#MeToo has now stopped trending. What’s next?

Tarana Burke, an activist from Harlem, started #MeToo ten years ago to help and support women of colour who had survived sexual abuse. Last week though, and after you probably read somewhere about the many Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment and assault victims with the scarily similar stories, the actress Alyssa Milano brought #MeToo to the foreground, amplifying the velocity of the movement. All social media platforms got flooded with horrible memories, as well as support notes addressed to those who’ve suffered. But the day that the public became aware of all those heartbreaking stories wasn’t the day that sexual harassment and assault began or ended. And now that the #MeToo hashtag has stopped trending, one would begin to wonder, what’s next?

Let me tell you, I have my own stories that keep me up at night, or turn me suspicious when I’m around men – when you’ve suffered, you can’t help it. But stories like my own or the ones shared online during the course of the past week get rarely reported, and ever more so rarely televised. The topic quickly became very popular getting the attention of sympathizers, but also of professional trolls who defended the abusers. Dear Internet and the world, until when will we stop seeing women’s bodies as “temptation” and foster rape culture? Until when will we stop allowing excuses like “I didn’t know what I was doing”, or hiding behind sex/drugs/alcohol addictions? How is it possible that it was “the woman’s fault”? Even if nobody knew until some days ago about the pain and weight that some women are secretly carrying, we now know and it’s time that we have the conversation we avoided having for too long.

#MeToo resurfaced my anger and disgust, as well as memories that no matter how well I tuck them in the “let’s not talk about it” drawer, they always come back to haunt me. It also helped me realize that I’m not alone. Despite how hard it is to face those demons that I and many other women have been trying to repel, #MeToo sparked a general feeling of responsibility and care about one another. It felt like a movement where victims and survivors won over trolls and abusers just by standing tall and telling the truth. Women’s voices were loud as ever, asking for objectivity. #MeToo has offered us a momentum that we shall take on. Truth to be told, it’s possible that it’ll take us nowhere. But we won’t know until we try.

What can we take from the Weinstein saga? To begin from somewhere, his reputation is damaged for life. There are 46 women who have publicly spoken up about being sexually harassed and/or assaulted by the bad wolf of the story. His wife, Georgina Chapman, announced she’s shocked by all the allegations and decided to leave him. Weinstein got fired from his company and expelled from the Academy. Seeing a powerful man reaching the bottom because of his actions restores the faith in humanity and justice. That being said, reasonable questions come up. Some of the stories date back to the 80s. What is more, many celebrities have claimed that there have been circulating rumors about Weinstein’s clandestine behavior since years. Why didn’t they do anything? How did this take so long to come out?

You see, that’s the reality for many women out there who’ve had similar experiences to the ones shared these days. When trying to talk about what happened to you, people are likely to not believe you. They might even call you a liar. They’ll discourage you from talking about it. Even if they believe you, they’ll tell you to brush it off, and you’ll probably never going to talk about it, ever again. Best case scenario, they’ll line you up with an officer to report the crime. Or you’ll find the courage and go to the police station on your own. And we all know that there’s too little the authorities can (or are willing) to do. Societies are silencing the victims of sex crimes, leaving them alone in a fight that’s only begun. That’s why the Harvey Weinstein story feels like a milestone in a victim’s life, whether harassed by him or somebody else. It’s proving the power of joining forces for a purpose. It’s showing that many voices are louder than one.

Stitch art by Shannon Downey @badasscrossstitch

Stitch art by Shannon Downey @badasscrossstitch

Surely, Harvey Weinstein is a big fish in a sea of many. Hopefully, the fact that even he, a prominent producer in the film industry, got caught and exposed will get other abusers think twice before making a move. However, we can’t base our hopes on the predators. There is a problem and only if we address it, we can solve it for good. That’s why #MeToo seems like a salvation boat that’s taking us back to the shore where we can finally heal as a whole. As a community, as a society. #MeToo’s strength shouldn’t be underestimated; it managed to mobilize women across the world. Or at least, across our free, democratic world where victims could potentially find justice and/or peace of mind. Women bravely went down their own personal rabbit holes, shared their stories and supported each other. For a couple of days, women took it to the social media to raise awareness about a form of abuse that’s almost systemic. This is and should be treated as a breakthrough – so, why to stop now?

What happens next is up to us – and by “us”, I mean all those who care about changing things, no matter the gender. There are many things that we can do – from smaller acts, like criticising an inappropriate behaviour, thinking twice before sharing a lewd joke, to bigger ones, like starting a petition to stop violence against women or protesting for women’s rights, fighting for those who can’t share their stories on Twitter or on Facebook and continuing the work that Tarana Burke started. Whichever type of contribution each of us chooses, we should always remember that education is key, as is caring, respect and the perpetual effort of making things better.

