In spite of her youth, in 2002 Pakistan's Ministry of Culture nominated Sarah for the President's Pride of Performance award. She was the youngest ever nominee and also the first from Pakistan's Christian minority to be nominated for this distinction. She received strong commendation through a personal letter, and later, a meeting with President General Pervez Musharraf. Born and raised in London, England, 15 year old Sarah Francis started performing publicly in April 2001, when she made her astonishing debut before a group of reporters and music lovers at a private concert. Her natural command of complex singing techniques, a distinctive voice and a phenomenal vocal range of four octaves (48 semitones [great C to B4]), earned her "A" category status on her debut appearance with Pakistan TV (a distinction given only to vocalists of senior skill or celebrity standing).
At home in England Sarah was awarded a music scholarship in voice at a private school. Sarah is trained in the performing arts by West End professional coaches. During her holidays she spends long hours in her own London-based studio, composing and producing her original songs. Among these, some favourites are The Leader, Hundred Colours, Still Alive and Mera Naghma, all of which can be heard at her page on the world's largest internet site: www.mp3.com/sarah_francis
Sarah's high energy songs explore a variety of styles, including 'UK garage', jungle, Latin, pop ballad and some unique fusion music with Pakistani influences. All exhibit strong melodic lines, and punchy lyrics expressing the highs and lows of urban teenage experience. She speaks to her generation in their own words, with rare eloquence and poignancy. Her showpiece is the aptly titled Beyond the Ranges, a monumental demonstration of vocal range, spanning over three full octaves (37 semitones).
Voice of Freedom , a virtuoso tour de force of high-speed singing and breathtaking leaps, incorporates samples of the voice of Mr M. A. Jinnah, founding father of Pakistan, to bring a timely anti-terrorism message from a rather unusual perspective. Aided by its infectious dance rhythms and an irresistible hook line, Voice of Freedom shot up the internet charts of www.mp3.com, rising within three weeks from obscurity to number 13 in their Pop chart on 30th October 2001, passing many established artists along the way.
In the third week of December 2002, Sarah's Wish You Were Here was rated number 12 in www.mp3songs.org.uk's review of their Top 100 unsigned artists. Sarah's songs have been featured on several radio programmes, including an interview on New York's radio WWDJ. In the UK, her music has been broadcast on Sunrise Radio, Oak FM and Premier Radio. She has also been recorded for Spanish and Dutch TV.
Miss Sarah Francis Sarah now has fans and listeners from around the world. At the time of writing, over 27,000 people have accessed Still Alive, Wish You Were Here and Voice of Freedom via the Internet alone, and she has received invitations to perform in Switzerland, the Middle East, the Indian sub-continent, the UK, and the Netherlands.
Out of a genuine concern for poor and needy people, Sarah licensed the song Voice of Freedom to the Government of Pakistan, all profits to be donated to the President's Relief Fund for Afghan Refugees, around two million of whom currently live in Pakistan. The Ministry of Culture invited her to perform this song in Peshawar, for the Grand Opening Ceremony of the North West Frontier Province's centenary celebrations, April 2002. She sang live there before an audience of 30,000 and in summer 2002 sang in a series of charity concerts raising funds for her adopted humanitarian cause. By early 2003 Sarah had raised £12,125.45, in aid of the relief of Pakistan's displaced Afghan children. On 18th June 2003, in a private ceremony arranged by Pakistan's High Commissioner, at London's Royal Albert Hall, she presented President Musharraf with a cheque made for the special President's Relief Fund for Afghan Refugees.
In recognition of her work for world peace and in aid of Afghan refugees, in October 2003, Sarah was the youngest to be awarded the UK's prestigious Beacon Prize for Young Philanthropist. Other winners include Zac Goldsmith, also Young Philanthropist, and Niall Quinn who gave away the proceeds of his testimonial football match to a Children's Hospital.
Teenage Sarah Francis is already a powerful role model for young singers of many nations.
"I am pleased to know of your achievements in the field of music. Keep up the good work." (General Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan)
"It was wonderful to learn.the brilliance you have shown in music and singing even the most difficult compositions. We are proud of you." (Col. (R) S. K. Tressler, Federal Minister of Minorities, Culture, Sports, Tourism, and Youth Affairs, Government of Pakistan, March 2002).
"As an internationally recognised musical director and voice expert I see in Sarah the potential for an exciting performing future. Her dedication to singing, her delivery, and in particular the understanding of the message of the voice, are all the trademarks of a communicator. Add to this her passion to be an impact on the music industry, and we have the dynamics of genuine talent and ability." (Paul Knight, Classical Music Director and Voice Expert, London, UK)
"At times, the vocal rips into the higher ranges with impressive accuracy. The astonishing vocal harmonies that blend in toward the end really show the ranges available to the singer and work well with the main vocal." (Review of her song Voice of Freedom, Computer Music [Magazine], UK, Issue 44, March 2002)
"She performed amazing vocal gymnastics and then smiled shyly as if it were nothing special!" (Dawn 'Images' [Karachi], 29th April 2001)
"This youngster can sing.so high you can't get over it." (The News International [Karachi], 8th May 2001)
"Sarah can sing everyone else's songs, but not everyone can sing hers!" (Jang, London, 23 December 2001)