I caught up with upcoming teen singer Sahara Mokhtari to chat about upcoming plans for the future, what a day in the life of Sahara consists of, musical inspirations and more. Read the full interview below.
Introduce yourself and if you could listen to one song on repeat forever, what song would it be?
My name is Sahara Mokhtari. I am 15 years old and will be turning 16 on July 23. I have been singing since I was 3 years old, and I have loved to perform ever since. I could listen to the song “I Will Always Love You” forever. The song is such a heartfelt and beautiful one. Whitney Houston was and always will be my idol.
As we know, the Sahara is the world’s hottest desert in the world. So if you were stranded in the desert, what 3 things would you take with you and why?
If I were stranded on the Sahara desert I would take my guitar, photos of my family, and my ipad. I have recently started to play the guitar and I love it. It allows me to play and make music whenever I want. I am a very family-oriented person; therefore, if I could not take my whole family I would at least take photos to always be able to see them in some way. Finally, I would take my ipad because I could use an app to tune my guitar and to listen to all of my treasured music. Additionally, I could use it to communicate with the outside.
What is the music scene like in Maryland?
The Maryland music seen is wonderful because there are a lot of concerts and tours that move through Washington, Dc. Therefore, there are a lot of opportunities to see performers. Additionally, there are many studios and open mics, which one can perform at.
In your bio, you say that your family are your inspiration when it comes to your music, which always plays a major part. But in terms of music, who are your influences/inspirations when it comes to song writing and performance?
My main inspiration is Whitney Houston. My parents always would play her songs when I was a child and I would always sing along. I love listening to her high range and I have always strived to gain her vocal strength and amazing stage presence. Additionally, I am very influenced by Demi Lovato, Adele, Beyonce, Rihanna, Mariah Carey and Kelly Clarkson.
I have watched their music succeed one by one and I love listening to every sound they create in all there different songs. I am inspired to grow musically as much as they have. I also connect with their music because I love high notes and their songs all have very high ranges.
What does a typical day in the life of Sahara include?
A typical day in my life includes waking up at 6:45 am to get ready and go to school, which begins at 7:25 am. I attend school until 2:10, and then I go to Poms practice. I am on the dance team at my high school. We perform at half time in football games, basketball games, soccer games, and competitions. We have practice everyday after school for two hours. Next, I complete my homework and studies. After that, I make it a priority to practice singing and learn many new songs.
Being a young artist in the music industry, do you feel pressure with having to balance both music and education?
Of course there is pressure to balance my music and my studies because education is one of the most important things to me, but my music is as well. I am a straight A student, and I make it a priority to set time aside to focus on all my schoolwork. However, I love music and it is my passion to become a singer. Therefore, I set aside a certain amount of time to sing and listen to music everyday as well. I try my best to make time for both.
You published your first short story when you were 11, can you tell us what that was about?
In the sixth grade, there was an assignment in my English class to write a short story. The story could be about anything. My story was about overcoming any difficulties one might come across to accomplish their dreams. My story was based off of my passion to sing. I wrote it as though I was metaphorically climbing up a mountain, which signifies the obstacles of reaching my dream, and in the end I make it to the top. My teacher asked me if she could send it in to the state competition of Young American Authors. Then, I was sent a letter congratulating me, and got my very own copy.
The cover you did of ‘Wrecking Ball’ was selected as one of the best Miley Cyrus covers of 2013 by Elite Daily Entertainment. How did you feel being amongst some of the best covers of the single?
I was ecstatic to find my name on that list. ‘Wrecking Ball’ was my very first cover and I loved to put my music out to the public. When I received such a great title for my cover it meant even more to know that my music and love for that song gained recognition by Elite Daily. I was honoured to have such an amazing review from Elite Daily stating that my cover was “better than the original”. I was thrilled to know that they loved my singing as much as I loved to sing it.
Out of all the songs in the charts, why did you decide to cover ‘Wrecking Ball’?
At the time Miley Cyrus’s ‘Wrecking Ball’ had just come out and it was very popular. Additionally, the chorus has great high notes to the song. The range of notes attracted me to the song, and I loved the emotion behind it as well.
What songs would you like to cover in the future?
I would love to cover songs by Whitney Houston, Beyonce, Ariana Grande, Adele, and Rihanna because I love many of their songs. The level and range of notes in their songs makes me want to sing them even more. On top of that, their songs are very catchy and popular.
What songs in general do you relate to personally?
Personally, I relate to songs about being young and living life. I am still young and I love to live life to the fullest extent. I like to live spontaneously.
As an artist, what message would you want your fans to take away after one of your shows?
I want my fans to learn that they should stay persistent. If I can reach my dreams they should never stop until they reach theirs. My fans are my family as well. I want my fans to learn that they should stay true to themselves no matter what others say.
If we had a look through your iPod/music device, would there be anything that you would be embarrassed to say you listened to? If so, what are they?
I am not embarrassed of any of the music I listen to, but you would find a wide range and variety of music from all times in my ipod. I believe that you would be surprise to see the variety of artists and genres I love to listen from all different time periods.
What can fans expect from you this year?
My fans can definitely expect new and original music from me this year. I am very excited to release my new music!!
For anyone who wants to check out your music, where can they go to find you?
I have many social media accounts to be followed on. My twitter is account is @thisissahara. My facebook page is ThisIsSahara. My instagram is @this_is_sahara. Also, my soundcloud is thisissahara. Finally, my website is http://www.thisissahara.com , and all my information is always updated on there.
Thank you so much for this opportunity, and this great interview. I really appreciate it. Please check me out!!!
Check out Sahara’s cover of the track “Unconditionally”, originally by Katy Perry.