MONTREAL — Sara Diamond stood before a Bell Centre corporate holiday crowd of almost 6,000 people last December. It was a month before her 13th birthday.
Singer Sara Diamond is at the start of a bright career. [Heather Solomon photo]
As she sang A Moment Like This, she saw her own image multiplied in size on the massive screen above the stage.
“It was a dream come true to be performing there,” says the young soprano, whose pop and R & B stylings have been rocketing her career forward.
Diamond is also a favourite at the Israeli Street Festival and at Toronto’s Luminato Arts Festival, where she sang during a Ford Supermodel search and “got to use the runway” during her performance. Ford, by the way, has taken her under its wing and is grooming her as the next teeny-bopper sensation.
All the fuss doesn’t faze this young lady, whose favourite word is still “fun” and whose main concern is delivering crackling good vocals that have both adults and peers smiling with enjoyment.
On Aug. 3, she headlined the youth segment at the Saint-Sauveur Festival des Arts, along with the École Supérieure de Ballet Contemporain. For her 45-minute solo concert, she flew in her own band from Winnipeg, home of her manager, who handled the early career of Chantal Kreviazuk. Being billed as “sensational young singer Sara Diamond” is the start of what she and her mother Wendy Wiseman hope is a long career to come.
Wiseman herself is a vocalist but, she says, not in the same league as her daughter. Wiseman sings the songs on her children’s record label Kidzup and gave her daughter her musical start at age 3 singing on one of the albums.
A newer Kidzup CD with Sara’s participation, titled 150 Toddler Tunes, “is charting Billboard,” Wiseman says.
“And we just put on it the burst [the sun-shaped highlight used for emphasis with text] which says, ‘Featuring Sara Diamond.’ I’m going to devote more of my time to Sara’s career, and I already told my office.”
Wiseman is also president of Tormont, her newly purchased novelty children’s books publishing company, which has titles in more than 30 languages. Tormont has taken on the marketing of Kidzup CDs, too, to spread Diamond’s sparkle further afield.
Attending St. George’s School since pre-kindergarten has nurtured Diamond’s career. That’s because the school is arts-oriented and its annual centrepiece is the May production of a Broadway musical.
This past academic year, Sara was pulling 90s, and she was the first Grade 7 student in the school’s history to land the coveted lead in the show, playing opposite a Grade 10 actor in Once Upon a Mattress. Diamond delighted the four audiences during the run as the lovable tomboy Princess Winnifred the Woebegone, a role made popular by Carol Burnett and, later, Sarah Jessica Parker.
Diamond started taking voice lessons, tap dance, ballet and hip-hop at age 5, and she studies theory so that she can accompany herself on piano and guitar. She’s been writing her own material since she was 8. She performed one of her original tunes at a One X One event hosted by actor Ben Affleck, which raised money to help children across the globe.
She also composed The March at the behest of Federation CJA, which uses the song to spearhead its campaign to involve youth in its March to Jerusalem.
“I sang it last year and also this year and it was a lot of fun,” she says. “The chorus goes, ‘We are lucky to be here/ Living our lives without fear/ We are strong and alive/ because we all share special pride/ at the March.’”
She’s aiming to be just as inspirational this October, when she goes on tour for a week with The Power Within Women, a lecture series featuring Barbara Walters as one of its speakers.
Diamond is still dazzled by showbiz, by meeting the stars she shares the stage with, and even by such things as the stage setting for her recent music video, Me and My Girls, which “looked like a real bedroom, because it starts off that I’m having a sleepover with my friends then we go into this dream world where I’m performing. I wanted to bring the bedroom home with me – it was amazing!”
Diamond’s first solo CD, titled simply Sara Diamond, is available at LMNOP boutique in Westmount and at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“People are telling her, ‘Take your time, enjoy your childhood.’ But she just wants to be busy doing her thing. She’s booking charities for February now,” Wiseman says.
Agrees the teen, “I’m just lucky my mom takes the time to help me out.”
This summer, she’ll still find time to be a kid, attending sleep-away camp at Camp Manitou in Ontario. Of course, they have shows there, too, and campers continue to talk about her voice in past performances as Ariel in The Little Mermaid and as Peter in Peter Pan.
She visualizes herself as “either in business or law” when she grows up, but for now, her voice is riding the wave of her dreams, and the fun is just beginning.