SINGER SONGWRITER/ PRODUCER/ ACTOR
BILLY JOEL, ROBIN WILLIAMS, DANNY DEVITO, JESSE COOK, TIM BOVACONTI...
Sarah Siddiqui is a seasoned Toronto born and based alt/folk singer songwriter. She is known for approaching each song like a rich painting. Her stunning rich voice has been described as a cool crisp breeze with grit. Her vocal abilities and range have no limits. To date, Sarah has released 3 full length albums and multiple singles, one of which has been placed in 2 feature films, Word of Honor (2003, starring Don Johnson, Jeanne Tripplehorn), Triggermen (2002, starring Donnie Wahlberg, Claire Forlani). One of her songs "Show Me" with guest guitarist, Tim Bovaconti (Burton Cummings, Ron Sexsmith) was also released through Awesome/EMI Canada. In 2017, Sarah was invited to join the artist roster of Choir Nation, alongside Royal Wood, Justin Rutledge, and Elliott Brood. At an early age, her older brother Ali Siddiqui introduced her to a whole world of music that she wouldn't have come across if it weren't for him, nor would she have become the artist she is now if he didn't introduce artists like Peter Gabriel, Eric Clapton, Kate Bush, Annie Lennox, The Doors, Paul Simon, CCR, Ben Harper, Tool, Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden, Tragically Hip etc. Sarah was also influenced by the guttural music and UK artists Tricky, Bjork, Massive Attack, Verve, and many more singer singer songwriters/bands including Soul Asylum, Joseph Arthur, Billy Joel, Ben Harper, Tori Amos, Damien Rice, and Matthew Good. She also grew up listening to Indian and Pakistani musical heavy weights Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and Ravi Shankar, and many other artists from her South Asian roots of Pakistan.
Her most recent album release, No More Waiting Rooms was funded by the Toronto Arts Council. It was written and produced by Sarah Siddiqui in Toronto at various studios. The production is understated and delicate. The album was officially released on July 28, 2018. It features her most popular single 'I Like it' with guest cellists Kevin Fox and Cris Derksen. The album also features Tim Bovaconti on guitar, Tony Rabalao on drums and Don Kerr on cello. 'I Like It' has set Sarah a part in a big way from the conventional songwriting pack. She has the effortless ability to articulate and create such elegant and poetically economical songs within unique and dramatic melodies. 'I like it' explores the darkness and seduction of infidelity. But the song doesn't offer an apology since the focus isn't about taking sides but instead owning stolen moments and feeding human desire and even pain. The inner conflict goes back and forth between the right and wrong, but never does the narrator sway from her own needs. Album, No More Waiting Rooms contains an array of provocative songs including 'My Hands are Tied', and track "Put me back in the Sky" sounds like a garden blooming in spring.
Sarah Siddiqui was born to Pakistani Urdu Peace Poet Icon, Syeda Nuzhat Siddiqui, The former and late Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Ghandi presented her with the highest level of honour, the Alaami Award for her peace work and poem 'To Human Race. She was a professor of Urdu Literature at the University of Punjab and was the youngest female lecturer. Sarah's late father Saleem Siddiqui was a poet and professor of economics. Her fraternal twin sister, Zahra Siddiqui is an established mixed media artist/ photographer and social activist. She also has an older brother, Ali Siddiqui. Writing was naturally ingrained as a mode of expression early on. She is classically trained on voice and self-taught on guitar. She started writing her songs and poetry at the age of 9 and began playing live at 15 years of age in Toronto bars with her mother by her side driving her around town. She also started off singing backup for rock bands. At the age of 17, Sarah recorded/produced her 1st full length CD titled "Petals of the Self", at the time she went by her middle name "Batool". The CD is a mixture of Eastern, Western and other world influences. In 2005 Sarah recorded, produced and released her 2nd full length CD titled Rosewater Songs of which featured formidable musicians, guitarist, Tim Bovaconti (Ron Sexsmith, Burton Cummings), Michael Churchill on drums, and Santosh Naidu.
At the age of 18, Sarah was flown to Vancouver, B.C. by EMI Publishing Canada under and Artist Development Agreement to co-write with a songwriter/producer. Shortly after she decided that she had to carve out her own path and develop her sound on her own without label support. Since then, Siddiqui has shared the stage with acts and musicians; Elana Harte, Don Stevenson (Moby Grape-American drummer/songwriter), Almond & Olive (Chicago Duo), Shaye (Damhnait Doyle, Kim Stockwood, Tara McLean), Chris Brown & Kate Fenner (NYC), Taima (Aboriginal Juno Winners), Digging Roots, Mark Cassidy, Peter Katz, Dayna Manning, Jean O'brien, Tim Bovaconti ( Burton Cummings, Ron Sexsmith), Michael Churchill, Cold Jack, Paul Brennan, David Celia, flamenco guitarist Juan Dino Toledo (Jesse Cook), Moponda Kalunga, Piper Hayes, Moonfruits, Sarah Hiltz, Two Crows for Comfort, and the list continues. Sarah also had the amazing opportunity to record with internationally acclaimed instrumentalist Jesse Cook. At only 18 years of age she worked with Jesse on his rendition of Stevie Wonder classic "Superstitious". She has also played for Folk Music Ontario Conferences, and music festivals; Indie Week Toronto, International Pop Overthrow, and Canadian Music Week.
In 2007, Sarah Siddiqui was featured as guest vocalist on Arts & Crafts signed Mexican indie-rock band, Chikita Violenta's premiere release "Stars and Suns Sessions" produced by Dave Newfeld (Broken Social Scene). Other guest artists on the album include Justin Peroff, and Kevin Drew. Sarah recorded demos when she was 20 years old with producer Dave Newfeld at his former studio in Toronto. In 2003 Sarah was nominated for best singer/songwriter for Canada's MyBindi Awards. To add, Anne Murray's daughter, Dawn Langstroth opened up for Sarah in 2003 at Toronto's Mitzi's Sister, now known as The Tennessee.
Sarah has played in various parts of Canada and the U.S. as well as Berlin, and London, U.K. In 2013 she was booked to showcase at Manhattan's iconic venue, The Bitter End, where she opened up for the annual NYC Songwriters Series. It was also the night she met Billy Joel who was present at the show and her sound check. They shared a great conversation about how he started at the Bitter End... a night she'll never forget. But the most exciting moment in Sarah Siddiqui's career was in In 2002. She was cast out of hundreds of head shots by the man himself, Danny DeVito for the role of guitarist in his feature film, "DEATH TO SMOOCHY", starring himself, the late Robin Williams and Edward Norton. She worked with the cast at the CBC Studios in Toronto for approximately 2.5 weeks straight.