Producer King Britt -- also known as Sylk140 -- and released a much acclaimed single that led to other opportunities: releasing an EP and playing in Barcelona. In her downtime she developed careers in photography and yoga, and upgraded her DJ skills and increased her gigs.
 


After all the success something was missing. The sky. 

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2 comments
thevelvetgreen1
thevelvetgreen1

Interesting read Sarah.  I'm not from the area originally, so I'm unfamiliar with your body of work. I have read about you before though, and heard some music you did when you first moved to Brooklyn (using a Kickstarter campaign, or something like that).  

I had totally forgotten you had a chance to work up with King Britt..he's one of my current, musical influences!  I've chatted with him (<90 seconds) on a couple occasions.  The last time was when he was here with ?uestlove, supporting the newest Ursula Rucker (who couldn't make it) album.  I've tried to push the idea of him doing something here again, through those interactions and social media, but nothing yet.

I'd love to see the two of you here, in the TC, on a bill together.  You could probably get me to open that night with an all vinyl set too ;-)

All the best to you in your endeavors!  Welcome home <3

fanofsarah
fanofsarah

It's great to have you back in the cities Sarah White.  Long live Traditional Methods!

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