It’s ironic how the whole Harvey Weinstein story could become a popular movie featuring a star-studded cast. One of those movies where the good wins the evil in a dynamic battle of power versus dignity, money versus the truth, crooked versus hero. Will that movie happen? No, unless things change. Why not? Well, because Harvey Weinstein isn’t the only one who smelled the macho man rose. It’s a long road and a cause that requires dedication and strength. Are you on board?


A “LoveStory” that’s different – new video & more!

Dear everyone,

I’m really happy to share with you the video for my new single “LoveStory” out of my solo debut LP Who Am I.

The video is directed by award-winning director Eftychia Iosifidou and I’m co-starring next to my cousin Clio Arvaniti. Clio and I grew up together. Despite us being only one year apart, I always looked up to her, seeing her as my big sister. Both of us being only children, our relationship was the closest thing to having a sister. So it’s indeed a love story – perhaps a different one from what one would expect.

Sarah P. - LoveStory - Cover
Watch the video on YouTube
Stream / Buy “LoveStory”:
Spotify: Spotify | Deezer | iTunes | Amazon | GooglePlay


When writing “LoveStory”, I decided I wanted it to be a love letter but not necessarily to a romantic partner. Love is way more than romance, anyway. Filming a video while in Greece and doing that together with Clio felt just as right. I wanted it to depict warmth – a homely feeling, and I think we succeeded in this. I’m so grateful to my girls – Eftychia and Clio, for reminding me that creation and fun can go very well hand in hand.

As you probably noticed, I’ve been relatively silent on world events lately – which seems quite unlike to what you’re used from me. My heart’s always with all those who’ve experienced a fair amount of injustice and feel weary and angry – I hear you, I talk to you every day, I read about you on the news. I might as well be one of you – another person put in a sealed box of stereotypes. But hey, I’ve only been seemingly silent. I’ve been non-stop working at the studio all summer to finish recording my next album. I figured why not put all my energy and frustration into creating something artful. Once again inspired by current events, once again a record that’s going to speak out a truth that many don’t want to hear. But we do, right?

Seeing so much despair in the world and an alarming endorsement of hateful views by many, we can’t keep quiet. We shouldn’t keep quiet. Each and every one of us can make a change through our daily actions of kindness and respect. When we feel put down and in fear, we should just think of our favorite people on earth. What would they do or say? Let’s channel their amazingness!

“LoveStory” is a sweet tune to remind us that we’re capable of loving and being loved. We all have wounds – some of us have deeper scars than others, but we’re all in this together. May the song and the video soothe you as much as it soothes me to interact with you and exchange opinions. To those writing to me, keep doing so! To those who haven’t written me yet, I’m always here!

Sending you much love,


PS: If you want to contact me, write me on sarah [at] sarahpofficial [dot] com x
PPS: Make sure to also check out the “LoveStory” remix by The New Division.

Sarah P. single Who Am I (video directed by Oirot Buntot)

“Who Am I”, the title song of my LP is out now!

Hi everyone,

I hope you’re well. Today I’m sharing “Who Am I” with you – the title song of my upcoming album that will come out in May. Those familiar with my work probably know that there’s always a story behind my music, lyrics, and visuals. I want to guide you through the song and the video. So, here we go.

The song

I wrote the first version of “Who Am I” four years ago. It was an instrumental with house elements, originally written to be part of my running jam, back in Athens where I still lived. Next step was putting some lyrics to it and making it a fun track called “Nonchalant” – a song that I never released. Little did I know that, after many reworks, it would become far less nonchalant and way more meaningful. Before going to the studio last summer, I sat again on that song. I had completely written it off as it was – a mix of hip-hop & RnB, with far too easy lyrics to fit to the rest of the album. I got back to the first version. There was something about those tropical synths and the loud hi-hat (yes, that’s intended) that kept me trying to find a way to include this tune on my solo debut LP. And so I did. It became the heart and the title of a whole chunk of work – a query, if you please, about humanity, the world we live in and our importance (or unimportance) as individuals and/or as a whole.

The video

Ironically, a song that went through several changes – sometimes drastic enough to switch it from the one genre box to the other, ended up being called “Who Am I” and paired up with a video that wasn’t originally made for it, but inspired by another song. Science may have proved that opposites attract each other – but that doesn’t always apply in life; like-minded people attract each other, too – perhaps more often than rarely. And since I’m a romantic, I like to think that a series of events brought Oirot Buntot (the director of the “Who Am I” video) and me together to magically intermix our artistic work and serve each other’s vision, while enhancing our own. How many chances for two independent artworks that were made at a different time, to find each other and become one thing?

So, you’ll ask, what’s “Who Am I” about?

