Sa-Fire was born Wilma Cosm?, 1967, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She grew up mostly in East Harlem and began her singing career as a session vocalist.
Sa-Fire (aka Safire) 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 TV across the U.S. 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 Safire's debut album entitled "Safire" 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.
Sa-Fire has been featured in various magazines, such as U.S. 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, 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.
In 1990, she remade "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 Sa-Fire 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."
Safire teamed up with friend and former teen hearthrob,Tommy Page to form the dance group La Casa. Together Safire & Tommy, wrote and produce 3 tracks for the "New Faces" compilation on Warner Bros records in 1993. This was not the first time Safire & Tommy 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 Tommy's 1990 album, "Paintings on my Mind".
Although Freestyle music waned in mainstream popularity in the early 1990s, Sa-Fire 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.
During the mid 1990s, after a short hiatus, Sa-Fire returned with a Spanish language album, Atrevida. However, this first try at a salsa album was not commercially successful.
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.
As of 2008, Sa-Fire continues to tour, as well as produce and write for other artists. Sa-Fire is also working on a 2009 calendar and a documentary.
2009 - Her most recent single, "Exotique," was released on Masterbeat.com on 05/05/09 and is now released everywhere else. Remixes are included from Mark Alston, Johnny Vicious, Jim Heinz, Jamie J Sanchez, and Mike Rizzo. The original version was produced by Nick Saya.
All Safire lyrics
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