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Sarah Potenza has always been larger-than-life. From TV performances in front of 12 million viewers to chart-topping album releases, she's built an eclectic, empowered empire with a voice that's as big as her ambition. But she's never sounded bigger than this.

"I'm entering my disco-diva dance era," says the out-and-proud songwriter, who kick-starts a new chapter of her career alongside Grammy-winning producer Dave Audé. "I've always loved glitz and glam. I love drag. I love house music. It's time to make music that lives within that fun, sparkly, shiny world."

Potenza grew up in a small town in America’s smallest state, Rhode Island. She was raised by a family of charismatic and boisterous Italian-Americans who were unafraid to speak their mind, and she developed an appreciation for bold, brassy singers who were similarly confident. Influenced by Tina Turner, Bette Midler, Whitney Houston, and Cher, Potenza became a sharp songwriter and show-stopping singer. "For as long as I can remember, I loved divas," she recalls. "And I always knew I was one, too."

When she hit the road in support of critically-acclaimed solo albums like Monster and Road to Rome, Potenza was starting to feel as though her true voice was limited by the confines of more traditional genre and expectation. She'd become a household name thanks to prime-time appearances on shows like The Voice and America's Got Talent. Rolling Stone had even dubbed her "a colossal-voiced singer who merges her old-school influences with a modernistic sound." Fans agreed, sending Road to Rome and its lead single — a cover of Mary Gauthier's "Worthy" — to the top of the iTunes Blues chart. 

Potenza wasn't only a blues artist, though. She wasn't just a soul singer, either. "I'd be playing a folk venue in a sequined dress with feathers, and it never really lined up," she remembers. "The frame didn't fit the picture." She was ready for the next major evolution of her career, one that would allow her to truly share her expansive, empowering and celebratory voice and persona.

Enter a new era. Working with Dave Audé, Potenza has unchained her inner disco-ball diva, creating a sound that nods to the dancing queens who came before her — from the Weather Girls to Mariah Carey to Diana Ross — while still thriving in the contemporary world. The collaboration began with a club-friendly remix of Lady A's "Need You Now," propelled by four-on-the-floor percussion and a vocal performance that channels power and pain in equal measure. There's more to come, and the results are stunning. This is music for the dance floor, the bedroom, and all places in between. It's music rooted in melody and movement. It's the sound of an artist's rebirth.

Most importantly, it's music that's bombastic enough to support Potenza's voice and her message. She's spent years calling her own shots, chasing down her own sound, and tirelessly pushing her career forward against all obstacles. She has been proud to inspire fellow women who remain the minority within a male-dominated music industry. She's earned more DIY cred than all your local punks, remains an entrepreneur with serious hustle and is a staunch queer advocate. That sort of trailblazing work requires someone who's loud enough to rise above the noise, and Potenza continues to wield a voice that deserves — no, demands — to be heard.

Maybe you've heard Sarah before, but you have never heard her, or anyone else sound quite like this. Sarah Potenza proves it's time to listen up all over again.

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