I go on saying that we live in a world of broken values and ethics. What we used to know as right seems to fade – sometimes for a good reason, some others to take us back to scary times. Good things happen, bad things happen – but we’re spinning so fast. We struggle to keep up – at least I do. And as you already know, I believe that going back to our roots and revisiting our history might help us to see and act clearer. Already with my previous song, “Berlin During Winter”, I talked to you about how I see things – how I don’t see a point in repeating mistakes and the importance of introspection.

That question – who am I? So simple, yet so emotionally charged. I went on for years asking who am I and where do I belong. Although, I always felt connected to my Greek roots, but disconnected from Greece’s modern society. I always wanted to fly away from my mother land’s nest. When I did, I realised that people, in the exact moment they would learn that I’m Greek, they would reduce me to that, when all I wanted was to take bits and pieces of all cultures and be a real citizen of the world. However, it seems like my heritage can’t let me be what I want to be – and I don’t blame it a single bit.

Who am I or how am I?

For as it may be, in my head, I am who I want to be. For as limits me, I’m a version of who my younger self wanted to be. She had a dream and she followed it, regardless her background or her gender. Or what people thought of her – contrary to their plans based on her fragility. And I honour her for that – for always knowing she was underestimated. That’s why her choices were seen as risks. And she always counted on their surprise. Yet, restlessly spirited, she always cried in front of the mirror, asking herself who she is and wanting to go home – wherever home would be.

Fast forward to today, my “who am I” question is not addressed to my idol in the mirror. My “who am I” is addressed to each and every reading my texts. I’ve matured enough to know that who we truly are reflects on our relationships and positions for and against others. It’s like an equation. The sum of the “how” and the “what” result to the “who”. How am I. What am I. Who I am. And bits and parts of our cultures and daily life, sexual orientation and skin colour influence our id. However, none of it should define it.

Why do we still to categorise people?

Nowadays, all the labels we tried to remove are deliberately recalled. Like a sentenced to life prisoner who’s just been opened the prison’s gate to run freely and never look back – never come back despite his actions. All the boxes we destroyed are being made new as if we struggle in their absence to find meaning to our lives. And there’s so much injustice all around us, but we – so drawn by our own interpretation of existentialism – use those brought-back labels to float in a pool set next to the ocean. Confused – how can I contribute to the society when I am so broken?

My song “Who Am I” is about the modern disorientation. We’re torn apart between what we used to know and the new, fast-paced, hi-tech world of opportunities and horror. Despite our mistrust in the system, we still seek out to politics to save us. However, the leaders of the world do nothing for all the hate that’s spreading like an epidemic disease. In fact, it is an epidemic disease, but there are so many ways to protect ourselves from it – credible, although established in an analogue way and are not necessarily lab-approved. Goodness, respect, knowledge are some prophylactic measures that we can (re)integrate into our daily lives. Why so hard? Why so difficult?

If statues could talk whose side would they take?

With love,

Sarah P. single Who Am I (still from video directed by Oirot Buntot)

Sarah P. single Who Am I (video directed by Oirot Buntot)

Sarah P. single Who Am I (still from video directed by Oirot Buntot)

Sarah P. single Who Am I (still from video directed by Oirot Buntot)

Sarah P. single Who Am I (still from the video directed by Oirot Buntot)

The video for “Who Am I” is the directorial debut of Oirot Buntot. It’s filmed at the stunning Teatro Rossi Aperto. Stay tuned for an interview that’s coming up with the director. I got to ask him some questions on the video, his work & future projects.

poem : put on your nice clothes

Poem: Today Put On Your Nice Clothes

Hi everyone,

Today is a day that nerves are tested. America’s decision affect the rest of the world. However, as the Obamas leave and the Trumps move in, we shall remain calm and keep our heads up. So I invite you all to put on your nice clothes. Today we will observe. But from tomorrow and on, we must react. Not in an angry way, not in fear – but with pride. So put on your nice clothes, wear your beliefs and ideals as your hat and stand tall. I don’t have much more to say – it’s one rare moment that I ran out of words. But I will keep on dreaming of a better future and a better world and I will keep on believing that my dream can come true.

