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Tucson singer songwriter Sahara Starr on the joys of portable headphones, the limits of texting, and her second skin. By Joan Calcagno. Cover photo by Neil Peters Fotografie

Early bird or night owl?  “I’d have to say I’m more of a night owl because it’s easier to be creative and I’m more inspired in the evenings. There’s just something about the quiet of the night that helps reduce the noise in my head. I’m able to think clearly and work more efficiently. That being said, I do love the mornings. Even though I prefer staying up late, most days I have to get up early. A typical morning for me is waking up at 6 am, which is no fun!”

ultrasone headphones Favorite accessory?  “Portable headphones. You can listen to music anywhere without disrupting others. And it works in the other direction as well when the person is sitting next to you, say on an airplane. With headphones on, it’s the best ‘do not disturb’ sign. It keeps the Chatty Cathys away. You can zone out and enjoy your hopefully turbulence-free flight in peace. My favorite brand is Ultrasone. I use those in my home studio and my portable Ultrasone Pycos everywhere else. Sound quality is especially important to me as I’m always checking to hear what the mix of my new songs sounds like and Ultrasone, in my opinion, is just superior to any brand I’ve tried.”

Favorite faux pas? “Text messaging. It is wonderfully impersonal, but people use it for everything now – from alerting friends of their newborn baby’s arrival and even their grandmother’s funeral, which I had happen once. I enjoy text messaging because it’s more convenient, but I try not to use it for the big stuff. That whole grandma’s funeral thing was like ‘Whoa’. I would have expected a call for that one!”  

Who is your dream audience?I guess it would be people who listen to the songs as a whole and if the song is lacking in lyrics or melody, it would be someone who listens and sees the whole picture of the song. Also people who like to dance to it and sing it as loud as they can and allow themselves to be affected by it and allow it to move them.”

If I weren’t a singer/song-writer, I would… “I think I would be lost because I love to write. That is my comfort zone. So I guess since I like to write and express myself and tell stories through songs, I’d probably be a writer of some other sort – maybe dabble in fiction. I’ve taken some writing workshops and it is somewhat of a second skin for me because I enjoy it so much. I love building the narrative and developing complex characters.”

If I could change one thing I would… “If I had the power, I don’t think I could change just one thing. I don’t think I could stop at just one because there are just so many things, such as racism, discrimination, poverty, violence, and there is so much injustice in the world. So if it had to be one thing, it would be all these things as a collective whole. And hopefully inspire hope in the fact that we can change and that we can work collectively to one day eliminate all these things.”

What you don’t know about my new CD is…. “There’s a hidden track that’s not listed on the track list. It’s a rendition of “Wild Horses” by the Rolling Stones. I recorded it with [photographer] Dominic Bonuccelli. He played piano and accompanied me on vocals. He’s truly a Jack of all trades!”

* Find Sahara’s new CD Pretty Day or download tracks on her website.  You can listen to Wild Horses below. Follow Sahara on Facebook here .    

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