TSR Talent: Black excellence in music extends beyond genres Black artists have been boxed into. Sarah La Morena is one of those artists. She recently went viral for singing with a Mariachi band and many were impressed by her vocals, and for singing fluently in Spanish. “It takes many people by surprise to see a Black woman singing Spanish music, let alone regional Mexican,” Sarah explained to us.
Singing in Spanish is no gimmick for Sarah as some may be surprised to know that not only is she fluent in Spanish, but she was adopted and raised by Mexican parents who have had a major influence on her artistry.
View this post on Instagram
Sarah was born in Southern California and was adopted by a loving Mexican family after she was given up at birth by her birth mother. Her family moved back to their native home of Zacatecas, Mexico, where she spent the earlier years of her life working with her family on a ranch.
“Growing up in Zacatecas, MX inspired me to create the music I sing,” Sarah said. “My parents really love music, it was always playing at home or when we’d go out, we would hear it going from store to store.”
Sarah and her family eventually moved back to the states and enrolled in school while speaking very little English.
“When I was growing up I was different. There were Mexicans who didn’t like me, and Black people who didn’t like me. But I was given such a good life – to have parents who treated me the same as their other kids,” Sarah said.
While her adoptive mom was adept at raising daughters, she needed a little help with Sarah in the beauty and cosmetics department.
“I showed up to school a mess,” Sarah joked. “But one of the African-American moms would braid my hair, and when my mom asked for help, a Black teacher at school put together care packages with lotions and hair products.”
In her formative years, music was ever present in Sarah’s life–first singing at church and later at talent shows.
In her senior year of high school she joined a local group playing cumbias and Norteñomusic, with whom she still performs today. As she continues to blow up on the regional Mexican music scene, she never forgets to pay her gratitude to her parents.
“Everything I know was taught by my parents,” Sarah said. “They influence my upbringing by teaching me to do everything with love, which I do every time I go on stage. I sing from the heart, which really resonates with the audience, they feel what I’m singing and how genuine it is.”
Now a mother herself, Sarah is currently wrapping up her first EP in regional Mexican music and eventually wants to venture into other genres as well as English.
“Music alone can break so many barriers and unite people. My goal is to make people aware that we are so much stronger together, I hope to accomplish that through music,” she said.
If she could work with anyone in the music industry, Sarah said it would be Cardi B.
“I feel we come from the same world, she’s Afro-Latina, she speaks the same language and I feel we’ve experienced many similar experiences growing up and in our culture.”