|Forsberg performing in 2016|
|Birth name||Sara Maria Forsberg|
|Also known as||Smo, Smokahontas, Smoukahontas|
|Occupation||Singer, songwriter, YouTube personality, television presenter, actress|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, piano, cello, piccolo, violin, drums|
Sara Maria Forsberg (born 2 May 1994), known professionally as Saara (stylised as SAARA; formerly Smo, Smoukahontas, or Smokahontas), is a Finnish singer, songwriter, YouTube personality and television presenter.
As a singer, Forsberg was signed to Capitol Records in 2014 and released her debut single "Ur Cool" in April 2015, which went on to become a top ten hit in her native Finland. She left in early 2016 after disagreements with the label and her producer. Forsberg has continued to release music as an independent artist in affiliation with Universal Music Group.
Life and career
Forsberg was born on 2 May 1994 in Jakobstad, Finland, to a Finnish mother and a Finnish-speaking Swedish father, and was raised speaking only Finnish. Her parents were Baptist missionaries, and Forsberg grew up a missionary kid. Because of her parents' career, she moved frequently as a child, living in Texas and the United Kingdom for periods of time, before returning permanently back to Finland at age six. Forsberg spent a few years in a music academy in Jakobstad, and later studied to become a chef before embarking on a singing career.
2014–2015: YouTube fame and career beginnings
Since her video What Languages Sound Like to Foreigners was posted on YouTube on 3 March 2014 on her channel Smoukahontas Official (which subsequently has been changed into "SAARA"), it was seen over 17 million times in June 2016. Her ability to mimic accents and speech melodies of different languages, which include Japanese, Estuary English, American with California accent, Swedish, French, Italian, Arabic, and Spanish, using mainly nonexistent words, was praised by media in a number of countries.
In the first sequel, she re-impersonated some of the languages from the initial video and added new ones, including "Something African" and "Scottish". In another sequel, her "One Girl, 14 Genres" video, a number of musical genres were mimicked.
In April 2014, it was revealed that Forsberg had signed a development deal with production/distribution company Omnivision Entertainment/My Damn Channel. In May 2014, Forsberg relocated to Los Angeles to perform on a YouTube channel affiliated with My Damn Channel called "WestToastTV" in addition to maintaining her own personal channel.
In October 2014, it was revealed that Forsberg has a small role in the Hong Kong-Chinese-American film Skiptrace directed by Finnish director Renny Harlin.
2015–present: Music career, film roles, and television presenting
In July 2014, it was revealed that Forsberg had signed a record deal with Capitol Records with Rodney Jerkins acting as her executive producer. Capitol Records chairman & CEO Steve Barnett said that the only artists that he had the same feeling about other than Forsberg was Adele and Sam Smith. She is the first Finnish person to be signed to a major American record label. Her debut single "Ur Cool" was released on 21 April 2015, and became a Top 10 single in Finland.
Forsberg announced her new clothing line FRSBRG in May 2015 and advertised it to her Finnish viewers with a number of well known celebrities from her home country. It was planned to be released in November the same year. In June, she was featured on the song "Vauvoja" by Finnish singer Kasmir. The song went on to reach number-one on the Finnish downloads and airplay charts. In July 2015, it was revealed that Forsberg has writing credit for the K-Pop band Girls' Generation song "You Think", in their album Lion Heart.
In December 2015 the news broke that Forsberg had spent the last 18 months working with Lucasfilm and was the creator of the alien language used in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. She co wrote the song "My Heart Wants Me Dead" by Lisa Ajax for Melodifestivalen 2016.
She also cowrote the song "Drip Drop" by Taemin from his second solo album Press It.
In February 2016, Forsberg left Capitol Records due to differences between herself, Jerkins, and the label. She will continue releasing music independently. She will be a judge on the fifth season of Talent Suomi, the Finnish version of Got Talent. Forsberg released her debut EP Hello I'm Saara on 27 May 2016. The EP's lead single, "The Urge", was released in June 2016. In the same month, it was revealed that Forsberg would host the UK game show Remotely Funny.
In July 2016, it was revealed that Forsberg had created another alien language for a Hollywood film, this time for the film Star Trek Beyond, in which she has also a minor voice role as an alien named Kalara.
In February 2017, Forsberg began hosting Remotely Funny, a British game show on CBBC.
Forsberg was interviewed on British BBC radio, Finnish public radio YLE, and Swedish TV in which she confirmed that she was contacted by a producer from The Ellen DeGeneres Show. She was a guest on the show on April 7, 2014. Her visit on the show lasted approximately 180 seconds and she took home a tripod and a camera as a gift from Degeneres. The trip was documented in a short series titled Sara Goes LA which was produced by Finnish broadcaster MTV and has also been published on YouTube since.
- Hello I'm Saara (2016)
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Album|
|2015||"Ur Cool"||10||Non-album single|
|2016||"The Urge"||—||Hello I'm Saara|
(featuring Rich The Kid)
|2017||"Permission To Love"||—||Non-album single|
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Album|
(Kasmir featuring Saara)
|2015||"Vauvoja"||N/A||Kasmir feat. Saara||Kasmir, Hank Solo, Jonas W. Karlsson, Mikko Kuoppala|
|"You Think"||Lion Heart||Girls' Generation||Brandon Sammons, Denzil "iDR" Remedios, Ryan Jhun|
|2016||"My Heart Wants Me Dead"||N/A||Lisa Ajax||Anton Hård af Segerstad, Linnea Deb, Joy Deb, Nikki Flores|
|"Drip Drop"||Press It||Taemin||Tay Jasper, Jamil Chammas, Jonathan Perkins, Michael Jiminez, Leven Kali, MZMC|
|"The 7th Sense"||N/A||NCT U||Timothy "Bos" Bullock, Tay Jasper, Adrian Mckinnon, Michael Jiminez, Leven Kali|
|"I Just Wanna Dance"||I Just Wanna Dance||Tiffany||Timothy "Bos" Bullock, Michael Jiminez, MZMC|
|"Starlight" (ft. Dean)||Why||Taeyeon||Jamil "Digi" Chammas, Taylor Mckall, Tay Jasper, Adrian McKinnon, Leven Kali, MZMC|
|2017||"Rookie"||Rookie||Red Velvet||Jamil "Digi" Chammas, Leven Kali, Sara Forsberg, Karl Powell, Harrison Johnson, Russell Steedle, MZMC, Otha "Vakseen", Davis III, Tay Jasper|
|2014||The Ellen DeGeneres Show||Herself||Guest|
|Sara Goes LA||Herself||Reality show|
|2016||Talent Suomi||Herself||Judge; season 5|
|Star Trek Beyond||Kalara (voice)||Movie|
|2017–present||Remotely Funny||Herself||Host; 20 episodes|