Singer Sunday Saari, a student at Carnegie Mellon University, is giving us a listen to her brand new song, "Waves."
[MUSIC - SUNDAY SAARI, "WAVES"]
SUNDAY SAARI: (SINGING) Keep pushing on my chest. All alone. You're feeling so blessed because I've got the people who hold my heart even when we're miles apart.
DAVID HIGHFIELD: It's a song about the year, really, we've all been through, sometimes miles apart from the people we love and yet staying close and keeping each other strong.
HEATHER ABRAHAM: The song is called "Waves," and the singer-songwriter is a rising star in Carnegie Mellon University's drama program.
DAVID HIGHFIELD: Yeah. She's a student and an incredibly talented one. And we want to welcome back to "PTL" Sunday Saari, who's joining us all the way from Egypt. And Sunday, first, tell us what you're doing in Egypt because you've actually been taking your CMU classes from there, right?
SUNDAY SAARI: Yes, I have. I came to Egypt about the end of August. My parents were finally able to come back. And I was like, you know, I had the option of doing my online classes either from Pittsburgh or from Egypt. And I was like, you know, it's warm and beautiful, and I've, you know, never really been there, so that's where I decided to go.
DAVID HIGHFIELD: Fantastic.
HEATHER ABRAHAM: What an amazing adventure. And it has been quite a year for you. I mean, it's been quite a year for everyone. We've dealt with the changes, but it sounds like you've taken that as inspiration.
SUNDAY SAARI: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I've spent the year now with this incredible team thinking about connection and, like all of us, living in the disconnect that the pandemic has brought us. And really this music video is just about the love we feel for those who are closest to our hearts and, you know, no matter what, keeping them close to us, especially during this time.
I wrote the song at the beginning of the pandemic really about the disconnect I was feeling from my family and like, ugh, you know, like, the calls are always shaky. Like, the connection is always bad. Like, I feel like I haven't seen them in forever and just really feeling that heartbreak.
And then the second part of the song I wrote when I was actually in Egypt away from all my friends. So it was like that duo action thing going on. And yeah, I just, you know, really wanted to showcase how I was feeling and how a lot of other people are definitely feeling during this time.
DAVID HIGHFIELD: Yeah, I think a lot of people will relate to this. In fact, let's pause for a moment and let our audience hear some of this. It is "Wave" written and performed by Sunday Saari. So just listen for a little bit.
[MUSIC - SUNDAY SAARI, "WAVES"]
SUNDAY SAARI: (SINGING) I hope someday that at any time, any place, you'd stay. Eyes open to the other end. No more can we pretend. Every day is a God-given right. Live are [? gave. ?] It's worth the fight.
Just keep pushing on my chest. All alone but feeling so blessed because I've got the people who hold my heart even when we're miles apart. Just keep pushing on my chest. All alone but feeling so blessed because I got the people who hold my heart even when we're miles apart.
It's a new life. It's a new start without you here, without you near.
HEATHER ABRAHAM: Oh, wow.
DAVID HIGHFIELD: Yeah, it's so impressive.
HEATHER ABRAHAM: You are so talented--
DAVID HIGHFIELD: Yeah, she's really good.
HEATHER ABRAHAM: --Sunday
SUNDAY SAARI: Oh, thank you.
DAVID HIGHFIELD: Sunday, you had people join you in the song. In fact, we saw a few of them there in the video, including actor Patrick Wilson and Frzy, who is a friend of us here on "PTL." Why was it important to you to include that?
SUNDAY SAARI: Absolutely. I wanted to show that it's not just one specific type of person who's going through this pandemic. Like performers who are active in the industry are going through this in a very different way than, say, a student is going through this.
I also have my Professor Lisa Velten Smith who is in it. Professors are going through it. God knows they are working so hard to give us everything that they possibly can during this time. It's been incredibly difficult for them, meetings and meetings and so many emails. So I'm very, very, very honored to have had her in the video. And then some of my closest friends and some colleagues of mine here in Egypt were also able to join the video. But yeah, I just wanted to show that there are multiple aspects to this pandemic and multiple types of people who are experiencing this.
And yeah, I also wanted to showcase my friend Schwa de Vivre, who is an incredible drag queen. That whole side of performance has been completely turned on its side because of the pandemic. It was all making a profit from live tips and live shows, and now it has to go completely online. So that dynamic has absolutely switched. So I definitely wanted to showcase that.
DAVID HIGHFIELD: Right.
SUNDAY SAARI: And you saw Frzy who is an incredible musician, and I was so happy to have him.
HEATHER ABRAHAM: Well, you're kind of touching on this too. I mean, it's all-- it's all very relatable because every single person has their own experience in this past year. So what has the reaction been overall to the song?
SUNDAY SAARI: I've gotten quite a few messages and emails and remarks just about personal stories that people have gone through. Haven't seen family members in over a year. Haven't seen best friends, sons-in-laws, things like that. And just a collective feeling of when is this going to be over? you know, like that feeling of my lyric. Just keep pushing on my chest. It's that constant anxiety of, like, when is this going to end? Like, when will things be normal again?
And regardless, what I wanted to do with the song is to show that no matter how long this continues and how long, from the start to finish, it goes, even if that feeling doesn't go away, we still have the people in our lives who are going to hold out for us and who are going to hold our hearts--
DAVID HIGHFIELD: Well said.
SUNDAY SAARI: --and have us no matter what.
HEATHER ABRAHAM: Absolutely.
DAVID HIGHFIELD: Well said, Sunday, yeah. Thank you so much for joining us, Sunday, all the way from Egypt, and continued success to you. We can't wait to see what lies in your future. I know it's great stuff.
SUNDAY SAARI: Thank you so much, both of you.
HEATHER ABRAHAM: Thank you.
DAVID HIGHFIELD: All right. And we want to let you know that we have links to download or stream Sunday's song "Waves" at our website PittsburghTodayLive.com.