Sarah Shafey, the Toronto-based singer-songwriter, producer, and mixing engineer, will be releasing her upcoming album, Blackbox Universe, on September 23, 2022. In advance of the release, she has unveiled “Competitor.”
“Competitor” is an upbeat, catchy, electro-pop track that draws the listener in immediately with the beat. The mood is powerful, and Sarah’s vocals radiate with confidence. Written during a time when she found herself questioning her intuition because of an individual who was a silent wrecking ball in her life, “Competitor” is an anthem about listening to one’s inner voice.
“This song was a way for me to remind myself to listen to my own heart and let it guide my actions now and forever. The world opens up to you when you listen to that voice.
It’s beautiful,” explained Shafey. “I remind myself every day that the North Star symbolizes a beacon of inspiration around the world and if anyone makes you question yours, they are not your people.”
Each single released leading up to the album will be accompanied by a comic series beautifully illustrated by Sarah B. Moore. Princess Layla is the character for “Competitor.” In this series, Sarah celebrates her Egyptian heritage. As the comic unfolds, Princess Layla marries King Reh out of duty in the name of the Great Order.
As soon as the single began, with an almost sci-fi-sounding intro, I knew I was in for a treat. Once Sarah’s rhythmic vocals were added to the mix, there was no doubt that this song would be added to my playlist. The lyrics for this track could speak to many people in various situations. “Competitor” could easily serve as an anthem to encourage strength and confidence in everyone.
My name is Sarah Shafey and I am a proud Egyptian-Canadian living in Toronto, Ontario. I am a producer, audio engineer, and musician and have been in the music game for many years. I love all genres of music, I am big on women’s empowerment, and I am a space and IT nerd.
The song “Competitor” is about trusting your intuition. I went through a moment in life where I was questioning a lot of things. This song is a kind of power anthem for myself and for others who feel like their radar is off. I came out of the other side of this song remembering that my inner compass is not only fine but also highly on point. It’s about being true to who you are at your core.
It was a fantastic experience and one that I am eternally grateful for. We worked on this album for a few years. I find working with her to be very organic and she is a good person (which is very important to me).
She is a ridiculously good producer so for me it was such a great opportunity to learn from her and hone in on my own production chops. She taught me so many cool editing tricks along the way that really have made a difference.
I knew she would bring the kind of magic and vision that I wanted to bring to this record. We complement each other very well and she speaks my language.
I am in love with the comics that we created. I always had this grand vision to celebrate my Egyptian roots, which is the character that accompanies the first song “Competitor”.
I was having a really great conversation with an industry pro, Steve Waxman who offers entertainment career guidance and he said why not create a bunch of characters. The one suggestion immediately set my mind off at warp speed into this whole universe of characters. The rest is history.
I found Sarah B. Moore who is an amazing artist and she really helped to bring my ideas to life. The comics help bring the listener further into my world to understand the type of person that I was feeling like when I wrote the singles. This album and the comics are truly a homage to celebrating the different facets of womanhood.
Hopefully, we won’t be stuck inside during a pandemic again. More singles to come, more fun comics to come, more of me being me, and maybe some shows down the line.
I’m Jenna, and I am the founder and editor of Canadian Beats. I have had a strong love for Canadian music, which started many years ago. I have a passion for promoting these talented Canadian bands and artists, and that’s how Canadian Beats came to be. I am so proud of what it has become over the last few years, with many talented music lovers and writers coming together to spread the word of Canada’s music.