Lila Downs

Out Artists on the Rise

Regina Sayles
Regina Sayles' first album It's Home came out in December, and the title couldn’t be more appropriate. Singing has been home for Sayles ever since she started speaking; her mother was recording her voice on tape when she was 2 years old.

When she was 10, Sayles's father bought her an acoustic guitar and she began taking lessons sporadically. In 2003, she graduated from East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania as a theatre major, but saw a career as a singer/songwriter unfolding and focused her attention there. Now, she's playing gigs with a rich voice she describes as a mix between rock and soul.

"Whenever people ask me what my voice sounds like," says Sayles, "I tell them it's a cross between Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin."

Sayles’s inspiration for lyrics comes from many different sources. She writes about people she's known her entire life and people she's known for only five minutes. She takes everyday events and makes a story out of them, or she transcribes a story that's just waiting to be told. "I just try to be aware in every situation, to be very observant whenever I can be," she says.

It may be this alertness that enabled her to assemble a band on the spot one day in March. A venue in which she was playing solo requested that she return with a band this August. Immediately, she pulled together The Regina Sayles Project, and thinks they'll continue to play together long after the gig in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware (August 10th).

For details on the Delaware gig and future shows, visit myspace.com/reginasayles. –Tyler Mendelsohn

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