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Daily Inspiration: Meet Sara Kawai

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sara Kawai.

Hi Sara, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I am an LA-based studio and performance harpist, originally from Boston and have been playing harp for 13 years and producing beats for three years. Although trained in classical harp, I have begun to venture into a genre-less era of music, contributing my classical background to the world of Rap and R&B. Since March of last year, I have worked on projects with artists such as Blxst, Roddy Ricch, Jackboy, DaniLeigh, Guapdad4000, Shordie Shordie, UMI and more. My harp covers of popular Rap and R&B songs have garnered attention from press outlets such as Pigeons & Planes and 10K Projects, as well as recognition from artists like Baby Keem, Mereba, and JID. As a harpist, I am always looking to further make an impact and pushing the envelope on the evolving landscape of music and art.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Since being trained in classical harp and originally being a harp major at USC (now Music Industry major), I felt boxed in and constantly agonizing if classical harp was the career for me. Though I loved playing classical music, I felt as though I wasn’t being myself in my truest form and felt that I could venture into other areas of music. Thus, I believed that switching my major to studying music industry would help me find more connections within the genres I enjoyed, specifically Rap and R&B. Because of my switch in majors, I learned how to market and brand myself as a pop/rap harpist, and not just any other harpist you may see in a symphony orchestra.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I specialize in playing harp for mostly rappers and R&B singers. This can be in the form of live performances or studio sessions. The projects I am most proud of is a harp live performance with Blxst, working with Roddy Ricch, and also having the opportunity to record harp at Rick Rubin’s infamous studio, Shangri-La. I believe there are not many harpists that perform with rappers, which definitely sets me apart from the others.

What matters most to you?
What matters to me the most is sharing what I love to do with others, even if it may be unconventional. I think it’s important for everyone to be true to themselves because they only get one life! This mindset has helped me navigate what I truly want to achieve in my life and how to treat others because everyone is unique and there’s no reason to judge anyone.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Alf Bordallo, Bobby Coffman

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