Sa-Fire

Safire
Wilma Cosme, better known by her stage name Sa-Fire (also displayed as Safire), was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1967. She grew up mostly in East Harlem, New York and began her singing career as a session vocalist.

Sa-Fire was discovered at an audition for Cutting Records. While she did not have massive pop chart success, she is nevertheless considered an important part of the success of Latin freestyle and remains one of the most recognizable names in that genre. Her debut single, “Don’t Break My Heart” (1986), remains well regarded by freestyle music and Club/Dance fans. “Let Me be the One” (1987), her follow-up single, proved to be a bigger hit than her debut. “Boy, I’ve Been Told” the first single of her self-titled debut album crossed over to pop radio and became her first pop hit reaching #48 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was the #1 selling single in New York for twelve straight weeks and the #1 song on the old Hot 97 radio station in 1988. The song topped the charts in all of the major radio stations throughout the United States.

Sa-Fire scored her most commercially successful hit with the ballad “Thinking of You” in 1989, when hit peaked at #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart and at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was translated into Spanish (as “El Recuerdo de Ti”) by the singer/actor, Ruben Blades.

In 1989, Sa-Fire and “Thinking of You” were featured in a public service announcement commercial for AIDS awareness. The commercial was seen on Spanish language television networks across the United States and Latin America. She also sang the song on an episode of the 1989 revival of The Mickey Mouse Club.

Those hits and others helped her debut album remain a strong seller for years, although it is currently out-of-print. The album peaked at #84 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and at #79 on the Billboard Hot 200. Many agree Sa-Fire’s debut album entitled “Sa-Fire” is the best freestyle album of its genre.Other singles of hers that charted on the Billboard Hot 100 include “Gonna Make It” and “Made Up My Mind.” She was fortunate to have a major record label, Mercury/PolyGram, behind her to push her career forward.

She has been featured in various magazines, such as Us Magazine, Billboard, Vogue, Elle and was the first Latina to grace the cover of Spin Magazine. She has also appeared on television programs such as American Bandstand, Pat Sajak Show, Joan Rivers Show, Latin Connection, MTV International, Party Machine, PM Magazine, and Entertainment Tonight. Sa-Fire has performed throughout the United States, Japan, Europe, the Caribbean and South America. She has won numerous awards, including six New York Music Awards, three Desi Awards, and an ASCAP award for writing “Thinking of You,” which was cited as one of the most-played songs on radio.

Sa-Fire was given a lifetime achievement award at radio station WKTU’s “Freestyle free 4 all” concert in Atlantic City in 2007.

Music
The 1990s

In 1990, she remade the classic Gloria Gaynor disco hit “I Will Survive” for the soundtrack of the film She-Devil, incorporating a house and hip-hop element into the 1970s disco hit.

In 1991, she was featured in “A Christmas Message” with Mercury/PolyGram labelmates Vanessa L. Williams and Brian McKnight, with her rendition of the Christmas classic “Joy to the World.”

Sa-Fire teamed up with friend and former teen hearthrob, Tommy Page to form the dance group La Casa. Together she and Page wrote and produced three songs for the “New Faces” compilation on Warner Bros. Records in 1993. This was not the first time Sa-Fire and Page have collaborated on a project. In 1990, they both co-wrote, produced and sang the duet “Don’t Give up on Love” , the song was featured on Page’s 1990 album, “Paintings on my Mind”.

Although Freestyle music waned in mainstream popularity in the early 1990s, She counteracted this by releasing the house song “Taste the Bass” as a single from her second album, I Wasn’t Born Yesterday. “Taste the Bass” peaked at #6 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. The lead single, “Made up My Mind,” was an immediate success within the dance music and urban music communities, peaking at #9 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play. However, the song stalled at #80 on the Billboard Hot 100.

18 years after its initial release, the album track “I Never Heard” was posthumously covered by Michael Jackson under the title “This Is It.” The song was co-written by Jackson and Paul Anka in 1983 for an Anka album which was never completed, and it was later offered to Sa-Fire. At some point, Jackson made a demo tape of the song with different lyrics, and that tape was remixed after his death and released in October 2009 as his first posthumous single.

During the mid-1990s, after a short hiatus, Sa-Fire returned with a Spanish album, Atrevida. However, this first attempt with a salsa album was not a commercial success.

The 2000s

After another hiatus, Sa-Fire announced the release of her new album Bringing back the Groove in 2001. The album featured a cover of the New Edition hit “Can You Stand the Rain,” featuring Cynthia. The single sparked moderate dance and urban format radio airplay.The album’s second single, “Don’t Break My Heart 2002,” peaked at #3 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play.

Her most recent single, “Exotique,” was released on on-line on May 6, 2009.

2009 – Safire’s debut CD “Safire” originally released in 1988 is now available as a download. This debut includes the top 40/club hit “boy ive been told”, the top 10 billboard ballad “Thinking of You”.

Safire’s second album “I wasn’t born yesterday” will be rereleased on Nov 3, 2009 – This album includes the club hits “Made up my Mind”, “Taste the Bass” and the original version of the new michael jackson release “I Never Heard” aka “This Is It”. The album is only available as a download on amazon.com.

2010 – Safire announced that she is currently working on a new Spanish pop album. No word yet on a release date.

Discography
Albums

* 1988: Sa-Fire (Cutting /Mercury/PolyGram Records)
* 1991: I Wasn’t Born Yesterday (Mercury /PolyGram)
* 1996: Atrevida (Sony Discos)
* 2001: Bringing Back the Groove (Globestar)
* 2009: I Wasn’t Born Yesterday rerelease due to popular demand (island records) available as a download.
* 2009: Sa-Fire rerelease due to popular damand available as a download.

Singles

* 1986 “Don’t Break My Heart”
* 1987 “Let Me Be the One”
* 1988 “Boy, I’ve Been Told”
* 1988 “Boy, I’ve Been Told”
* 1988 “Boy, I’ve Been Told”
* 1989 “Love Is on Her Mind”
* 1989 “Love Is on Her Mind”
* 1989 “Thinking of You”
* 1989 “Thinking of You”
* 1989 “Thinking of You”
* 1989 “Gonna Make It”
* 1989 “Gonna Make It”
* 1989 “Gonna Make It”
* 1990 “I Will Survive”
* 1989 “I Will Survive”
* 1989 “I Will Survive”
* 1991 “Made up My Mind”
* 1991 “Made up My Mind”
* 1991 “Made up My Mind”
* 1991 “Made up My Mind”
* 1991 “Taste the Bass”
* 1991 “Taste the Bass”
* 2001 “Can You Stand the Rain”
* 2009 “Exotique”

Safire

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