The video has been made in homage to the witch trials of the 1600s and finds Sabrina being burnt at the stake. It has been filmed on King Edwards Bay in Newcastle, home to the beaches that played host some of the earliest witch trials and executions in history dating back to the 1650s.
“You can burn me at the stake like a Puritan,” announces Sabrina in the opening line of the dark R&B laced pop song. It’s a powerful statement about the lengths she’s willing to go to defend the right to be herself.
Regarding the single Sabrina says, “‘Puritan’ is an anthem for my ancestors, witches who were burnt for being who they were. I am channelling their sacred rage. I grew up near Salem, Massachusetts, site of the Puritan witch trials in the 1690s. That place has a peculiar energy, and the idea of destroying women for being ‘too much’ took root in my mind.
“I remember when recording the song, I was sitting in the studio with my producers, afraid to tell a group of men how I was feeling. I was angry. I was angry for constantly feeling like I couldn’t be myself. I used to walk into rooms and want to be small and hidden. This track is my liberation to take up space and be unapologetic.”
About the video she continues, “I started learning about the UK’s own history of Puritan witch hunts, and discovered there were trials and executions around Newcastle in the 1650s, 40 years before Salem! I also learnt that one of the punishments was to be burnt alive on a beach. It was irresistible to recreate the scene locally and conjure the ancestors. With a great crew and director, and the help of some beautiful friends in the area, we did our own burning and rebirth. The song is about rising from the ashes and using that power for radical change.”
Based in London, the Boston-born singer made many visits to nearby Salem throughout her childhood, which introduced her to all manner of alternative belief systems. Paganism with its close connection to the power of mother nature also held an attraction, as did tarot card reading.
Her forthcoming four-song debut EP Wheel Of The Year is a glimpse into Sabrina’s life living through the Wiccan calendar of the same name, which pre-dates our own. Journeying through the different seasons of her life, Wheel Of The Year showcases her artistic versatility which proves a force to be reckoned with.
Sabrina’s life as a modern-day witch has also been captured in an internationally revered and multi-award-winning short film Sabrina Kennedy Witch, Reborn, directed by Maria Shevtsova. The film has won awards with the Royal Society Of Television & Motion Picture, Singapore World Film Carnival, Indiex Film Fest Los Angeles among many others.
Sabrina now marks a defining new chapter in her captivating story with her debut EP Wheel Of The Year, a diverse record reflecting the many different cultures, beliefs and sounds that influence her life and music.
WHEEL OF THE YEAR EP TRACK LISTING
- Magic & Mayhem
- Red Wine