The Next Great Canadian Star
Sabrina Korva is a 19 year-old musician
from Vancouver. She's taking the slow and steady path while building a
career in rock and roll. She's been working on her debut record for awhile
now and might not have it out until 2007. She's not courting the major
labels either, opting to take a more independent route. But one quick listen
to her songs show talent far beyond the next new "it girl". I talked to
Sabrina while she was in Toronto recently and she brought us up to speed
on her debut record and how she got her start.
antiMUSIC: For a lot of us, who are
just getting to know you, can you get us up to speed on Sabrina Korva?
How did you get involved with this as a career and what led up to where
you are right now?
Sabrina: Well there's a lot of stuff
that has happened in the past five years. I'm 19 years old and from Vancouver.
I've been writing music since I was 13. I was studying classical piano
and writing all kinds of stuff. Then in the winter of 2000 when I was 13,
I went to a Bryan Adams show, I got called up on stage and sang a duet
with him. It was very unexpected. It was one of those being at the right
place/right time kind of things. Every night he could call up a girl to
sing the song that he had recorded with one of the Spice Girls. It was
just a regular thing. When he called me up, it got a lot of attention.
I guess a lot of the girls in other cities were just like "Oh My God" and
would just kind of stand there. With me, it was really weird because he
was such a nice, down-to-earth guy and just being on stage after a few
minutes felt really cool and just natural, you know? So after that, I got
a lot of press in Vancouver and somehow word got down to the States, and
that's how I started working with a lot of musicians down there. Then I
came back to Vancouver and worked with Todd Kearns and it was just one
thing after another. Things just kept progressing. Next thing I just had
some really great demos and then I started traveling around and playing
shows at festivals in the States and Canada and meeting a lot of people.
So now I'm working on my album in LA with some really great songwriters
down there. It took off when I was really young and I've just been at it
It was always something I wanted to do
but I was really young. I was in my first year of high school. I was kind
of quiet…I mean I was loud and outgoing with my friends but …. all of a
sudden I was that kid. Everybody knew my name. It just blew up like that.
I had already actually done a record with material I had written with a
songwriter in Vancouver. We were recording an album but it wasn't anything
like I knew exactly what I would be doing later on. I mean, I was 13 years-old.
I was like, maybe I want to be a fashion designer. Maybe I just want to
be a composer. Maybe I want to be an artist. And all of a sudden everything
was thrown at me. I was on planes from Florida to LA to Nashville…Toronto.
I was playing all these places and meeting people, and writing and recording.
And all of a sudden it was like, "This is what I want to do." So I just
kept on with it. And I lucked out because it turned out to be what I wanted
to do in the end because it all worked out. Sometimes the best things happen
unexpectedly. Because everything you do leads to the next thing. It's not
like you sit around waiting for something to happen and it all gets thrown
at you. You have to go from thing to thing. And I've been really lucky.
I've got a lot of great people around me supporting me. Nobody can do this
on their own. But you have to really want it. If you don't want it bad
enough, you're going to say, "OK screw this. I'm going home." At one point,
I wasn't sure that I was physically able to finish high school. I wasn't
in one city long enough to finish. Luckily, I made it work because I was
sticky about it because there was no way I was not going to finish high
school. And you miss a lot of things. My friends would be going, "C'mon.
How come you're not coming?" But I'd have to fly to Florida or something.
But you've got to do what you've got to do. I think I got the best of both
worlds though. I still got good grades. I studied a lot. But when you're
gone for a month and you come to math class… (laughs). But it's all worth
antiMUSIC: So how is the record going?
Sabrina: Really good. We've got
a lot of songs on the go. Even a lot of them are quite finished. The goal
though, was to have about 25-30 really good songs to choose from for a
first record. The cool thing is that once you have that many songs, when
it comes time to put out a second record, if you need to put it out really
quick, you've got enough sitting there, which is great. I'm working with
a lot of cool people and the songs are turning out really well. It's hard
to describe. There's not really anybody else out there today doing this,
as a female anyway. I a lot of people are describing my material to the
Pretenders, Joan Jett --- that kind of thing. A really raw rock. It's not
at all pretentious sounding or pop rock. It's just rock and roll. Even
the ballads. It's not like, "Here's my pop song from the album." The funniest
thing is when you have a rock band and they've got two songs on the radio
and they're both pop songs. And a lot of time, as an artist, you don't
have that control if you're with a record label. So I wanted to go against
the grain in that sense. It's just….this is me. I'm going to write my songs.
