Growing up in Toronto, nu-R&B singer Saya noticed the city had “a sense of hardness” to it. But this is also what captivates Saya. The city’s cold and moody atmosphere, especially during the fall, made it the perfect backdrop for her musical projects. Her latest EP, Sugarcoated, is a 7-song projection on the seven stages of grief, including the love—and the losses—that ex-lovers experience.
“Sugarcoated is mostly about feelings of disillusionment, betrayal, heartbreak, and acceptance,” Saya says. While vulnerability is at the core of her latest work, Saya has always made music froman empowering standpoint (perhaps in a subtle nod to her hometown’s “hardness”).“I feel like a lot of my lyrics are raw and hard-hitting especially when I’m speaking on heartbreak,” she says. “I’m not afraid to tell it like it is.”
Neither, is she afraid to make her own fashion statement. Saya’s penchant for 90s fashion and the “oughties” look of the early 2000s is evident in her Instagram, where she regularly shares photos of her stylish outfits. She prides herself on finding the best vintage pieces on apps like Depop and she’s a fan of stores like Daisy, MISBHV, designers like Vivienne Westwood, Margiela, Alexander Wang and fashion influencers like Aleali May.
To find out more about how Saya keeps her cool (and how she gets her glowing skin), read on for her take on this week’s Shortlisted.
“She is clothed in strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future”
Throughout all my lowest points I always think about this verse from Proverbs 31:25. For me it’s a reminder of my worth and is a pick me up when I am questioning my capabilities and myself. Sometimes I get so tangled up with my doubts and fears that I just need to slow down and remind myself of what I have achieved and what I can achieve. For me, happiness starts with loving and believing in myself before anything.
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My Favorite Fashion Splurge
I like to collect unique designer pieces and vintage rather than having a lot of casual stuff but I recently treated myself to Chanel running shoes. I’ve wanted them since I was like 13. I also love splurging on cute mini skirts and lingerie.
Currently Reading + Listening
Right now I’m really into reading poetry. I’m a big fan of The Internet and I think Hive Mind is a really beautiful project.
I keep a day planner. I really like having a checklist and clicking the little boxes off when I complete a job or errand. I feel more productive when I set weekly goals and write them down. I work from home a lot so waking up early and trying to maintain a schedule makes me more inclined to be productive.
[Editor’s note: Shop some of our favorite planners at Girlboss]
My Favorite Instagram Post
I guess the photo below is my favorite post. My best friend and photographer Zhamak Fullad took this photo of me while shooting my music video ‘Side Ting.’ I mostly love this photo because of the location. I feel like I got to live my vintage honeymoon dream during this shoot. Zhamak is also great to work with; she really brings my personality out in photos and captures me in my most vulnerable yet comfortable state.
Secret Weapon For Fab Hair
Almond Oil! I have really thick hair, my dad is Israeli and my mom is Sicilian and they both have really thick lustrous hair so I got it from both sides. My hair absorbs products really fast and can be really frizzy at times so I like to use almond oil at the bottoms or throughout after showering or styling to calm my fly-aways and remain silky.
Go-to Pair Of Shoes
I have this pair of Nike x Off-White Air Forces that are probably the comfiest shoes I’ve ever owned in my life. If I have to walk a lot or am doing my weekly mall crawl I’ll throw them on. I also like to perform in them because I like to be comfortable and grounded when I am on stage.
Self-Care Method Of Choice
I really enjoy a bubble bath with the lights off while listening to my favorite Jazz musicians Miles Davis and Chico Hamilton. Then doing a face mask or sheet mask. Then, putting my fuzzy robe on, making tea and getting into bed early.
This isn’t a Gif, but I use this meme for so many things. Like trying to figure out why my ex thinks he can hit me up, or why some people are so difficult, or if aliens exist.