Sabreen Islam QuickFire Questions

"I want to create a space for young Muslim creatives to voice their opinions and create their art. We have so much to say and contribute but are often overlooked."
21 March 2022

By Vanessa B

Auckland, New Zealand-based singer-songwriter Sabreen Islam presents her sweetly intriguing new pop gem called ‘Count Me Out’ and answers some of our QuickFire Questions.

Tell us about your single ‘Count Me Out’, what inspired you to write it?

It’s a bit of a funny story. Someone I love got stood up on a first date literal minutes before she left home. I was so angry at the guy on her behalf that I marched downstairs to the piano and wrote this song for them! Even though the song is in first-person perspective, it’s not really about me — it’s me telling anyone in this situation that they deserve better, that they deserve someone who will show up. We all do, and if they don’t show up…count me out!

What’s your favorite of your own songs?

Out of the ones I have released, I must say ‘Count Me Out’ is probably my favorite. I know that’s the stereotypical answer since it just came out, but I genuinely love it and it’s so fun to sing! Its production is probably my favourite as I got it really close to how I imagined it to sound when I wrote the song.

What is your creative process like?

My ideas come from all over the place and the first thing I do is write them down or record them quickly so I don’t forget them. Sometimes there will be a melody, sometimes there will just be words. Or on other occasions, I’ll feel something so intensely that the whole song just sort of comes out in less than twenty minutes. When I was younger I used to compare song-writing and creativity in general to chasing a firefly — it’s this shiny, beautiful thing to me and I like to just follow it to see where it can naturally go.

Do you have any other hobbies or interests of note?

I’m a writer outside of music — I love writing stories and poetry. I also love to sew! In the count me out music video, I made the pale green dress I’m wearing. It sort of brings a whole new layer to the term ‘DIY musician’.

Where do you think your music fits in today’s world?

I want to create a space for young Muslim creatives to voice their opinions and create their art. We have so much to say and contribute but are often overlooked. I think music is a powerful means for expression and I hope that my music can not only make people smile and dance, but also make them aware of different types of musicians around the world who are underrepresented in mainstream media.

What’s your favorite sound in the world?

That’s a fantastic question. It would probably have to be the adhan, which is the Islamic call to prayer, the ocean, or my family’s laughter. Or my cat’s purring.

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