I'm not going to try to write anything in particular. I'm just going to
write whatever comes out. And it's been going really well. It's not anywhere
near finished. I hope to have it done by the end of the year, but we'll
antiMUSIC: You've got a great voice
as one can tell from one quick listen to "Why". Would you rather be known
for your voice or your songwriting?
Sabrina: Thank you. That means so
much to me because that's totally just my song. I wrote it in two nights
and recorded it really rough at my friend's studio. Usually I ponder a
lot on new songs when I'm writing them and leave them for a couple of days
and then go back and then maybe a line or two or whatever. But "Why" just
came out. The music came out first with the melodies and then the next
night, the lyrics just poured out. And I just went "Wow. That hasn't happened
much before." I just wanted to get it down. I wanted to record it because
it was done, you know? And it was just a cool feeling to have it done so
quick. I played 12-string on that one and that's what gave it that really
cool sound. It might sound like an effect or whatever but I just played
a six-string and a 12-string and that was it. And production-wise, if I
were to do anything to it, I would imagine it kind of sounding like "Mama
I'm Coming Home" by Ozzy.
To some people I think it would mean more
for an artist to have a good voice. But there are so many girls out there
with great voices. And you watch American Idol or whatever and there's
these girls who can't write a song to save their lives…or maybe they can…I
don't know…You don't get to see. But their voices are just amazing. But
as a songwriter, you want to be known as that as well. I've never really
thought about how people see me a lot of the time. I just do what I do
and don't even think about it. Also, when you're performing your own songs,
the performance definitely comes out a lot better. If you written the song,
you know exactly what you're saying and how you want to say it. And it
just seems a lot more natural, at least from my experience. I've demoed
other people's songs before and I've demoed them and it just doesn't feel
the same. You just don't have that internal connection with the song. But
I'd like to be known as a songwriter and it's definitely a bonus if people
like my voice. It's actually a compliment when people say they like my
voice because that's something you can't really change. You're kind of
stuck with it. I can't sound like anybody else. So if people like it, it's
a great feeling for sure. Songwriting can be developed. And so can your
voice to a certain extent. But if somebody really finds your voice irritating,
no matter how good the song is, they're never going to listen to it.
antiMUSIC: You list all these '80s metal
bands on your site. How does somebody so young as you relate to bands like
Sabrina: I would say the best thing
for me is the big drum sound. That really gets me. You listen to Def Leppard
or somebody like that. I would rather listen to any of that than other
stuff with mellow drums. I don't know. It just gets you more into the beat
and gets you more into it. Especially if there's a big groove in the song.
It's so fun to listen to. And you look at the videos they made. They're
freaking FUN videos. And it feels like you're there. And the lead singers
were all great performers as well as great singers. I like that freedom
to move around the way they have. I mean I can play guitar to all my songs.
But it would be so boring when I can just play for a couple of songs and
then spend the rest of the time interacting with the crowd. Just dancing
and moving around….it's a great workout too (laughs). But yeah you watch
KISS, and Poison and Aerosmith, and Guns 'N Roses and it's just so different
than seeing a band play today. And not to put down current bands. There's
a lot of great bands out there today. I just love the bigness of the '80s.
The performances and everything. They were moving all over the place. I
don't know if the drugs and alcohol had anything to do with it. And the
show…even the lighting guys. They were just great. I mean, watch a Bon
Jovi tour from '86. I wish I could have been my age now, in '86. A lot
of people look at me funny over that stuff but it's alright. I don't mind
it. And you ask anybody who was going to shows at that time. They all say
they loved it. They were fun times. You never hear, "Oh man. That was so
boring." When a band is having fun and is happy and is having a great time
playing, it really shines on the audience and it makes everybody else like
they're having a great time as well. It's a very contagious thing. So it's
not just one thing. I love everything about that time. The sound of the
music was great. A lot of the songs were really great. And the singers
could really sing.
antiMUSIC: So…ultra talented…really
nice and funny…and a hottie…if I may say. 2006 will be the year for Sabrina
Korva I would bet, right?
Sabrina: You bet, man (laughs).
Now is the time for sure. There's still a lot of writing to be done on
the record but I write every day so we're definitely hoping it will be
out by the end of year. There's still a lot of stuff to be done but it's
hard to say. I'll keep everybody posted on my website sabrinakorva.com
and on MySpace of course.
antiMUSIC: OK, thanks a lot for taking
the time Sabrina. Best of luck with finishing the record and we'll talk
Sabrina: Thank you so much for talking
to me. Take care and Rock ON!!!
antiMUSIC and Morley Seaver thank Sabrina
for taking time out to do this interview.
the official homepage
page with songs!
articles for this artist
a friend about this review