PREVIEW THE UPCOMING ALBUM "NO MORE WAITING ROOMS": www.sarahsiddiqui.ca
"YOU SOUND GOOD SARAH..." -BILLY JOEL (OCT./13, The Bitter End, NYC)
Sarah Siddiqui is a seasoned Toronto based singer songwriter who creates soulful edgy/alternative style songs with the intimacy of folk. Vocal and narrative centric songs laden with poetic lyrics. Sarah approaches each song like a painting using gentle brush strokes, creating strong and moving visuals...getting down to the main messages using just enough words. It's as if you're invading her privacy when listening to her music. To date, Sarah has released 2 full length albums and multiple singles, one of which has been placed in 2 films, Word of Honor (2003, starring Don Johnson, Jeanne Tripplehorn), Triggermen (2002, starring Donnie Wahlberg, Claire Forlani). One of her songs "Show Me" was released through Awesome/EMI Canada.
She was born to South Asian Peace Poet Icon, Syeda Nuzhat Siddiqui. Writing was naturally ingrained as a mode of expression early on. Sarah is a classical and theatre trained singer by Toronto's Royal Conservatory of Music, and self-taught on guitar she makes up her own chords. Her late father, Saleem Siddiqui was also a writer and translated Sarah's mother's poetry from Urdu to English. Sarah is also a poet, and a unionized Toronto Actor.
Sarah along with her family grew up looking after their father, a patient of multiple strokes and heart attacks. He was ill for 8 years before his passing. Sarah was 14 years old when he passed away. One of the answers to the questions in terms of where so much inspiration comes from for Sarah. Having had to grow up fast, realizing how precious life is and how quickly a loved one can be taken away with the assumption that all would be resolved, Sarah kept writing poems and songs as an outlet. Raised around poetry, literature, meditation and prayer, Sarah quickly turned all the pain into beauty and so the story keeps unfolding in her music and poetry...touching upon themes of life, death, love, self-destruction, and hope.
Sarah's started playing live at 15 years old, singing her own music and as a back-up singer for rock bands in Toronto. Sarah recorded/produced her 1st full length CD titled "Petals of the Self" 1998, at the time she went by "Batool", her middle name. The CD is a mixture of eastern, western and european world influences. In 2005 Sarah recorded, produced and released her 2nd full length CD titled Rosewater Songs of which featured formidable musicians, guitarist, Tim Bovaconti (Ron Sexsmith), Michael Churchill on drums, and Santosh Naidu on Tabla (K-os). The CD features more pop sensibilities.
At the age of 18, Sarah was flown to Vancouver, B.C. by EMI Publishing Canada to co-write with a talented artist. Shortly after she decided that she had to carve out her own path and develop her sound on her own without label support and that she did! Since then, Siddiqui has shared the stage with many prominent Canadian acts: LAL, Shaye (Dahmnait Doyle, Kim Stockwood, Tara McLean), Chris Brown & Kate Fenner (NYC), Taima (Aboriginal Juno Winners), Diggin Roots, Mark Cassidy, Peter Katz, Dayna Manning, Jean O'brien, as well as formidable musicians, Tim Bovaconti (Ron Sexsmith), Santosh Naidu (k-os), Michael Churchill, Paul Brennan, David Celia, and flamenco guitarist Juan Dino Toledo (Jesse Cook).
Sarah also had the amazing opportunity to record with internationally acclaimed instrumentalist Jesse Cook. At only 18 years of age, while working at Toronto music store, HMV, there walked in Jesse Cook. Immediately Sarah recognized him as she was a huge supporter of his music. She approached him with her demo in hand and confidently told him that she would love to work with him. 6 months later Jesse Cook phoned Sarah and booked her to record the vocals for his rendition of Stevie Wonder classic "Superstitious". They worked all day. Although it didn't make the cut for his "Vertigo" album, it was a day that she would never forget.
