Afro-Caribbean singer-songwriter Sabrina Francis has released her new single ‘Cocoa Tea’, pouring her joyful personality in a blend of upbeat Pop and sleek R&B. Produced by Sabrina and Dieter Burkhalter (Music & Beyond, Pure Grenada Music Festival), mixed by Samuel Bauer (Audio Konzept) and mastered by Andre Pousaz, the track opens a new chapter in the rising artist’s journey to bring positivity and optimism to people all over the world. Fresh off a successful tour across the UK and Europe which included sold out shows at the Pizza Express Live event and a headline show at The Tabernacle, ‘Cocoa Tea’ is the first from a series of new material coming soon. We caught up with Sabrina to find out more...
Hi Sabrina, how have you been? I’ve been really good. Busy in the bet way.
How would you describe your music? Afro - Caribbean Pop. I’m from Grenada, a small Caribbean island and a lot of our traditional music is rooted in African culture. In the very early stages of my life I wasn’t exposed to many things beyond my own community, but as I got older and my world started to open up, I’ve been able to develop this blend that now comes quite naturally to me.
Tell us everything about your latest single ‘Cocoa Tea’. What was the inspiration behind it? “Cocoa Tea is a light-hearted recollection of a core memory of mine. I grew up in a small wooden house in the country side of Grenada and most evenings my mom would light the candles and the kerosene lamp, send my siblings and I outside to the yard to entertain ourselves while she started dinner, which often was made up of Cocoa Tea and whatever starch and meat was available at the time. My elder sister would sometimes lead this play- time, by teaching us song harmonies, or telling us stories until our mom called us in for tea. I was trying to write as much as possible at the time, and I was pulling inspiration from everything and anything. I’m always surprised at what comes out sometimes.
What do you hope people will feel when they hear ‘Cocoa Tea’ for the first time? Everyone listening that’s experienced cocoa tea in the same way I have, I hope the songs wakes up some nostalgia. And for the people hearing of it for the first time, I hope they’re intrigued, because this is a kind of introduction to Sabrina Francis. A tiny part of my story.
‘Cocoa Tea’ is the first video you filmed in London. Can you talk to us about this experience? It was something special. The team was spectacular, I walked in to at least 15 people on set, hair, wardrobe, make up. It all felt quite fancy. It was a very cold day in the fall, but we somehow had to make it feel warm, and bright, and I had to wear some summery pieces in that 0o weather. I think we pulled it off.
What motivates you as an artist? The easy part about what I do is of course writing the songs and making the music. Everything around that is what can feel like heavy lifting sometimes, but a couple things keep me focused. #1 is my team they really believe in me and keep me on track. The second thing is the idea that with my music I can make a small difference in people's lives the way some music made a difference in mine. And people will let you know that your music is helping them in some way so as long as I know that, I’ll continue to do my thing.
Which artists inspired you and which artist would be your dream collaboration? It’s such a looooong list. I’ll just name a few: Simi, Buju Banton, Berres Hammond, Aurora, India Arie, Eryka Badu. Right now I would LOVE to collaborate with Little Simz. She is a more recent discovery of mine, and I really love her stuff.
What’s next for you, Sabrina? I’ll be creating. I just had an intense songwriting session, got an EP together and In a couple of weeks, I’ll be locking myself away somewhere beautiful to write some more songs and I’m just gonna do every thing I can to get as many people listening as possible. And before that I’m hosting a very special Wide Open concert in Grenada which is going to be magical.
Do you have any special message for your fans? Take care of yourselves and stay tuned. I plan to do many things with the most positive of intentions.