Premiere opportunity: Toronto’s Sarah Shafey set to release first single from forthcoming album

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Photo Credit: Paul Steward
       

June 17, 2022 – Toronto, ON: Today, Canadian singer-songwriter, producer and mixing engineer Sarah Shafey has released Pick Up The Phone, the second single off her forthcoming album Blackbox Universe, out September 23. In the premiere by Canadian Beats, they described the track as “reminiscent of 80s and 90s pop but with a modern twist.”

Sarah Shafey has been described as having striking vocals & creating infectious electro-pop, and she continues to deliver on all fronts in her second single Pick Up The Phone. This song is about calling someone and they pretend they don’t see it and it’s also about being careful with these little devices that we have in our hands everyday of our lives.

“Our phones can either destroy us or make us better as people,” says Sarah candidly. “It’s a choose your own adventure type of thing. Choose wisely.”

Throughout Sarah’s writing experience she explores different versions of herself, which she has characterized through the singles being released leading up to her fourth album. With the first single, Competitor, we saw the character Princess Layla (an Egyptian Princess) visualized through the imagery for the single as well as in Act 1 of Shafey’s comic book series. With the second single, Pick Up The Phone, we are introduced to Suzy Q (an adoring wife). Act 2 of the comic series can be read here.

“We all have different versions of ourselves so I felt the need to explore who they were,” says Sarah. “Some of it was a shedding of skin that I don’t want anymore and other elements are more closely aligned with who I am now and want to be more like.”

On her fourth album, Blackbox Universe, Sarah Shafey delivers her most theatrical album to date. Filled with big, bold, heavy production, this genre-bending collection includes influences of electronic, pop and rock. Shafey brilliantly weaves themes of unveiling different versions of ourselves, women empowerment and science fiction, while captivating listeners with her seamless vocals and strong production.

As an advocate for women’s empowerment, Blackbox Universe is a homage to celebrating the different facets of womanhood. Sarah is proud to have co-produced, co-engineered and co-mixed the album with Hill Kourkoutis; the first female to win a JUNO award in the Recording Engineer of the Year category (2022). Hill has produced for and played with some of Canada’s most notable artists including The Weeknd, July Talk, Serena Ryder, Madison Violet, SATE, Good Lovelies, Dear Rouge, Adam Cohen and more. Mastered by Kristian Montano of Montano Mastering, the album features musicians Sekou Lumumba on drums (Serena Ryder, Bedouin Soundclash, Kardinal Offishall, Thornley), cellist and Grammy-nominated songwriter Michael Peter Olsen (Drake, Arcade Fire, Funeral, K-OS) and well-known Toronto guitarist Mike Celia.

From her previous three albums and a decade-long history in the Toronto music scene, Sarah Shafey has been praised for her sophistication and professional production. She’s been described as powerful, influential and independent, with each release receiving rave reviews throughout the Toronto community and across internet music blogs. Although she has mixed albums for bands across genres in her studio Squeaky Clean Records, her personal sound has grown over the past decade from piano folk-pop, to emotive alternative and grungy shoegaze rock, to the present with the pop, electronic, and rock vibes of her forthcoming release. Along with her powerhouse team, Shafey has created a transcendent soundscape with Blackbox Universe, confirming her talent goes far beyond one specific genre.

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