Who are some of the artists that influence your sound?
I remember falling in love with R&B when I was in middle school, Destiny’s Child, Aaliyah, TLC. Then I got into my No Doubt, Gwen Stefani days. Then I got into Outkast, and those are still people who I find inspiration from till this day, from style to everything.
What exactly does Aaliyah mean to you because you were cited in ZINK Magazine to have listed one of her albums as a specific album can listen to over and over without pausing?
It was Aaliyah’s self-titled album Aaliyah. I think it came out the first or second year I was in college, and I used to listen to it while I was walking to class every day. I think she was so graceful, beautiful and feminine. That’s why I loved her, and that’s why I love TLC because they were edgier and were a little more hardcore. I just liked one or the other, or I liked having different sectors of things. [Aaliyah] was the softer, feminine one that I loved, Gwen Stefani was the cool, funky girl and TLC was the rougher, funky group. I just loved watching her videos and her dancing; she was just the total package to me.
Her 10-year anniversary is coming up. Do you think she should be honored and her tribute will be up to par?
I definitely think she should be honored. Every artist, every person that’s gone should be honored, period. Aaliyah had so many fans, and she touched so many people. So they should do the honoring of her whether or not it’s up to par; they should just do it just for the sake of doing it.
Who are some of the artists you’d like to collaborate with in the future?
Andre 3000, Kanye West, Janelle Monae. I would love to just have a conversation with her. The Weeknd and Frank Ocean.
What has the help and assistance of your label Warner Brothers done for your career?
They helped [The Bangz] because when Ella Ann was injured, they didn’t drop us. When it happened, we thought immediately, ‘This is the end.’ But, they let us know, ‘Hey, we’ll work with you guys. We’ll be here when she gets better, but let’s just keep the brand going.’ They really worked with us. Then after that, they saw something in me and decided to move me forward which I am madly grateful for.
How has your experience been on tour with Brittney?
It’s been a learning experience. I’ve never performed for crowds that size before. So to do it on a regular, it’s like ‘Wow!’ So now I’m getting the hang of it, so when it’s my show, I’m not going to be like, ‘Oh, this is so many people,’ because I’ve already done it. I’m just watching how things operate on that level. I just learned a lot about things to do, anything from merchandising to ticket sales and the travel fees for all those people to come to each place and rebuild the stage everywhere. It’s just interesting to see how that works.
Have you seen Nicki Minaj since you’ve been on tour or had a chance to talk to her?
I’ve seen and met her a couple of times but not really converse with her. We see her all the time walking from where she’s about to go on or when she comes off or something. She’s dope though; her set is crazy! It’s very theatrical, and she kills it! Her energy is out of control!
Any other career ventures you’re interested in doing?
I tell people this all the time, but my first paycheck in entertainment was through commercials I did when I was 17, right before music started. Any form of performance that includes self-expression was always my love in the beginning, but acting was one of them. I tried doing that when I was younger. I did one for Universal Studios in the summer of 2007. I remember it aired because my mom and I taped it, it was really bad (quality) and very fast. (Laughs) Another one was for a Pepsi commercial online and the other one was an ABC Family promo. Both didn’t air but I still got paid.
When should we expect your debut album to surface?
We’re working on the singles now, but it should surface around the first quarter of the New Year. I really feel like it will be around that time.
To all those who don’t know Sabi and just becoming exposed to your music, why should they listen in the first place as well as continue to listen?
I think you should listen to my music if you feel it and you connect to it. So if you hear to my song and it reaches out to you, you should continue to listen to it because I plan to make more music that you will hopefully be able to identify with.
Interested? Check Out Sabi’s Official Website: www.officialsabi.com
Photo Credit: Smallz + Raskind