[Exclusive Interview] Sarina Says its Melancholy Roads No More

Ciera Reeves

Photo cr. Sony Music Japan

Sarina is a Tokyo-based, bilingual singer-songwriter fluent in English and Japanese. Born in Hawaii in 2002 to a Japanese father and Lebanese mother, she has been steadily attracting attention for demonstrating exceptional talent in music, theater, and art from a young age. On April 1, 2022, she released her debut single, "Identity." With all aspects of the single, including the artwork and music video, produced under Sarina's creative direction, the result is a cohesive experience that embodies Sarina's personality on all levels. 

As a composer, Sarina writes her own lyrics and performs her own music while weaving a compelling narrative with vivid lyrics and an attractive mezzo-soprano voice. As she sings with a clear, expressive voice, she breathes life into her performances. Her multi-instrumental abilities include playing the ukulele, guitar, piano, and violin while singing.


Prior to her debut, Sarina also participated as part of a vocal unit in" the theme song for Square Enix's RPG "Triangle Strategy", which was produced by highly-acclaimed composer Akira Senju. As a huge fan of anime and games herself, she can talk endlessly about her interests, which she does on her livestream channel, attracting a global audience.

Sarina dropped by KpopWise to give us the scoop on her latest single "Melancholy Roads (No More)" along with other fun tidbits. 

Nice meeting you Sarina! Your new single “Melancholy Roads(No More)” seems to be a song full of hope. Can you tell us the creative process for the song? 

Melancholy Roads (No More) is genuinely my most emotionally raw and vulnerable song so far. I think for me it is harder to express positive emotions such as hope, happiness, contentment, etc. The song stemmed from me playing around on the piano, as I am known to do. With “Yuu-utsu na Michi (Melancholy Roads)” I was just playing and trying different things and as I played, I slowed it down and changed up the rhythm and ended up coming up with the first two lines of the chorus. “Now these melancholy roads don’t know the way I’m meant to go.” and the rest of the song bloomed around that concept: “These roads that are lonely no longer feel like the ones I walk on.” 

What are your inspirations for your songs?

My music stems from a lot of different places. Most often I’m inspired by a feeling or a concept! The way an event made me feel or maybe something I’m not sure of. I find sometimes I’ll write a song and what comes out is a more honest depiction of my feelings than maybe what my conscious thought was leading me to believe. Emotions are the strongest inspirations for sure. 

In uncertain times, what is something that makes you feel hopeful?

I deal with a lot of anxiety, so it is quite often that I am met with uncertainty in my heart. I find the thing that eases it the most is 1. Emptying my mind and focusing on breathing. On counting the seconds, I breathe in and the seconds I breathe out. And 2. Recognising that even if in this moment time feels stretched out and slow, it is still moving. Things will not always be as they are now because nothing will ever be always as they are now. 

You have shown a wide range of genres since your debut single last year. Is there a genre that you haven't tried yet that you want to explore?

There are so many different music styles and genres I want to try! I think a really stripped down sort of guitar and layered vocals thing would be fun. I also want to try Bossa Nova style or something using Spanish guitar! I also would love to try my hand at a classic “modern pop” vibe. I honestly am super happy to experiment and try a bunch of different genres.

Your fashion is very cool, what are your style inspirations?

Thank you! I think I'm inspired by a few different sources. Anime is definitely a huge factor. I absolutely love anime and try to mimic the silhouettes and styles a lot. I tend to choose what makes me feel good! Lately I have a slight obsession with menswear so I’m doing a lot of suit pants and pirate shirts. But then the next day I’ll be in pleated miniskirt with the biggest darn platforms you’ve ever seen and cute black thigh highs... So honestly, it’s all over the place in the best way 

Aside from music, what are things that you enjoy doing?

Aside from music I enjoy reading a lot. I read… a LOT. I’m talking 1 book a day at times (Averaging 400 pages or so a day if I have a few hours). I also make it a point to call friends and play video games as often as I can. League of Legends has a chokehold on my heart and I'm not keen on removing it any time soon. Music is a huge part of my life and my number 1 passion, but I think I actually have many passions and loves in my life, which I am grateful for.

This may seem a little random, but what language do you dream in?

It’s actually such a great question haha! I tend to dream in English and occasionally in Japanese. A couple of times I’ve had dreams in Arabic?? Which I don’t speak?? So maybe my brain was repeating words it heard and conversations it overheard without me understanding it.

I like to ask multitalented people this a lot, but what is something that you would like to learn?

I want to learn how to properly fight with a sword and shoot a bow and arrow with terrifying precision!!! This may be my.. bookish.. influences speaking, but I absolutely love the art of swordplay and I think archery is just useful in general (i.e zombie apocalypse). In all seriousness I love martial arts in pretty much any form, and I would love to learn and add those skills to my belt. Especially dual wielding daggers! My favourite book character does it in one of my favourite scenes and it became an obsession ever since. 

Is there a message that you want to give your fans?

I want to say thank you to everyone for listening to my songs and sending so much love and support my way. I’m also incredibly grateful for the community you all have built. I may provide something to connect over, but it's you guys who make this community as wonderful as it is! It warms my heart to see the interactions between you all. I’m so grateful for this amazing community and so thankful to everyone for supporting me.

Message from Sarina  

Listen to "Melancholy Roads (No More)" 

Follow Sarina! 

YouTube | Instagram | TikTok | Twitter 

Special thanks to Sarina and Canglo for the interview. 

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