In 2007, Sarah was featured as a guest vocalist on Mexican rock band, Chikita Violenta's premiere release "Stars and Suns Sessions" produced by Dave Newfeld (Broken Social Scene), at the request of Dave Newfeld in Toronto. Chikita Violenta is signed by Arts & Crafts and is internationally acclaimed. Other featured guests include Justin Peroff, and Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene.
In 2003 Sarah was nominated for best singer/songwriter for Canada's MyBindi Awards. Sarah has also worked with producer Doc ( Esthero). To add, Anne Murray's daughter, Dawn Langstrong opened up for Sarah in 2003 at Toronto's Mitzi's Sister, now known as The Sista.
Sarah has played in various parts of Canada and the U.S. including Manhattan at the Bitter End where she met Billy Joel during her sound check in October of 2013. She opened up for the longstanding NYC Songwriters Series. Sarah also had the opportunity to share the stage with Gabriel Gordan, guitarist of (Natalie Merchant), as she was personally invited by him to play a set at downtown Manhattan bar. She also had a chance run in with Motown legend Valerie Simpson of Ashford & Simpson while casually checking out the Ashford & Simpson bar for there long standing open jam in NYC. Sarah stood out as she was the only non-R&B talent who signed up...she got up on stage in her motorcycle jacket and boldly sang the cover of "Why" by Annie Lennox. Valerie Simpson was moved to tears.
Another major highlight was when Sarah jammed with actor/ singer songwriter Terrence Howard ( Crash, The Butler, Empire). Terrence and Sarah sang songs back and forth on guitar for each other like high school kids jamming at the camp fire. Another impromptu opportunity arose when Sarah ended up singing free style with Sabina Sciubba (Brazilian Girls) at their Toronto concert at The Hoxton Feb. 2nd 2014.
Sarah Siddiqui's song "Strayed" has been placed in 2 films: "TRIGGERMEN" (2002), feature film directed John Bradshaw, starring Donnie Wahlberg, and Claire Forlani (Meet Joe Black). The song was hand picked by Donnie Wahlberg. The next movie was "WORD OF HONOR" (2003), T.V. movie directed by Robert Markowitz, and starring Don Johnson, and Jeanne Tripplehorn. Both movies continue to air on T.V. across the world.
But the most exciting moment in Sarah's life was in In 2001. She was casted and hand picked out of hundreds of head shots by Danny DeVito to play the part of guitarist in his film, 'DEATH TO SMOOCHY', starring Robin Williams and Edward Norton. She worked with the cast at the CBC Studios in Toronto for approximately 2.5 weeks straight.
Sarah's supporters include many established musicians and Hollywood actors: Peter Weller (Robo Cop), Danny DeVito, Gill Bellows (Ally McBeal), the late Robin Williams, Terrence Howard (Crash), Valerie Simpson of Ashford & Simpson (Motown Legend), Ron Sexsmith, Shaye (Dahmnait Doyle), LAL, to name a few.
Sarah is currently in the process of recording her 3rd full length album "NO MORE WAITING ROOMS".
WHAT THE PEOPLE ARE SAYING:
"You sounded good Sarah..." ---- BILLY JOEL (Oct. 2013 @ The Bitter End, NYC, @ Sarah Siddiqui's gig)
"Sarah Siddiqui is truly dedicated to her craft. She's both an excellent... writer and performer and a pleasure to work with. Watch out for this girl!"
----DAVID NEWFELD (Producer of BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE's break out album)
“You have a stunning Voice!”
—DAHMNAIT DOYLE (2007, Sarah opened up for SHAYE @ York University)
"Thank you for your performance"
---VALERIE SIMPSON of ASHFORD & SIMPSON (Oct. 2013 @ Ashford & Simpson's Sugar Bar. Sarah played an impromptu set at their bar)
"You have a beautiful voice..."
---TERRENCE HOWARD (Actor/ Singer- Crash, Soul Food, The Butler)
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Profile Photo by Ashley Irwin/ aBabe Music
Graphic Design by Michael R. Butcher