By Calli Ferguson | November 3, 2022
The first time Sabrina, Piya, and Nya sang together was when they all found themselves at the same party in Harlem one night. There, on the uptown rooftop, they “shared a cosmic moment singing spontaneous three-part harmonies to the skyline.”
This is the (super adorable) story of how three Brooklyn musicians came together to create their band, Say She She. The female-led, seven-piece group describes their genre as “discodelic,” where the singers’ vocals bleed together like watercolors painted on funky, soulful tracks.
In the recent release of their gorgeous debut LP, Prisms, we caught Say She She’s show at Brooklyn Made early this November.
Three microphone stands were lined up at the front and center of the stage where Sabrina, Pia, and Nya would stand in a perfect row. The show confirmed to us that three-part vocal harmonies just hit a little different in a small venue. And though it comes from a place of insane vocal control, the feeling Say She She creates has a sort of mesmerizing fluidity.
It comes to life a little extra on stage with sweet little dance moves sprinkled in, kind of like those of a barbershop quartet. Between the dancing, the disco, and the soulful essence of the music itself, Say She She offered a super groovy atmosphere for their audience that night. We boogied to “Forget Me Not” and got swept up in the delightfully catchy chorus of “Fortune Teller.”
And while it was undeniably fun, the show, like Say She She’s music in general, had layers beneath it. Forget Me Not, for example, was written for The Guerrilla Girls, an arts activist group started in NYC in the ’80s. And NORMA, as the band shared before playing the song for their BK Made set, was written this year in the wake of Row vs Wade’s overturning.
The lyrics “We will not go back; Write a letter to your state” layered over the fabulous tunes of a song like NORMA have a way of saying, ‘We’re not going to shut up about our rights, but in the meantime, they will not take away our joy or our celebration. ’ And there is something really powerful in that.
“We won’t go back,” we sang along. In time, that is; we certainly would go back to a Say She She concert.
📸: shot by Amy Guo