With love and with hope,

Today Put On Your Nice Clothes

Wake up from your dream.
Today is here.
Get out of your bed.
You dread it, I know – me, too.
But compared to the other days, today is sunnier – at least in my head.
Let’s step on a cloud and watch the world from above.
To see things clearer.
Come on, get up.
You’ve got this.

poem : put on your nice clothes 1

Let’s put on some clothes.
Let’s pretend that it’s spring.
Winter is here.
He’s making his presence strong.
He’s visible.
He stands above our heads, grilling his teeth &
showing off a power that you and I cannot control – or so we’re told to.
But never mind;
you and I have plans.
We have plans for today.

poem : put on your nice clothes 2

You look nice.
You put on your nice clothes to celebrate life with me.
A good life that you and I intend to live.
I know the weight you carry is heavy, but we can share it.
And together, we could – I say we could put it away.
Maybe not today, but in a long run, we surely could.
I have time, do you?
I think you do – you and I share more than you think.
As friends, as people.
We share the same story.
We have the same fate.
After all, it all breaks to one thing.
And you have a heart – I have a heart, too.
You have a brain – I have a brain, too.
We think, we breathe and we feel.

poem : put on your nice clothes 3

You’re hesitant – reluctant.
You’re scared.
I’m scared, too.
I’m afraid that today is the day that all we know will start fading.
But how would that be possible – look at the sun, how it’s shining today!
For you and me.
For the “we can do this.”
For the “we’ve got this.”

poem : put on your nice clothes 4

So stand up, sit straight!
We’re proud people and we intend to be seen as such.
Are you nervous?
I am, too.
My stomach is tied as a tight knot and I have no appetite.
I could sit all day long on my rocking chair, staring at the void.
But I won’t.
Neither will you.
Today, we’re pretending it’s spring.
Blossoming hearts and thoughts all over.

poem : put on your nice clothes 5

We don’t surrender.
We shall resist.
Our minds are taught to freely think, our mouths are taught to freely speak.
We shall hear what others have to say, but we don’t need to agree.
We can peacefully coexist, despite our disagreements.
Maybe we can do so – from today.
From today and on.

poem : put on your nice clothes 6

Cover Who Am I, Berlin During Winter, Christoph Neumann, www.christoph-neumann.com

New Song: Berlin During Winter

I’m really excited to share with you my new song “Berlin During Winter”, out of my upcoming full-length album Who Am I (out on May 12, 2017).

Hi everyone,

I’m excited to share with you the first piece of my upcoming album. It’s called “Berlin During Winter”. Although it’s chosen as your introductory song to Who Am I, it’s actually the closing track of the record. Genre-wise, if I have to put it in a box, I’d say it’s electro ambient-core. Lyric-wise, “Berlin During Winter” has a twofold meaning. The obvious one, as the title suggests, takes you on a walk through Berlin, during the cold months. Everything is gray and freezing cold. All colors are faded as if a painter mixed them with black and white tones. As cold as Berlin gets, cold enough to even freeze the people’s emotions, it sort of leads you to the second interpretation; depression.

It’s not you, Berlin, it’s me!

I’m not new to depression. Are you? I believe that most of us suffer from it, at least up to some degree. I mean, there’s pressure from all sides. Rent, food, clothes, relationships. On top of that we’ve added ourselves another worry – our image, how do people perceive us in the so-called “outside world”. We have profiles on various platforms where, to get (the) likes (of people), we really need to put some effort. Whether profiled as snarky or cutesy or something in between, we learned which one is our good angle, which type of photos are driving more traffic to our channels, which one is our niche. And although seeing it all written down makes it look frivolous and futile, we’re totally going to scroll through photos anytime soon – if we’re not doing that already because texts are (considered to be) boring and “a photo is a thousand words”.

However, there are some things that not even the sad, crying emoji can express. Devastation, pain, sorrow, war. And oh boy, there’s war all around us. There’s hate all around us and unfortunately, in real life, we can’t block the haters. The internet life is taking over the offline one and creating chaos. Hate is making the world go around, swirling us all in a big, fat tornado. And if that’s not depressing, I don’t know what is.

“Berlin During Winter” may be reflecting my personal struggles, but is also mirroring what I’m seeing around me. You may think “what’s she, crazy auntie – what does she speak?”. I may be “crazy”, my mental health may be “unstable”, as many people have pointed out to hurt me, but I know my battles and I fight to win. And I advise you to do the same. “Berlin During Winter” is about all the things that I cannot wrap around my head, yet I’m trying to. In order to move forward and be better. For the sake of filling my life with meaningful things. To change something.

The video

As spontaneous as I am, and while following the events in the current war zones, I decided to make a video for “Berlin During Winter”. Berlin happens to be my current home, but the song’s setting is absolutely symbolical. All footage I used is under public domain license. It’s basically archives of war. I want to warn you that this video contains pictures that may be offensive or disturbing to some of you. I want to apologize in advance, in case you’re feeling that way. Despite how graphic the content may be, how it’s making you wanting to look away, I want to remind you that these things happened and unfortunately, continue to happen up to today.

