BY HAZEL REID

American-based Puerto Rican/Cuban musician Sabrina Claudio has just released her new album, ‘Based on a Feeling’. We jumped on a Zoom call with Sabrina to chat the latest record, songwriting and heading back out on the road for the first time since the pandemic began.

If you’re looking for an introduction to Sabrina’s beautiful new record Based on a Feeling, I would suggest starting with her recent single Don’t Make Me Wait and watching the stunning visualiser that Sabrina herself directed. She shared “Don’t Make Me Wait is actually one of my favourites and it was actually the first one we wrote when I was working on the album, it kind of set the tone for what the entire mood of the album was going to be and it allowed me to really have a vision from the very beginning.” 

The music video for the single also features all-female string players like they have on the record. “On the actual song the strings are live which I thought was incredible, I don’t think I’ve ever done that before… I really wanted to incorporate them into the visual as they’re such a big part of the song,” Sabrina said. It was also interesting to hear her talk about the specific inspiration for the track and that it had stemmed from the pandemic and the isolation attached to that that people were feeling. 

The 11-track album has been in the works for almost a year with Sabrina mentioning that she started working on it in May of 2021 and it was created in around two months (which is pretty impressive!). I’m always intrigued to talk to artists about their creative processes and the different ways of putting records together, Sabrina also shared that she wrote the entire series of songs lyrically and melodically herself, which she found ‘empowering’. 

Putting a body of work like this together takes a lot of moving cogs and by the sounds of things Sabrina had a great team of known and new creatives on her side. “I wanted everyone that went into the studio and had a session with me to have the same idea and I just wanted to have a good time. I wanted to make music that we all enjoyed, because in the end that’s really what matters for me as an artist especially when I go to perform these songs, I wanna be proud of them and I think we accomplished that,” she shared.

Speaking about musical inspirations, this is something the pandemic challenged Sabrina with as it cut off a lot of the connection with people that we all had previously. While she was used to writing about other people’s stories, Sabrina pulled from a lot of her own experiences for this record and refers back a lot to her Notes app, which tracks all the way back to 2016 when she started jotting things down. “Over the years I have written down so many little inspirational things I’ve come across and I usually go back and kind of pick whatever I feel fits with production that’s been created,” Sabrina added. 

We also spoke about heading out on tour as Sabrina has recently announced an American & UK run for later in the year, the first like it for her since the pandemic. “Honestly if I wasn’t able to go on tour this year I wouldn’t have released an album because obviously releasing an album is amazing and I love for people to ingest it, and take it in but there is nothing like performing it live and connecting with people in real life and seeing face to face how my music has affected them in any way shape or form. That’s my favourite part about touring – the physical connection we have with the people that support our music.” Fingers crossed for a NZ show in the not-so-distant future!

With a new album that’s just dropped and a large upcoming multi-country tour, what else could be in store for Sabrina? Well, when she’s not manifesting a collab with Olivia Rodrigo (which would be incredible!) Sabrina will be in amongst festival life including performing at Pharrell William’s Something in the Water 2022 Festival and also excitingly, looking at doing a deluxe version of her latest record with maybe a few features and even a Spanish version up her sleeve. 

Sabrina’s new album Based on a Feeling is available now. 

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