Lately it seems like new voices in music rarely ever so much as wait for their studies to be done before polishing off a record release or an EP, and such is the case with Iranian-American multilingual singer Sarah Khatami. Presently enrolled at the prestigious Berklee College of Music and ramping up to her debut EP with a new single and music video for “Darkness,” the young artist has already amassed a considerable series of accomplishments and, furthermore, has made vaunted steps to giving back to her community.
Born in Pittsburgh to Muslim Iranian immigrants, Khatami pursued singing at a very young age. From early playground experiences discovering her voice, to acceptance into the application-based Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School in Western PA, the singer has articulated a careful road into the business. With a background and interests in classical music, musical theater, piano, Persian pop and classical, vocal jazz, and pop/R&B, among other genres, her basis is varied and lends itself to her assured but nuanced vocal technique.
Among Khatami’s early musical achievements was her acceptance to a 5-week performance program at Berklee, secured before she had even completed her high school studies. This experience led to her entering classrooms with Grammy Award-winning professors and networking with an international cadre of musicians and students, including Iranian musicians. A collaboration with the Berklee Balkan/Middle Eastern Ensemble led to some remarkable performances, one of which was luckily captured on YouTube. Take a look at the then-17-year-old Khatami performing “Ghoghaye Setaregan,” complete with Santur instrumentation:
It’s no surprise that this opportunity netted her a $10,000 scholarship to Berklee, which was later expanded into a full-scholarship during her senior year of high school. Prior to beginning college at the world-famous music school, she put up several songs on SoundCloud, learned the ukelele (here’s a cover of “Lullaby” by YouTube star Lateeya, using the instrument), and generally continued to make a name for herself and create content. Additionally, she’s sought to share her talents with the community in several ways; she currently works at the West End House Boys and Girls Club as a music instructor, and volunteers as a Berklee City Music mentor. None of these responsibilities have slowed her down, as the singer is expecting to release her debut EP soon, but for now we have her new single “Darkness.”
Accompanied by piano and cello—courtesy of Lim Wei and Nicole Myers, respectively—Khatami sings an emotionally tremulous but often soaring song of lost love and friendship. Listening to her talents evolve over just the past three years is inspiring, and it’s no doubt thanks to her hard work and investment in her craft. While her soon-to-be-released self-titled EP does not have a release date yet, we’re willing to forgive the future pop star: she has her college degree to focus on!
You can connect with Sarah Khatami on most social media, which can all be found at her official website here.
Cover photo by Maryam Khatami.