Sarina didn’t have the trendiest clothes or the coolest shoes. She didn’t see the newest movies or spin the latest CDs.
Sarina Paris, now 28 years old, is from Toronto and of Italian background. Sarina was raised under ‘modest means.’ That doesn’t mean she was on a Survivor rice and ratmeat diet. She explains, “We got food, we got clothes but just not name brand clothes,” she says.
In her home the emphasis was placed on strong values. “My father wanted me to be a person who understood values and to make something of myself, someone not only he could be proud of, but more importantly, that I could be proud of,” she says.
However, she does admit to having felt pressure from her peers, “When I was young, I went to a pretty big school. We were kinda considered in the middle. I felt myself competing with the fact that I had to go to school wearing the same clothes the whole year while girls would come to school with different fashions: every time something new.”
“Now I look back and realize there was nothing wrong with it – it’s about who you are,” she says.
So, when Christmas and birthdays rolled around, did she get what she was secretly pining away for? “We knew not to ask for anything. At Christmas it would be people from outside of my family that would give us gifts,” Sarina explains. “My mom used to make a cake on our birthday, pastries…” she smiles.
However, Sarina says she will never forget the day her father surprised her with her very first album, Lionel Ritchie’s, “Can’t Slow Down.” Up until then the family music collection mainly consisted of discounted Italian records that her father had purchased.
“I instantly fell in love with that album and basically wore the record out,” laughs Sarina. And then, after hearingWhitney Houston, Sarina new she was destined to sing.
With the success of her single “Look at Us,” Sarina can now fill her closets with designer labels or attend screenings of movies before they’re even released.
But with all the ups and downs of stardom, Sarina believes the secret to success comes from one of the earliest values she learned, “You wanna treat others the way you wanna be treated,” she says.