From the recent Soulscape to the gigs at Timbre Substation, there is one lady that anyone and everyone should not missed out. Who is she? Is she a musician, a yogi or both? Is she a fitness enthusiast? Well, she is none other than Sara Wee – the vocalist and guitarist of the band, 53A, a mentor for Timbre Music Academy, a Nike Training Club trainer, an enthusiastic yogi and the list goes on. She seems like a superwoman, doesn’t she? With her talents, achievements and hectic schedules, it is hard to deny that she is not. Graduating from Lasalle College of the Arts with a Diploma in Music Tech and a Degree in Jazz, Sara’s talent in music is way more than what her certificates can justify. Not only is she a singer for the famous local band, 53A, she is also the guitarist for them. Not to forget, she is also a mentor for Timbre Music Academy. Besides, her videos on her Youtube channels are always flooded with compliments and amazement. With such an achievement in the music industry, one would wonder, did she have an interest in music since she was a kid? Is her talent in music a genetic thing?
“I started singing at a really young age. I have always been exposed to music since my relatives on the paternal side of my family are very musically-inclined. My cousin is actually a drummer for the band -ASIWYFA! In fact, I am lucky that my parents have always been extremely supportive of me pursuing music.”
Despite her parents’ unwavering support for her interest in music, one would agree that setting up a band is a pretty brave move, especially in Singapore. So, who or what motivated her to set up the band- 53A, and what are the hardships that they, together as a band, have faced?
“It (Setting up 53A) all happened very organically. Nothing was calculated or planned at all. I was studying in Lasalle and my course mate introduced me to Alvin. We started gigging and everything just took off from there. I think we’ve had it very easy compared to a lot of other people in the industry. Yet, I never ever will forget the people who have helped us along the way and will never take this (53A’s achievements) all for granted. The biggest hardship we’ve faced was when our first drummer Irwan left to further his career as a Music Examiner, but we lucked out the day Helman decided to join us. We draw support and motivation from each other. The whole band gets along and we function well both as colleagues and friends. Of course, a big thank-you to people who have been supporting us from Day One.”
Indeed, with the fans’ undying support and the band’s hardwork, 53A is now one of the most reputable band in Singapore. Not only have they performed at Timbre Substation, they have also performed at Wala Wala and Harry’s! With their rich on-stage experiences, we cannot help but wonder- what is one of her most memorable gigs with the band?
“Every gig is memorable, be it good or bad. Bali and Maldives were pretty sweet.”
If you think that 53A’s achievements stop here, you are wrong! In fact, they have also produced a CD- Settle the Kettle. However, we know that producing a CD is not an easy task in Singapore. So, how did they do it?
“Actually, it was quite alright. We saved up money from the gigs we were doing to pay for it (the production of the CDs). Eventually, we broke even so it’s all good!”
Despite everything being seemingly a breeze for Sara’s journey in the music industry, we know that nothing is as smooth- sailing as it seems. Being a female in the local music industry, there are bound to be stereotypes that Sara have faced and overcome.
“The requests to sexualize my image at certain venues have been met with great opposition from me. At a place we(53A) used to play at, I’ve literally had someone from the management telling me that I need to dress sexier to bring in more business. Of course, I paid no attention to him/her and carried on playing (with the band) in my tank and jeans. Yet, we (53A) still brought in a crowd like they’d never seen before.”
Great job, Sara! Who needs her to be sexy when she is already amazing being who she is?
Besides her commitment to 53A, Sara is also a mentor for Timbre Music Academy and a vocal coach for iTheatre. Knowing that many of the young and aspiring musicians out there would want Sara as their mentor, we have a slight warning for you. When asked how she sees herself as her mentor, she replied, “I’m pretty strict”. Yet, students with strict mentors usually show the greatest improvement, don’t they?
For those who have missed out a chance to be her students, do not worry, we got you one good advice from her.
“There’s absolutely no point being shy in a vocal class, it’s a waste of money if you are.”
With such a success in the music industry, we are curious what her future plans for both 53A and herself are.
“World domination and just continue to make good music.”
Yet, music is not the only thing that Sara aces in. If you have followed Sara on her Instagram and Facebook, you would have known that she is a fitness enthusiast too! Knowing her great involvement in many mass yoga events like Soulscape, we had to ask her about her thoughts towards the stereotypes that people have against yoga.
“Yoga is not a workout for pansies. Try it and you’ll know.”
Indeed, Sara has proved herself to be a tough person when it comes to both music and fitness. Yet, no matter how tough a person is, one can be beaten down by the busy schedule that we caught ourselves in at times. With her hectic schedule, we cannot help but wonder what her daily workout regime is like and how she do find the time to keep fit.
“Even though I can work up to 15 hours a day, I try to do at least 30mins of something a day, either yoga or HIIT workouts. The people who say that they’re too tired to exercise after they finish work are the ones who need to work out the most.”
Now, we know how Sara can still keep her figure despite being really busy. Yet, we all know that a fit body does not only come with great exercises. Diet is important too! So, how is Sara’s diet like?
“I don’t really diet, I just make sure that I don’t overeat. I eat healthy and I avoid hawker/food court/fast food. Yet, I love cake. Yes, I love cake!”
Being a cake- lover, it must be tough for Sara, who had recently gone through a juice cleanse program.
“It was definitely a mental challenge more than anything else. Yet, I did enjoy it and my skin was rocking after that.”
A lady’s glowing skin is always further complimented by her sense of fashion. Scrolling through her #OOTD (Outfit-of-the-day) on Instagram, we cannot deny that Sara has an awesome sense of fashion. Any girl would feel like stealing a peek in her closet and knowing where she gets her apparels from. Well, fret not. We got you your answer.
“I got most of my clothes from my Fashion Godmothers from Love And Bravery. I call them my Santerinas because they greet me with clothes every single time. It makes me feels like Christmas.”
Before we end off, we had to ask Sara to share with us a fun fact about her.
“I’m a Crazy Cat Lady.”
Well, who doesn’t love cats?
Do Catch 53A’s live performances at Bliss Out 2014 and you might witness Sara doing yoga and singing too! To find out more about Sara, follow her at @sara53a on Instagram! You can also watch how talented she is here – Sara Wee performance