Glowie, born Sara Pétursdóttir, had been singing her entire life. Growing up in Reykjavík, Iceland, she familiarized herself with music through her family. Her father was in a classical rock group, while her siblings sang background vocals. Her older sister exposed her to the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Destiny’s Child, her older brother to Outkast, Justin Timberlake and Craig David. “We all love music in my family,” she said in a press release, “and I’m the youngest, so I was just running around and soaking it up.”
Once her sister left home, Glowie was ready to take all that she had absorbed and pour it into music of her own, so her father helped to make her sister’s old room into a home studio. In 2014, a 16-year-old Glowie won a high school singing competition nationally broadcast across her native Iceland. It was at that moment she realized she wanted to sing forever, cultivating her style —where the only thing more searing than her voice is her lyricism.
“A self-confessed ADHD loner with a lot of emotions, Glowie was bullied in school resulting in an unhealthy relationship with her body and a whole lot of uncertainty. She caught on early that it helped to channel her feelings into art,” a press release reads.
And now, her audience is worldwide. All kinds of people can find belonging in at least one of the eight tracks throughout Glowie’s new EP aptly titled Where I Belong.
“Body” written alongside Julia Michaels, was released on Oct. 26, 2018, and has since been remixed by R3HAB and redone again to feature Saweetie. It’s no wonder others want to be associated with celebrating body positivity in not only a clever way, but an authentic one.
The single was followed by “Cruel,” which is just as genuine. “We all see, hear and feel cruelty, some more than others,” the 21-year-old emerging artist says. “I guess it was the song itself that empowered me to share the message and my experiences. The song has helped me to let go of the anger, and I think it will continue to empower me. Hopefully others, too.
Her experiences above include getting bullied at school. Other kids would call her names because of what she describes as a skinny body. They made her feel like she wasn’t normal just because her bones naturally stood out. She tried to hide under baggie clothes, tried to gain weight, but she realized she couldn’t change her body type—and ultimately, zrealizing she didn’t want to change.
Now, she’s singing to those bullies: “So what’d I ever do to you/ To make you be so cruel? / Make you be so cruel/ I’m so tired of drinking in your bitterness/ And it feels so good to call you on your ignorance.”
For those who, like her, were victims of being made to feel less-than, she has a message, too, within a 20-second spoken interlude called “Like We’re All Supposed to Be the Same.” As Glowie, she’s putting out into the world what Sara needed: “‘Cause growing up, I always felt like we were all supposed to fit into a certain image of how we’re supposed to look and how we’re supposed to act, like, we’re all supposed to the same. It’s boring.”
No two tracks are meant to be connected on the EP, but they each aim to inspire empowerment among listeners.
“I think a lot of teenagers listen to music as it’s an escape from reality [and] their problems, but when I was younger I would listen to music that helped me with my reality,” she explains. “I’ve always looked at music as something more than just a song to sing along and dance to. It has a spirit of its own, and because we’re all so different we hear the song differently, and it affects us in different ways. So, that’s something that I want to do with my music. I want it to be useful and helpful in any way.”
You can listen to the newly released video for ‘Who’s Gonna Stop me’, bellow.