We can’t undo our history, but we can learn from it and shape our future. Especially this winter, now that the holiday season is coming to an end, it’s about time that we break from our bubble. We spent so much money on gifts and parties while knowing that people somewhere else were dying or taken their homes away. Τhe hypocrisy levels we have hit are beyond embarrassing and it’s about time that we do something. Regardless of how perfect our (social media) lives may be, we shall turn around and see the world without beautifying filters. We need to roll up our sleeves and ACT NOW. Not in a superficial way, not with hashtags. This time, for real.

With respect and much love,

Spotify | iTunes | YouTube

The cover photo is by Christoph Neumann , edited by Panos Kondylis. All footage used for my video is in the public domain, as found on Pond5. Warning: content may be offensive or disturbing to some audiences. Apologies to whomever experiences a personal distress after watching the video.

The Magic Inside - My Little Pony Cover by Sarah P. - Artwork

“The Magic Inside”: I just covered a My Little Pony song!

Hi everyone,

I just released a cover from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. It’s called “The Magic Inside” and all money raised will go to the Animal Welfare Institute. You can get it on Bandcamp, through the series “A little Bit For Charity”, curated by Eivind Kikerby. Eivind reaches out to indie artists (no matter the genre) and asks them to cover one song in their style. It’s so heart-warming seeing all those bands responding positively to his request and delivering such quality pieces. Kudos to everyone. I’m really happy and humbled to be part of such great effort.

To be frank with you, I wrote the text to go with “The Magic Inside” release a week ago. Some parts I decided to keep, while I edited others after Monday’s news. I cannot stay silent – I never have. To put it in simple words, wherever we go, wherever we come from, there are good people and bad people. There are people with values and there are people who are bloodthirsty and cruel. It’s up to each of us to pick a side. No matter the skin color, religion or how much money we have in our pocket, we must line up, stand by each other, not oppose one another. We shall not be anyone’s pawns. Media and people of power are playing us all, making us fear to live our lives. We shall remain united, no matter how the self-proclaimed world saviors want us divided.

Who would tell ponies and humans are so much alike?

I want to say we all have “The Magic Inside”. Well, is that true? No matter how stupid this question may sound, I want to ask: have you ever watched “My Little Pony”? This children’s series is all about the message. All protagonists showcase a strong community feeling. Sometimes they struggle with their responsibilities towards their society, but with a little help from their friends, they make the world go around! The ponies make mistakes, they learn from them and constantly move forward. “My Little Pony” is like a mirror to humanity that’s showing us the best we can be.

By going back to this show and seeing Eivind’s action, I was reminded of all the good that people are capable of. 

Sometimes we forget or feel that there’s nothing we can do. Still though, there’s always something that we can give back to our societies. No matter where we come from or where we live, there’s always something we can do. During the holiday season(s), we’re putting our good people’s clothes on. We’re more likely to support the ones in need and (generally) do good during that time. How about keeping this spirit all year around?

“The Magic Inside” us all.

When I heard “The Magic Inside” for the first time I felt empowered. It’s funny how the words coming out of pony’s mouth can be so relatable. Especially during these times, when fear and hate try to get into us, we shall remember more often of the beauty of life and coexistence. Why forgetting about the magic that each being has inside themselves? Sometimes, we get pushed to take wrong turns in our lives, but it’s up to us to make it right again. Don’t you agree?

In sum, may the lyrics of “The Magic Inside” remind us that personality can drive us further than the lack of it. We all have a little magic inside of us, but we shall learn how to use it and/or tame it. Making mistakes is human, repeating them is silly. Let’s start supporting life (human and not). Let’s stop undermining our societies by being disrespectful and/or lazy. We shall all start working from within, understanding ourselves, spotting our troubles, fixing our wounds. Some want us to hate each other, but we shall resist. After all, we’re not only harming humanity – all kinds of life are affected. It’s about time that we start caring a bit more before it’s too late.

With much love,


PS: “The Magic Inside” was originally written by Daniel Ingram & Amy Keating Rogers. Originally sung by Lena Hall, there was no chance to top that! But as the character does in the series, I had to embrace myself and cover it my way. It’s the 14th song of the fifth season, so I saw it as a sign (the number 14 means a lot to me). The character’s name is Coloratura. Coloratura is the biggest pop star among the ponies. She wrote that song after she was reminded that what’s important in life is who she really is. You can find more information here.

All rights are with the writers of the song and Hasbro. This cover is not a commercial release – all profits go to the Animal Welfare Institute. All proceedings are channelled via A Little Bit For Charity.

“Who Am I” - Sarah P. - Album Cover - Photo by Christoph Neumann

Who Am I, Who Are We?

Today, I’m writing to share with you the first details of my upcoming full-length. It’s called “Who Am I” and consists of ten songs that I wrote in Berlin while thinking of Athens. And the world. And everything that’s been happening.

