'a voice as strong as her message'
“I’m not here to be liked,” laughs Sabrina Kennedy, “at least, not by everyone.” While Kennedy’s big, bold sound has mass appeal written all over it, she also knows that - from Joan of Arc and Emmeline Pankhurst to Madonna and Courtney Love - you don’t get to be a woman who knows her own mind and has opinions to share without upsetting a few people.
Sabrina's EP 'Wheel of the Year', is out now: "a powerful display of unapologetic individuality, Sabrina rejects the pressure of conformity and comes into her own — her own sound, her own voice, her own identity."
Kennedy says: "The Wheel of the Year is the Wiccan calendar that existed before the Roman one we use now. So it’s reaching back to the world before the one we’ve conformed to. I’ve used it to make my own wheel of the year, a journey through the seasons of my life: magic, mayhem and power, sprinkled with a little tragedy."
Kennedy was raised near Salem, Massachusetts, the site of America's most famous witch trials and executions in the 1690s. It is, she says, “a place with a very peculiar energy”.
Now living in the UK, Sabrina shot the video for 'Puritan' on Tynemouth beach in the North East of England: "I discovered there were witch trials there in 1650, 40 years before Salem! ‘Puritan’ is an anthem for my ancestors, witches who were burnt for being who they were. I am channeling their sacred rage. So Tynemouth was the perfect location."
Kennedy’s identification with the character of the witch, let’s be clear, has little to do with casting spells and issuing curses. It’s more to do with realising - and facing off - the controversy that being a strong woman continues to engender. But it also takes strength to show vulnerability, and Sabrina's music ranges from big-hitting songs like 'Puritan' to the EP-closer 'Overflow', a painful refection on a violent relationship.
Sabrina's debut single, her anthem ‘Hold Tight’, dealt with the trauma of her father’s death, was deemed pop enough to make the soundtracks of Love Island and Made in Chelsea last year.
That’s Kennedy: rock, pop, loud, proud - all on her own terms.
'Sabrina Kennedy takes you on a journey of feminist discovery, captured within a smooth soulful vocal that will melt any audience' - Gigslutz