Sahara Smith

Last updated
Sahara Smith
Sarah Smith - Ron Baker 2011.jpg
Austin Music Awards (2011)
Background information
Born (1988-09-26) September 26, 1988 (age 32)
Origin Austin, Texas, United States
Genres Folk rock, alternative
Years active2006–present
LabelsPlaying In Traffic

Sahara Smith (born September 26, 1988) is an American singer-songwriter who released her debut album in 2010.


Early life

Sahara (her father hiccuped while suggesting "Sara," and both parties liked the mistake [1] ) Smith was born in Austin, Texas and spent her youth in Wimberley, Texas. She began writing poetry at age 3, with a poem published in the "Anthology of Poetry for Young Americans" while in the second grade, [1] music at age twelve and at age fifteen took second place in A Prairie Home Companion's 'Talent from 12-20' contest on May 8, 2004, performing "It Don't Rain Much" and "Twilight Red". [2] [3] [4] A studio recording of "Twilight Red" would be included on her debut album.


Smith on stage in 2010. Sahara Smith - Ron Baker 2010.jpg
Smith on stage in 2010.

Producer T-Bone Burnett noticed Smith and took her into the studio to record her debut album, Myth of the Heart, which was released in 2010 and described as a "hybrid of folk, Americana, country and bluegrass". [5] [6] [7] Smith appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman in November 2010. [8] Smith says her musical influences include Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits. [3]

In 2006 an Austin Chronicle music reporter said: "Her musical sophistication and the uncanny maturity of her lyrics astonished me" and she is "the most gifted young performer I've seen in 26 years." [9] A Seventeen article described her as a "striking, lanky redhead [who] exudes confidence and grace" and described her vocals as "a mixture of the soulful folk melodies of Jewel with the soothing vocals of Norah Jones”. [10]

A Los Angeles Times music reviewer said "Smith creates Cinemascope-like wide-screen portraits of romantic passion, loneliness and unrequited love in her richly impressive, intensely soulful debut album." [11] Other reviewers mention her "smoky voice, bluesy folk sound" [12] that "invokes lazy summer nights and sweaty slow dancing". [13]

In June 2013 she rebranded herself as "Girl Pilot" [14] and is working on a new 10-song album. "The name Girl Pilot comes from a book of comics from the 1940s called "Smilin' Jack and the Daredevil Girl Pilot" that I've had since I was 13. I've carried that name around with me for years, and because my new album is so different from the last, and so indicative of who I am now, this feels like the perfect moment to use it. I've never been so excited to do what I do, or felt so eager to take control of my life and my career. Girl Pilot feels somehow correct." [15]


Studio albums

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
US US Rock US Heat US Indie
2010Myth Of The Heart
  • Released: 2010
  • Label: Playing In Traffic Records

Music videos

2010"The Real Thing"Rosalyn Rosen
2010"Thousand Secrets"Rosalyn Rosen

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  1. 1 2 "'Myth' becomes reality for Wimberley's Smith" . Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  2. (September 17, 2010)Sahara Smith in Concert, NPR Music, Retrieved Feb 27, 2012
  3. 1 2 (August 27, 2010) Sahara Smith; Oliver Twist in Atlanta Wall Street Journal, Retrieved Feb 27 2012
  4. "Talent Show Winner and Contestants Saturday, May 8, 2004" . Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  5. Caldwell, Patrick. "'Myth' becomes reality for Wimberley's Smith". Austin American-Statesman . Archived from the original on 2012-03-29. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  6. (June 7, 2011) Sahara Smith on Mountain Stage NPR Music, Retrieved Feb 27 2012
  7. "Sahara Smith Album Review". The Wall Street Journal . 2010-08-27. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  8. "IMDb" . Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  9. Ventura, Michael. "Letters at 3AM". Austin Chronicle . Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  10. Magazine, Seventeen. "new artist: sahara smith". Seventeen . Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  11. Lewis, Randy. "Sahara Smith Album Review". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  12. Baker, Whitney. "Best of What's Next: Sahara Smith". Paste . Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  13. "new artist: sahara smith". Glamour . Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  14. playingintraffic (June 11, 2013). "Sahara Smith Becomes girl pilot" . Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  15. "About girl pilot". Archived from the original on 10 June 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013.