Budding musical activist releases debut single with resounding originality and powerful message

Sarah Robyn Farrell is many things – a musician, an eco-communicator, a writer, an activist. And her debut single ‘Love in our Hearts’ certainly aims to heal the world from its many issues in the most simple and honest way.

Armed with a ukulele and a strong will to use her voice for good, Sarah explains the motivation behind this, her first single:

“’Love in our hearts’ is about recognising our shared humanity in a time of increasing social tension and ecological decay,” says Sarah. “It speaks to the fact that most people have a lot to unlearn, while still having the ability to love, and to change. It also speaks to the fact that ‘love’ as we currently understand it, may need to be redefined to include aspects and ideas that can lead to real positive change. This kind of revolutionary love could help us save ourselves and restore our home planet.”

The raw freshness that this track begins with is soon cut through by candid, unvarnished lyrics. But what sets Sarah’s words apart from the average assumption of what an activist might sound like is the astute observations, not only of society, but of herself. Her self-awareness comes through with complete clarity, and without any unnecessary self-deprecating humour.

It is this honesty that allows the listener to hear the song without the damning and condemning tones often painted onto activists, but rather with an offering of hope and love, an offering of a solution – of change through music.

Born and brought up in Johannesburg, Sarah went on to study classical oboe at the University of Cape Town (UCT), only to find difficulty fitting into the classical music box. As a musician at heart, she wanted to write music that was vulnerable, but didn’t feel ready to access and express that vulnerability within herself at that point.

This led her to expand her focus, include journalism to her degree, and to join the UCT Green Campus Initiative, as politics and sustainability had always been important to her.

Sarah says, “I think my mom very much instilled in me a care for the environment and conservation – as well as a deep care for others.”

After graduating, Sarah worked in the field of sustainability communications – which led to her starting her own company. As she learned more about sustainability, she also became more aware of the intersections of social and environmental justice and became involved in grassroots socio-environmental justice and activism work.

In a similar fashion, over time, a bridge was created to converge Sarah’s passion for music and the environment.

“I had progressed and done a lot of self-work, and so I had gotten to this point where I was ready to bring that vulnerability of music back into my life,” Sarah explains. “And the only way I could write music was to write about these things that I cared about. I also wanted to use music as a way to communicate about these topics, spread awareness, and give people space to heal and navigate what it means to live in a world in planetary crisis. Because music speaks to people in a way that words can’t, and it connects with people on an emotional and a spiritual level.”

But what is next for this pathfinder as she now officially enters the music scene?

Sarah’s second single ‘Hibiscus’ is on its way already, set to release on 21 May 2021, and it promises to showcase a different side to the singer-songwriter’s sound completely.

After that, Sarah would like to release more singles with the goal to eventually create a full EP or album, which is wholly dependent on funding. To this end, Sarah has a Patreon page and a Back-a-Buddy page, whereby 20% of the proceeds go to the Mining Affected Communities of South Africa, who sit at the intersection of environmental and social justice.

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