A Spiritual Sanity

8 November 2012 | 7:00 am | Kitt Di Camillo

"If you’re spiritually solid in life, that’s the bottom of the pyramid and everything else comes on top of that. I’ve never been a religious person at all, I wasn’t brought up in any religion."

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Spirituality and music regularly intertwine; from The Beatles' famous Indian pilgrimage to the mad ramblings of Bono from U2. A frame of mind that cannot help but permeate its way into an artist's songwriting is an often underestimated tool that has proved a steadying influence for musicians such as reggae-roots artist Saritah. Born in South Korea and raised in Perth, Saritah's near-decade career has seen her travel all corners of the globe between her 2004 debut album Gratitude to her latest offering, third LP Dig Deep. Eternally optimistic and armed with a clear desire to provide a positive influence for people, her musical ability has always been matched by a clear sense of faith and spirituality.

“It's the most important thing,” enthuses the Melbourne-based singer-songwriter. “It once got described to me in a really good way – if you're spiritually solid in life, that's the bottom of the pyramid and everything else comes on top of that. I've never been a religious person at all, I wasn't brought up in any religion. My grandmother in Korea is a practising Buddhist, and I've spent some time with her and she's shown me her chants and how she prays. We can't really have a big D&M because I hardly speak Korean and she doesn't speak any English but, I don't know, I was just born with this faith and just a really deep love of life. And I've been blessed, I've had a really great life. We all experience hardship and pain and fear and all those things, but all I can say is I was just born with this faith that there's something greater than me and that everything is as it's meant to be – a faith in all that's good!”

Written in places as far reaching as Mozambique, California and Canada, and partly recorded with renowned Beastie Boys producer Mario Caldato Jr, Dig Deep is a natural step forward from her previous work, a diverse collection referencing everything from reggae and roots, to dancehall and nu-soul. The songs' upbeat vibes make for a seamless translation to the live setting. “My intention for making music and recording music and doing live shows is to inspire, to uplift,” she explains. “'Cause it's a pretty intense time to be alive on this planet right now. To inspire people, to motivate people, to uplift people. I love playing live, 'cause that's when you really get to give to each other, the audience gives you energy and you give it back, and it all cycles and becomes this beautiful thing that you're all in together.”

The message of optimism spread through her music and performances is something Saritah hopes to pass on to as many people as possible. It's a message that's becoming more and more relevant. “I feel the starting point for us to really be able to make positive change in the world is ourselves. We have to start with ourselves, because everyone's got work to do on themselves, and it is a lifelong process. I really feel that if we're okay then we can really make a difference in the world. I think if we've got our spiritual sanity and we've got our health and happiness then we can really be more effective in the world.

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“If you do keep yourself informed of what's going on in the world its so overwhelming. It's so overwhelming, and it can be quite stifling as well 'cause you don't know what you can possibly do… I think it all comes down to love at the end of the day. You're either coming from a place of love or you're coming from a place of fear, so to really truly have love for yourself and for others and the planet, and if you're coming from that place then you can really make a big difference.”

Saritah will be playing the following shows:

Friday 9 November - Fly By Night, Fremantly WA
Saturday 10 November - Settler's Tavern, Margaret River WA
Wednesday 14 November - Eclipse 2012, Cairns QLD
Thursday 22 November - Manly Boatshed, Manly NSW
Friday 23 November - Rock Lily, The Star, Sydney NSW
Friday 30 November -  The B.East, Melbourne VIC