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  • Annette Dawm

Making Musical Wishes Come True with Sarina Haggarty

Sarina Haggarty is a singer-songwriter from London, ON, as well as a Music Industry Arts student at Fanshawe College. While it can be difficult to balance her music and post-secondary school careers, Sarina is happy to be in a place where music and education are intertwined: “I am extremely lucky to be able to have my college program full of music. I get to learn about the music industry, meet people and make connections, and learn from professors who have a past and present part in the music industry. I do have less time for shows because of all the work and projects, however, I do make it work and figure out how to be flexible with my time,” she explained.

As a young performer herself, Sarina has been inspired by other artists who are close to her age, including Justin Bieber, Alessia Cara and Ed Sheeran, each for different reasons. She credits Sheeran for his “incredible” songwriting abilities and Bieber for all of the work he has done thus far, including his time spent in studios, going on tour and growing up in the music industry. Haggarty is also a fan of Alessia Cara “who has done amazing things in the industry with her perspective, her music, and her creativity.”

As for her own music, if people were just discovering Sarina today, she would want them to know that she has a “passion for performing, commitment for writing, and my whole story that has inspired me to be musical.”

Part of Sarina’s story includes being brought up in a musical family, but she has also had a medical journey, having been diagnosed with Epilepsy as a child. In 2017, her medical and musical worlds collided when she was granted a wish from The Make-A-Wish Foundation. As part of her wish to sing on a “big stage”, Sarina had the opportunity to share the spotlight with Shawn Mendes in Cleveland, Ohio.

According to Haggarty, “Growing up, Make-A-Wish was never something in which I thought I would be granted a wish from. It all happened so fast and it immediately became a huge part of my journey. The fact that I got to experience a wish, and watch wishes take place has changed how I see the world and how anything is possible…. Shawn Mendes gave me the confidence and believed in me. The fact that he let me steal the stage to sing an original is definitely something I will never take for granted. He wished me all the luck…. After the wish took place, he gave me great, amazing feedback. I was honoured to be able to hang out with him and sing an original on his stage.”

In 2018, Sarina had more amazing opportunities closer to home, performing at various events in London, including The Trackside Music Festival. When asked about her time there, she replied, “Trackside was amazing! It was crazy, hot weather all weekend-- but it was a blast. I was happy to be able to be a part of it this year-- and can’t wait for next year if I get the chance to perform with my band again!”

Sarina is not the only singer-songwriter in the band. If you had a chance to see her perform live this year, then you most likely would have seen Connor Morand on stage too: “I met Connor Morand through mutual friends and saw how talented and outgoing he is. I then knew he would be a great person to work and perform with. I had the pleasure of welcoming him into my band for a summer show at Trackside…. I then kept in contact with him and have had to opportunity to perform with him and share the stage with him all of 2018… and I am lucky to have an incredible artist like him on my journey,” she continued.

As 2018 wraps up, Sarina is looking forward to many things 2019; including The JUNO Awards in March (tickets go on sale November 30, 2018). “My main plan is to have fun and make the best out of what I got: host shows, release music, meet and make new friends, and follow my dreams…. London is extremely excited for The JUNO Awards in 2019. I think no matter where The JUNOS take place, all cities would make it worthwhile!”

In terms of her advice for others wishing to follow in her career path, Sarina Haggarty said, “My advice would be to be yourself and learn from the good and the bad experiences. Work hard and don’t think about giving up. Remember your fans and support will always be there for you. Something I have figured out is you should not have limits. Fake it ‘til you make it.”

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Photo by Annette Dawm. To see more photos of Sarina, click here.

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