Toronto artist ‘speaks’ to Durham about her music

Sara Wilkinson performs in Bowmanville Friday evening.

Sara Wilkinson, a Toronto-based musician, will start off a tour in Bowmanville Friday, unveiling a project encouraging people to use their voices to communicate.

She says the idea to create what she calls the Speak project came from her song Speak which she wrote on the Toronto subway, thinking about how people don’t communicate with each other even though they’re standing or sitting closely together. She says she found it “strange” and decided to write a song about it.

The song led to her friend Fanette Rotatinti, filmmaker and songwriter, to conceive the idea of the Speak project. They’re currently collaborating on the project.

Wilkinson’s tour will start in Bowmanville on Nov. 9th at the Manantler Brewery, 182 Wellington St., at 7 p.m.

The 29-year-old, who was born in Toronto says she started writing music at the age of 14 as she was inspired by her parents who are both music teachers.

Wilkinson graduated from St. Lawrence College in Brockville, Ont., where she took music theatre.

“My music definitely has a theatre influence because I was trained classically and theatrically so transferring that into my own music and put it through the guitar, it became more of my own,” Wilkinson explains.

Wilkinson is an independent artist which she describes as both “exciting and a lot” to deal with.

She adds “being younger, you always have that dream of being signed (by a recording company) but it’s just different now and I had to kind of accept that.”

Wilkinson says she has taught music to children as a side job and gives private guitar lessons. She says she has another project she’s been on working for years called Kinder Musiq where she teaches moms and young kids about music.

The Toronto based-artist says she has performed around the country in locations such as Moncton, British Columbia and Toronto.

She has recorded four albums. Her latest, called “Willingly” is about moving on and she says she worked on it for three years.

“With this album, I wanted to make it sound professional and I think as an artist I’m impatient at times so I really took my time,” says Wilkinson, speaking about how Willingly is different than her other albums.

Wilkinson says she doesn’t limit herself to one specific genre of music and she’s open to try different styles but she’s originally a “soul-influenced” artist.

Her final message: “The point I want to get across is to not give up on yourself. I was really bullied in school and I started singing and thought ‘I think this is what I’m supposed to do’ and I hold on to that.”