So yes, this post is about my new album, but my intentions are far from being promotional. Over the past seven years I’ve been asking myself, “who am I?” and even further than that, over the past many years, I’ve been asking myself “who are the people around me?” and “who are the people who govern us?” Because everything seems so vain and/or futile, and we’re always told we only live once.

That’s what “Who Am I” is about…

“Who Am I” is my ode to our humanly deep need of security and love. But for love to reign and run abundant, it has to be contrasted by the worst feelings one can imagine. I don’t know if that’s always the case, but often it is – which is sad. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot – not just the physically typed words, but also their undertones, their meanings and motives and I’ve realized how hard it is to read something that’s simply just hard facts – the truth. Perhaps, it’s in our nature – the inability to be completely objective and reliable when delivering news or decisions.

We have so much in common – all of us, really. Yet, we choose to see more where we differ. Because, maybe, we haven’t decided what it is that we want – to belong somewhere or to be unique? And although it can be possible to belong somewhere while remaining unique and special, we tend to always want what we don’t have. As if we’re constantly on a roll, searching for grandeur or, simply, a purpose. A purpose that’s, hopefully, accepted by some and ideally by most. But we can’t be one, can we? We’ll always be divided, up to some extent. And it feels like a mission of our communities and nations to never ever change the fact that there will always be another community or nation that ours despises.

Our ethics and our cultures are always shaping us but what we become is completely our choice. As I mentioned, I’ve been constantly asking myself “who am I”? Have you? Especially during our particularly troubled times, some introspection is more than needed. Looking inside or facing ourselves in the mirror, confronting whoever has lied to us, even if that’s our own selves – that’s necessary. That’s a responsibility we have towards each other. How can we change things or ever be happy if we don’t know who we are and what we want?

And of course, we’re beings on a perpetual movement. We evolve as we go, we become better. New technologies, new standards, new laws, new norms – do we realize the change? Or do we go with the flow? Whatever the case is, we’re changing, regardless. As we grow, we’re becoming a mix of things, often holding on to contradictory beliefs and ideas – we don’t even understand their contradiction or the conflict they’re causing to our minds and hearts.

I can give you an example.

The personal conflicts

Since I can remember, I’ve always struggled with my body image and weight. I’ve been taught I should be thin and criticized whenever I gained one/two kilos. At some point, I took my obsession to the extreme. I wouldn’t be eating for days and sometimes I didn’t even drink water in the fear my belly would look bloated. Thankfully, I used my brain, worked on myself and tried to follow a balanced diet…but my hormones did not agree. I started swelling and swelling and I started hating my body and the looks it was receiving. At drama school or at band rehearsal, I would hear how I’m “not skinny enough”. Everybody would point out that I had been gaining weight, making cruel comments, putting me in a position in front of others even though they knew that my health wasn’t in good condition. When at home, I would pull my oldest clothes out of my closet, put them on, see they wouldn’t fit and start punishing myself. That was when I started harming myself.

But here’s the catch, here’s how conflicted I am as a person. I’ve always been against superficial discrimination – I believe there’s beauty in every single person. Yet, I never managed to like myself. Perhaps, that’s the reason why I picked the stage as a career, as a constant reminder/punishment for my what-I-think-as shortcomings. Because I always thought, everyone shall wear their face and body with pride, except me. And believe me, writing these words and even more, knowing or looking back to a completely unnecessary trouble I’ve weighed myself down with, makes me feel utterly embarrassed. Because I could have spent my time – I could have put my energy hating myself – elsewhere.

That’s just an example of the unknown, the contradictory and the conflict as a moment of truth, if you please. For a long while, I thought I was alone. Now I know that I’m not. My album “Who Am I” is dedicated to all those feeling a bafflement right to their heart. But our health (body and mental) must come first. Our liberty to express ourselves and our safety when doing so must come first. Our similarities with one another should be spotlighted – now more than ever. Because we can learn from each other.

If you’re feeling lost or confused because of our societies, because of yours or your neighbor’s choices or words – you’re not alone. If you feel angry or sad, you’re not alone. If you feel that you’re not accepted or you’re hurt – for whatever reason, please know that you’re not alone. Whatever you may be struggling with, please know that you’re not alone. I’m with you. There’s no right and there’s no wrong, but there’s hope. And while we’re feeling defeated, even during those dark hours, there’s hope that we can do better. And we will. As long as we all fight on the same side. At least, a girl can dream…

If you have anything to tell me, if you want to talk or share your stories and opinions, feel free to write me. I’ll be looking forward to it.

Much love,

“Who Am I” - Sarah P. - Album Cover - Photo by Christoph Neumann
Album cover photo by Christoph Neumann

“Who Am I” is out on May 12, 2017, via EraseRestart. The first single “Berlin During Winter” will be released with the start of the new year, in early January.

