Born in a tiny village near Padova in Italy, Sara Forestan now lives in Amsterdam. She’s been on the Sofar Amsterdam team for more than five years and started leading it three years ago, but in her day to day life, she organizes events and is a community manager in the education industry. This is her life in music:
What was your first CD you ever bought?
This made me laugh – my first CD was the Spice Girls in 1996, when I was 8. I loved it and played it 10,000 times. I didn’t know English back then, but I was still trying to sing along. I think my mom threw it out the window. I had stickers; I had posters; I was trying to dress like them but I couldn’t decide if I wanted to be Baby or Scary Spice. I decided I liked Scary because of the piercing on her tongue.
So then what was your first concert?
Goran Bregović, which is Balkan music. He’s super famous in Italy. This song “Kaloshnikov” was used in advertisements and was a massive hit in Italy. He’s always wearing a white outfit and with some ladies in folkloric dress. He’s from Serbia and super danceable and energetic. It was a very nice first concert!
What’s the concert you’ll be thinking about when you’re 85 years old?
A year ago, I went to the Amsterdam venue Paradiso for a concert by Tinariwen. They have a super weird style but it was fantastic. I had heard some songs before but wasn’t a big fan, but I ended up going by myself. They’re from Mali and they wear traditional clothes, and they’re Tuareg so they’re nomadic. In the videos they’re always in the desert. At this show, they came on stage and played a kind of rock music mixed with traditional dance. That atmosphere created a beautiful experience. The lead player was doing a lot of solos… it was magical to see that combination of their culture and tradition.
But if you got to the end of your life without seeing a certain artist, who would it be?
Just out of curiosity, I would love to see Beyoncé. Her live show with the choreography and the set design, I would love that. Her shows are always sold out and expensive. She played Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, and that huge arena was sold out. She’s an icon. No one else can do it like her.
Did you inherit any taste in music from your parents?
I got the love for Italian singer-songwriters, like Lucio Battisti, Lucio Dalla, Mina. That’s from my parents for sure. They’re typical Italian singer-songwriters with great lyrics, a bit romantic and sometimes melancholic.
Is that music considered cheesy or cool?
It depends who is judging! If you ask my parents, they think it’s cool, but Generation Z, no. Everyone knows this music, and it’s really a part of the Italian music culture and history.
What’s your go-to pump up or get happy music?
Anything from The Beatles. They’ll make my day go from rubbish to fantastic. “Here Comes the Sun” is my favorite. I went to Liverpool and they have a Beatles museum, that was really nice. It’s all about their life and the steps in their career. Too bad their music belongs to another time, but it’s still with us.
If there was a movie about your life, what song would play over the opening credits?
How cool if I really would have a movie about my life. This is really difficult, but the opening would be in my hometown, so the music has to be "Va, pensiero" by Giuseppi Verdi. He’s one of the most famous opera composers in history – they name streets and plazas after him. Everything is named after him.
What’s a moment in life when you realized how important music is to you?
Every morning when I walk out my door and I go to work and put my headphones on. Every morning I realize I couldn’t start my day without music. I have this ritual of listening to morning music on my way to work, and if I don’t do it I’m miserable. It’s small but meaningful.
My go-to for Monday mornings is Enya. I cannot start Monday without Enya. It’s a good mix because it’s quite relaxing but there’s also energy there and a good vibe – it’s like breathe in, breathe out. I can make it another week! It’s relaxing but gives you that boost to get started on the work week. Especially between 7 and 8, if you have the luck to be outside that early in the morning.
And finally, who would be your dream artist to see perform at a Sofar?
Eddie Vedder – I think he’d fit perfectly. I listen to a variety of very different music, but this is for sure something I could hear anytime.