American OPM singer Sahara releases original power ballad 'Agos'

At a glance

  • Aside from singing, Sahara loves collecting retro knick knacks from her childhood, shopping for vintage clothes, and enjoying being a foodie.


Filipinos are always happy when they hear a foreigner express fondness for the Philippines, be it the country’s delicious food or the people’s friendliness. But when Filipinos hear a foreigner passionately sing an OPM (Original Pilipino Music), that is probably more than just music to their ears in the figurative and literal sense; it is also music that touches their hearts in a remarkable way. Thus, it is reasonable to think that this is the captivating effect Sahara, an American singer, has on Filipinos who hear her belt out OPM hits with poise, power, and passion.

An international recording artist based in Las Vegas, USA, and known there as the American Anthem Diva and the official singer for minor league NASCAR events, Sahara launched her professional career as an OPM singer with her debut single, a noteworthy cover of “Dahil Ba Sa Kanya”, originally sung by the Philippines’ “Queen of Soul” Jaya.

Those who listened to her impressive rendition were amazed; many thought that Sahara was a Filipina. The classically trained vocalist will again touch the hearts of Filipinos and captivate them with her latest OPM, “Agos,” an original power ballad that she collaborated on with Paul Sapiera, frontman and lead guitarist of the Pinoy band Rockstar.

Regarding how the song “Agos” came to fruition, Sahara shared, “I first met Paul a couple of years ago at a Filipino bar called ‘Noypitz’. I sang ‘Sayang Na Sayang’ for karaoke, and right afterward, he introduced himself, and we immediately started talking about working together. But it wasn’t until last year that we finally collaborated on a Christmas song called ‘Aginaldong Mithi’.”

“We enjoyed working together, and I told him I wanted to try doing a rock song, and he sat down at the piano in my studio and sang ‘Agos’ for me... and I was instantly in love! It had everything I wanted, and we started rehearsing right away. I never met anyone as talented yet humble as Paul, and he challenged me to take my passion for OPM to a new level,” she added.

“The message of ‘Agos’ is the pain of being betrayed by someone you love and trust. It’s a story about lovers but it can be about anyone important in your life. I understand hardships, and I’ve received betrayal from friends and family, so I know how it feels. But I also know there’s always hope,” Sahara explained.


Asked about when her passion for singing OPM began, Sahara, who can also sing phenomenally in English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German, said, “I grew up in Southern California in a very diverse community, and so I listened to lots of different kinds of music in English, Spanish, and Tagalog. I would listen to artists like Regine Velasquez with my Filipino-American friends in middle school, but I was very shy, so I would wait until I was home alone to try singing along.”

“But then, about five years ago, I had a Filipina vocal coach, and I asked her about a song I heard on a YouTube travel video called ‘Dahil Ba Sa Kanya’ that I wanted to learn. We spent months working on the pronunciation and accent, which ended up being one of the most challenging things I’ve done as a singer. In the process, I fell in love with how Tagalog sounds when I sang it. When I finally sang Tagalog in public for the first time, the audience reaction was amazing, and it changed my life. Since then, I’ve worked with Filipino coaches and producers, always striving to be a better singer, sound more authentic, and truly be an OPM singer,” she elaborated.

Aside from singing, Sahara loves collecting retro knick knacks from her childhood, shopping for vintage clothes, and enjoying being a foodie. Her favorite dishes are the Filipino fare kare-kare and leche flan. She also spends a lot of time researching the history of music and culture around the world and volunteers at a local cat rescue, where she socializes with sick and abused animals.

As to her plans for her singing career, Sahara said, “I will continue to follow my heart and keep recording more Original Pilipino Music as long as my fans support what I do. When the time is right, I’ll visit the Philippines to promote my music and, more importantly, meet my fans.”

“To my fans, I’d like to say that ‘Agos’ wouldn’t be possible without them. They give me the strength to keep practicing and keep recording. And more than anything… mahal kayo ni Sahara!” the talented artist stated.

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