“Who Am I” was written in Berlin and produced at Artracks Studios, Athens.

Song titles:

  1. A Letter From Urban Street
  2. ForgetRegret
  3. Away From Me
  4. Instead Of You
  5. LoveStory
  6. Summer Prince
  7. Who Am I
  8. Millennial Girl
  9. To You
  10. Berlin During Winter

Some thoughts, inspired by Reeperbahn Festival

Hi there, I hope you’re all doing great. I’m back to my normal rhythms, after one very intense week, including two live shows, a trip to Hamburg for Reeperbahn Festival, much music, and many thoughts.

To start from somewhere, on the 16th of September, a new collaboration of mine was released. The song is called “So Real” and you can find it on all on-line stores and streaming platforms. Hiras and I wrote that song a while ago and I’m really happy to share it with you. He’s the producer I co-wrote “Golden Deer” with and let me say this, our working together doesn’t end here. I’m a sucker for his catchy, pop tunes & his inspiration is never-ending, so there shall be plenty more to come! His EP “So Real/Keep Breathing” was just released via The Sound Of Everything and I would highly recommend it if you’re a fan of well-done nostalgic synth pop.

A different show in Berlin.

Last Monday, I performed in Berlin at one of the most beautiful venues of the city. It’s called Gruener Salon (Green Salon). Everything in there is emerald-green. The curtains, the chandeliers, the seats. Given that my show would take place under such a classy roof, I have to admit I was very nervous. It’s a venue that’s somehow dictating you how to move or act, while in it. Imposing and atmospheric, special and with character, Gruener Salon’s stage gave me the chance to perform like at no other show. The guests were sitting during most of the show, which gave a completely different meaning to it. It occurred me later on, but that was no music gig. That was a performance show. Hopefully, all the nice people who joined me and my band for that evening, left that full-on green room smiling and entertained enough.

Whoever has seen me performing, whether that was with my old band or in my new pop outfit, they’re probably aware of my (almost intimidating, I’d dare to say) intensity, while I’m on stage. The set’s rolling and I show all my sides – from introverted to bubbly, from ecstatic to melancholic, from being a dark presence to smiling from ear to ear. I’m aware that my shows are no typical ones and if one’s expecting to see a band, they’re probably going leave disappointed. The show at Gruener Salon somehow helped realise who I am, what kind of art I’m making. And so, with these thoughts in my head, my team and I packed our stuff and drove to Hamburg, to attend and play this year’s Reeperbahn Festival.

My Reeperbahn Festival experience.

Reeperbahn Festival turned 11 years old. It’s a showcase and conference festival. It’s initially inspired by SXSW, but it’s executed in a European fashion. Among the music programme, there’re also films and arts shown – mostly to industry people, but also to locals, who, from what I heard, are waiting for this time of the year like the deserts for the rain. There’s also the NEXT conference running, which is focusing on world and humanity’s transformation through technology. Everything is compact. So many people running around. Reeperbahn Festival is a mix of indoors, outdoors and a city festival. Honestly, I have no idea how they do it, but they do it well. What arrives to the outside is an effortless production done by people who care for the visitors to have fun, while feeling safe and protected. I’d like to send a big shout out to all the people who worked at this year’s Reeperbahn Festival. They’ve been truly fantastic and, to my eyes, the best crew of all festivals I’ve visited both as an artist and as a fan.

My show was on Thursday at a semi-outdoorsy stage in Reeperbahn’s Spielbudenplatz. If you’ve never been to Hamburg and you plan to visit, you shall know that Reeperbahn itself is a very special district. It’s also been my first time there and although I like to brag that I don’t get that easily shocked, that’s the only place in the city where you realise it’s a Harbour town. Among a sea of sex shops, casinos, table dance clubs and sex workers who are trying to seduce the passengers at a price, while their pimps are watching over – among this sea of fast food love chains, bands & solo artists are playing shows one after the other, hoping their dreams will come true. I have to admit that this street co-existence with these beautiful women, whose eyes are sparkling hopes and dreams led me to a new term that’s summing up a music showcase setting, from the artist’s perspective: artists prostitution.

Photo by IK's World Trip (CC BY 2.0)

Reeperbahn by night. Photo by IK’s World Trip (CC BY 2.0).

Reality check.

To clear up the air, Reeperbahn Festival is great – I’m not throwing any dirt or something similar. They’re amazing at what they’re doing and probably that’s the reason I feel like expressing my thoughts now, although I could have done this in the past. Reeperbahn Festival is one of the few industry events that strives for perfection and holds an open mind for feedback. That’s my feeling, at least.

