On this episode, I have the pleasure of interviewing Sandra Gasana, who actually happens to be a childhood family friend.
Sandra Gasana aka Umurutasaté is a Rwandan / Canadian performing artist, a storyteller, a teacher, a journalist and speaks seven languages. Born in Ethiopia, she traveled the world before settling in Montreal 25 years ago. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications (journalism) and a master’s degree in political science (international relations), both from UQAM. She teaches both French and English to newcomers, immigrants and federal public servants, and loves to sing in any language. She recently reconnected with her passion for journalism and has been writing articles about the music scene while moderating panels across the city on issues related to entrepreneurship, women, immigration and art in general.
Sandra’s Word: Luminous
03:40 – Sandra tells me about her childhood and how she grew up being a tomboy, to please her dad by being the boy he never had
09:30 – We discuss how her parents gave her a lot of freedom to explore different things, and how this impacted who she became
13:24 – She shares how her love for music started, and the first song that she sang at school
16:52 – On her first trip to Brazil, and the initial inkling that maybe she could sing professionally
20:10 – I ask her how she managed to start a singing career, while working and studying simultaneously
23:22 – On the Montreal Life Stories project, and how it reignited her love for storytelling
35:43 – Sandra shares the hard moments, and how she manages to remain optimistic through it all
39:46 – On her first singing trip to Cote d’Ivoire, right before the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic lockdown
43:27 – I ask her on the lessons learnt throughout this process, and she tells me how today she’s opening the doors to even more possibilities
48:05 – Sandra’s three key takeaways: don’t people please, focus on what you love, take the time to reflect and find your why
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