For years, the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration has showcased the best and brightest in music and dance locally, nationally and internationally. This past year was no exception when the VIBC welcomed rising star Sabrina Sapal. Sabrina’s debut song ‘Sire de Shaukeen’ was released earlier this year, and she is already gaining a following in the with her Indo-Urban style. She describes this style as a unique musical mix of Eastern and Western influences and styles.

Sabrina was born in Toronto and moved to the United States with her family at the age of three. She currently resides in San Diego, California. Her parents were supportive right from the start when they noticed she would often sing along to the Indian music they played at home. She is classically trained to play the tuba and the clarinet, and just from being surrounded by Indian musicians, learned to play the dhol. Sabrina recalls her parents’ efforts to find a dhol player to teach her, but no one was willing to teach a girl. Such resistance never came from her parents. “From the very beginning,” Sabrina recalls, “my parents supported my interests in singing and playing musical instruments. Without that support, I wouldn’t have been able to live out my dreams and passions.”

Sabrina’s father often promoted concerts by well-known Indian musicians, and thus her interests continued to blossom and flourish.  At the age of six, she had already started playing with live bands. Since her dad was involved in organizing Punjabi concerts, she has had the opportunity at a young age to play with music superstars such as Jazzy B, Mickey Singh, and Sherry Mann. Seeing such innovative artists not only perform live but seeing how they carried themselves, was highly influential.

Sabrina has been performing all over North America as well as India, though her first foray to British Columbia just occurred as part of her performance at the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration. Besides her live performance, she was also one of the speakers on the panel for a discussion on women empowerment at VIBC. She is well suited to speak about such a topic, as someone who is not only a musician but also has accomplished a great deal academically. Sabrina has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Business and a Masters Degree in Business. While music has been her passion from a very early age, Sabrina also saw the importance of having a post-secondary education. She has been able to meld together her academic and music background, using what she learned via her degrees to better manage all aspects of her career in music. “My educational background helps me manage the business aspects of my career,” she explains.  While very busy with her career, Sabrina sees balance as important, and always finds time to spend with family. She also volunteers to help others in her community, and regularly practices yoga to stay physically and emotionally healthy.

Sabrina advises she has seen several females express interest in being musicians, but were discouraged by family, and again credits her parents for always supporting her passions. She encourages other females, as well as anyone else interested in music to follow their dreams, and encourages their families to support such dreams. “Find the motivation,” she suggests, “and stick with it, and sometimes you just have to block out the negative people that may want to hold you back.”

By all accounts, Sabrina’s appearance at the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration was a great success and her fans in British Columbia no doubt look forward to return as soon as possible.

To learn more about Sabrina, including purchasing her music and finding out where she is touring next, visit her website at www.sabrinaofficial.com. You can also visit: her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/iamSabrinaMusic; Instagram: @iamSabrinaMusic; Twitter: @iamSabrinaMusic; and SnapChat: iamSabrinaMusic