Every artist and band is told that showcase festivals are their chance to get signed and booked. To perform at such stages is tough work. You’re most likely given 20 minutes to set your stuff on stage and check the sound. The nerves and the expectations intertwine, leaving you numb. But goodness, no! You’ve got no time for this! In most cases, this is your one and only chance to impress and convince of excellence. If you’re “lucky”, you’re maybe booked at another stage. “You’re given the opportunity to make the best out of it”. That means you’re not getting paid to play. Again, if you’re lucky, somebody pays for your travel costs and accommodation. Once you’re done with your shows, you’ll probably go back directly, because you can’t afford to stay longer. Of course, you also have to pay the people who accompanied you on this rather ambitious mission of getting the right partners on board. You go back home and you cross your fingers that good news will reach your ears. Long story short, playing these shows is an absolute investment of money, time and energy.

Thankfully, I was able to stay all the way, till the end of Reeperbahn Festival. I got a conference ticket, which I wouldn’t even consider, if, as an artist, didn’t have an off deal. By running around to catch panel talks, keynotes and networking sessions, I realised how much I’ve been missing out all these years. You see, nowadays, most festivals have (at least up to some extent) similar activities and presentations, but as I wrote above, it’s likely for the artists to have time pressure. They may have to leave right away to catch the next show or to go home. It’s often that, if you have a booking agent, he/she’ll try to “make the best out of it” and book some other shows in the region or nearby. The “best of it” means playing shows, when it could also mean to learn something new and to get educated on matters of the industry that, as an artist and with your music, you’re the centre of.

Are the artists the third wheel?

If I’m disappointed about something is that (and especially in those settings) the artists themselves are certainly not treated as the centre of the music industry. Better try to call them the “third wheel”. It’s also no news that the industry itself is on a big transformation towards something that nobody knows what it’ll be, although everyone acts as if they do. Given the opportunity to be part of discussions, posing questions and meeting with people knowledgeable in their fields gave me such inspiration and fresh thoughts. A new head, one would say. While outside of the conference rooms everyone acts like they’re important, behind the walls and the closed doors everyone is very considered, kept together and concerned about the future of the industry. New ways are suggested, new ways can be found, but us, the creators, the music makers are most likely to leave it all in the hands of our managers, label people and publishers. Fun fact, we could be there and form it all new. Or at the very least, be part of the change. I don’t know why the musicians are so left out.

Caught in action. Photo by The Lost Realist during the Reeperbahn Festival performance.

Caught in action – shows have become even more fun, now we’ve added some new toys! We need to put our best foot forward, after all. Photo by The Lost Realist during the Reeperbahn Festival performance.

You have no idea, how often I’ve been told that I’m the exception, being aware of the music industry and of my rights. Still, though, I have to admit that most of the people are looking at me with suspicion. They’re assuming I cannot talk about business because I’m probably… just an artist. I’ve heard managers talking about their bands as if they’re their toys, their bosses. Once you flip the coin, you’ll face far too many frustrated musicians. Some have no clue of what’s been happening with their music or the finances of their group. They don’t know what to do. It’s not that artists do not want to know about the mundane parts of the music business. It’s that they’re not encouraged to do so! It’s like the boys having to play with cars and the girls having to play with dolls. Everything else seems a taboo. But it’s 2016 and taboos are sort of irrelevant. So are stereotypes and conservatism.

I’ve seen people driven mad trying to fight for their rights. I’ve been one of those. During those times, I lost my sleep, my appetite, I lost my flair for life. Being independent is all cool and amazing, but it’s a full-time, hard job. What I’m missing from the music industry and scene is the artists being treated as more than just performers and writers.

There are solutions…

Surely, it’s not all painted black. If the responsible people start calling artists at the festival panels, for instance. Not to sell records and success stories, but to speak their truth. Artists shall be encouraged to be part of the conference audience or of the networking sessions. Same with the music fans. They shall be encouraging them to see what’s behind the scenes. They shall be shown what’s happening when the lights are off. If all sides understand each other, the change will come so naturally, like a sea breeze. Being in the dark can make one lose their mind. I surely talk from a perspective. These industry events shall be an opportunity for all of us to meet and exchange views and ideas. We’re there, all in one place. Let’s connect!

To bring this to an end, I’d love to thank Reeperbahn Festival for triggering all these thoughts with their perfect organisation and openness. Showcase festivals could become the new age fairs – it would not be just the artists showcasing their work. Music experts could also showcase and share their knowledge with the rest of us. That’s my wish. I hope it comes true.

With much love,

Sarah P.

Band photo! Shot by The Lost Realist.

Band photo! Just a glimpse of how a Sarah P. live show looks like. Shot by The Lost Realist.

Special thanks to Christoph Neumann & The Lost Realist for the great photos, Steinrohner for the great outfits, Loft Concerts, Sentric Music, and Hellbig Music.