We had the good fortune of connecting with Brigette Yawn and Suad Ihsan and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Brigette & Suad, how do you think about risk?

There is a risk in every decision you make. Whether it’s external forces, self doubt, failure, detours in life, you maintain good intentions and persevere through it all. I think we knew going into it that we were taking a risk. There are so many challenges along the way, but each one is an opportunity for growth so we keep going. We met about 13 years ago with no intention of forming a legit band. At the time, Suad and I were both musically curious but didn’t set out on starting anything serious. One day we just started jamming and singing and soon after that a friend encouraged us to perform at an open mic night, so we did! From then on, the response from our friends and fans has always been incredible and the connection we feel with our audience has been unlike anything we have ever experienced. Since then SGS has always been our number one! We didn’t set out to finish school, or have kids, get married. I played around and studied music growing up, it has always been my main motivation in life and a huge part of me. Dedicating everything I had to Say Girl Say, when I had nothing, was not just about taking a risk. Making music can be a meditative and healing experience where you can tap directly into the moment. Time starts to slow down and you can and really articulate yourself and your experiences through art on a sonic and spiritual level. – Brigette

Once the band started picking up and we were getting busier with gigs, I realized that I wanted to invest more of my time and energy in the band. At the same time I was in school and I felt like I was wasting time and money figuring out what I wanted to study. I decided to take a break from school and told my parents it would only be for a semester, but 10 years later I never went back. There was some disappointment in my family in making my own decision to not graduate but I wanted to take that risk because I felt like the band was a fleeting moment like a train, you gotta hop on or miss the ride. I could always go back to school but the band was growing and I didn’t want to miss a moment. I just followed my heart and you just have to have faith sometimes. There’s a quote MLK said, “faith is taking the first step even if you don’t see the whole staircase”. It’s a beautiful thing to put everything you have into something knowing that it might not work out but believing in it so fully. – Suad

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?

Say Girl Say is a genre-bending multi-instrumental duo from Houston, Texas composed of members Brigette Yawn and Suad Ihsan. Our sound is known for articulate soaring vocal harmonies, lyrical finesse and entrancing melodies backed by eclectic instrumental production inspired by artists like Solange, Sylvan Esso, and Little Dragon. We were recently awarded the Houston Artist Commissioning Project Live Award by the Society of Performing Arts. This award has given us the amazing opportunity to perform at Jones Hall for an intricate production. We’ve partnered with local talents Two Star Symphony, an 8-piece ensemble from Houston, Texas, in addition to creative media lab duo, Input Output, Houston’s very own contemporary visual pioneers integrating art and technology to create a unique human experience. SGS is also working on our upcoming record release “Let My Hair Down”. This album speaks to a journey through love, exploration, and discovery of ones-self in the ultimate search of becoming the most authentic and true version of yourself. Our world is a complex landscape filled with lessons that can only be found with the stumbling through the human experience. This album is full of those challenging experiences including heartbreak, uncertainty, jealousy, and betrayal, only to be remedied by the power of forgiveness, self-love, and compassion. Say Girl Say met in 2008, releasing our first self-titled album “Say Girl Say” in 2015; an homage to the beginning of our long-haul creative careers as a strictly acoustic experience including ukulele, guitar, harp, and violin, accompanied by the many sounds of worldly percussion such as djembe, tabla, dumbeck, and more. Since then, we went from playing open mic nights, to bars, to venues, to artist driven galleries, festivals and other events. Say Girl Say has earned local accolades such as “Best Alternative Act” and “Most Weird Act” from the Houston Press Music Awards ’15-’16. SGS has performed at SXSW, CMJ, Art Outside, Houston Whatever Fest, River Revival, In Bloom and many others. The process of building up as an artist and musician takes a lot of time, errors and patience. Just like anything in life there are failures and decisions that you make. The best you can do is see your weaknesses as opportunities to learn and to grow to become better as an artist and as a human being.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We met our Manager, Mark Austin several years ago and we’ve been good friends ever since. This guy hired us to play at The Nightingale Room one night and a part of us knew it was going to be a special night and a great show. After our set, Mark approached us and said “You guys have an amazing sound, I want to help y’all get your record out”. The next week this dude piled us in his van and drove us to Austin to set out on our Mini-Texas-Tour. That’s just the kind of guy Mark is. He’s always been there for us, with our best interest at heart. Mark is incredibly supportive and a great resource for knowledge and guiding us from our early stages as artists to where we are now. He’s helped open doors for us, and we are grateful for him always believing in us since day one.

Website: www.saygirlsay.com

Instagram: @saygirlsay

Twitter: @saygirlsay_

Facebook: @saygirlsay

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH9lru4qKn92zECFl_4JUEA

Other: Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/artist/6RLNNxDS6lXy51mBXaTCW2?si=LgAY5OSnROSPD9qvDyToBg iTunes – https://music.apple.com/us/artist/say-girl-say/1015545548

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.