When Derry singer Sarah Griffin was a small baby she had to endure 16 different blood transfusions.
Sarah says that neither of her parents were musical which led to her mother coming up with the theory that the person who donated the blood that saved Sarah’s life must have been a singer.
“My mum always jokes that because neither her or my dad are singers I had to have gotten my talent from whoever donated the blood - my mum thinks that they must have been a singer,” she jokes.
Twenty-two year-old Sarah is the youngest of two children and she was born and reared in Westend Park by her parents Patricia and Raymond. She has one older brother Conal.
Sarah is a healthcare worker and nurses older people at the Creggan Day Care Centre near Central Drive. In her spare time she is a singer and since she was a little girl it’s been the only passion she has known.
“I sing at work to the older people with Alzheimer’s,” explains Sarah. “I do that every Tuesday and Thursday as part of the musical therapy - I think they like it,” she said.
Sarah noticed an advertisement in the Derry Journal before Christmas. A musician/song writer from Castlefin, called Sean McBride, was looking for a singer to perform his songs. Sarah, who has years of experience behind her, contacted Sean and in the last few months they recorded a single and video. The song is called ‘Afraid’.
“There’s another singer in America called Sarah Griffin so I had to change my performer’s name to Sadie Marie,” explained Sarah.
“I think it was my mum or dad who saw the advertisement in the Journal and they told me to go for it - so I did.
“I think the lyrics to Sean’s songs are brilliant. The lyrics are very important to me.
“We recorded the song at FlatPack Recording Studios in Letterkenny. I’ve some really positive feedback on YouTube and Facebook. If anyone fancies having a listen they should go on and search for it online.”
Sarah and Sean have several other songs in the pipeline and there’s even the possibility of an appearance on the prestigious Jools Holland Show.
“Sean knows one of the producers of the show and I think that he liked our video. Sean’s hopeful that we could appear on the show in the near future.”
Sarah is a former pupil of the Bunscoil at Steelstown and attended the now defunct Manscoil Colaiste Bhride before finishing her A-levels at St. Brigid’s High School in Carnhill.
“I owe a lot to my two music teachers, Evelyn McGinley and Ryan McKenna, at St. Brigid’s - they really gave me the push the confidence to believe in myself.”
Sarah was singing songs almost as early as she was walking. When she was at primary and secondary school she performed in countless musicals and stage plays such as ‘Oliver’, ‘Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ and ‘High School Musical’. She has performed the An Ri Ra Montana Irish Festival, Baltimore and at the Northern Ireland Bureau in Washington on St. Patrick’s Day.
Sarah also has a diploma in musical theory from University of Ulster, Magee and has a Grade Eight in Voice.
Sarah also performed a song for famous DJ Paul van Dyke. The song is called ‘Follow Me’ and will be released in Ibiza this summer.
“I don’t want to get my hopes up too much because I love singing and it’s something that I never want to lose my passion for.
“I am not one of these X-Factor types - I want to be known for being me and for being a good singer. If it happens, it happens.”
When she’s not busy working or recording new singles, Sarah sings in a local band called ‘Odyssey’. The five piece band plus Sarah have performed at many large events and weddings.
“Myself and Sean have another song called ‘Live Sized Doll’ that we hope to record soon. Everything’s going well at the minute and hopefully I’ll be able to spread my wings and start making an impact in other countries.
“I am also really excited about Derry’s year as City of Culture because it will be the perfect time for a singer like myself to shine. I just love singing and if I get the opportunity to do something during City of Culture I will be over the moon.”
As a youngster growing up in Westend Park, Sarah was influenced by singers such as Mary Black, Annie Lennox and Martina McBride but now in her early twenties she listens to singers like Adele and Beyonce.
“The reason that I like listening to Beyonce is because I absolutely adore good lyrics.
“Beyonce’s lyrics are amazing and really appeal to me. I also like Adele, I think she is so talented and if I was to get within half of what she has achieved then I will have been very lucky.” she smiled.
When asked for her hopes and ambitions for the future Sarah that she dreams of a recording contract and touring the world.
“Ask anyone, trying to make it big in the music business is very, very hard to crack. There are so many other people trying to do the same thing but hopefully if everything starts to go well I will start to see a few doors start to open.“If I was to meet you again in 12 months I would love to be on tour somewhere singing all of my own songs.”
To listen to ‘Afraid’ visit the following link http://bit.ly/LjJnqk or visit Sarah Griffin on Facebook