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Last June, Cobra Starship lead singer Gabe Saporta divulged on “The Ralphie Radio Show” that for the band’s last album, Hot Mess, he wanted to work with Sabi. His record label had other plans (read: Leighton Meester).

Sabi, who would eventually link with Cobra for the single, “You Make Me Feel…”says she knew about this… after Saporta also told her the same story.

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“I was like, ‘Word? Nobody told me about anything!’” Sabi responded after Gabe filled her in. The singer, born Jenice Sab-bion Portlock, recently called in to “The Ralphie Radio Show.” “I was just happy that we eventually got to work together, because I was a fan of theirs. I had no idea they even knew I existed.”

But thanks to the Internet, Cobra Starship not only knew she existed, but saw her dance and heard her sing. And thankfully for Sabi, the Cobras aren’t her only famous friends: super-producer Dr. Luke is the executive producer on her debut album. The hit-maker linked Sabi with Britney Spears, and it yielded the track “(Drop Dead) Beautiful” off of Femme Fatale.

“Just watching how hard (Britney) works; there’s always people watching her and stuff like that and she still just does her own thing,” remarked Sabi about what she has admired about Spears after both recording and touring with her. “(She) dedicates herself to working out and sleeping and eating right and getting out there every night and doing this amazing show that’s like, 20 songs or something crazy like that.”

Sabi was also super complimentary of another “Femme Fatale” tour-mate, Nicki Minaj.

“She’s friggen bananas,” responded the singer when I asked about the rapper. “I love watching her show. I literally go and watch Nicki’s show, and then the first half of Britney’s show, because I don’t go on until the middle of the show, every night.”

And when she’s not living the life on tour with two huge stars, Sabi is flying back to Los Angeles to work with Dr. Luke on the rest of her solo LP. She recently released the first single, “Wild Heart.”

It may look like the band Cobra Starship has been enjoying one huge party since its inception in 2005. That may be the case, but after a year which included a top ten single and a worldwide tour, don’t try and tell lead singer Gabe Saporta that it’s all fun and games.

“As good as it was to break mainstream, it was a really hard year for me,” the front man said of his band’s success. Saporta checked in to “The Ralphie Radio Show” via Skype in an interview which aired Monday evening. “My girlfriend that I had since before I started Cobra Starship, I lost her and it’s a typical cliché story of you start getting famous and it just becomes too much.”

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Saporta said that the whole experience – having to deal with such a tough breakup while watching his band succeed – made him hate music. Knowing that he needed some time to straighten things out, the lead singer took a trip for “self-discovery.”

“I actually went to South America for two months,” he revealed. “I lived on a little house on the outskirts of a forest in Brazil. There was electricity, it wasn’t that bad, but there was no TV, no Internet, no cell phone. All I ate was rice for ten days.”

By the end of his stay in the house, Saporta was so weak that a person would make a daily trip to his kitchen just to cook the rice. Now back in the States, it looks like the singer has returned to his comfort zone. Cobra Starship is finalizing the track listing for its fourth studio LP, and Saporta is keeping busy with studio time and promoting the band’s new track, “You Make Me Feel…”

Plus Saporta has a girlfriend, fashion designer Erin Fetherston. The singer definitely doesn’t seem to mind talking about his relationship – a change from the past.

“I think part of the reason I didn’t talk about it was because I felt like, all of the exposure from the media was tainting my personal life, and I like to keep it private because it’s so precious to me,” he explained. “But yunno, I’m thinking maybe that wasn’t the best thing because I ended up having almost two lives, and it just wasn’t very healthy.”

The singer isn’t acknowledging his personal life in interviews exclusively – Saporta notes there are more love songs than he’s “ever written… ever,” on the new LP, titled Night Shades. The first single is all about finding yourself attracted to someone else. Singer/rapper Sabi is featured on the hook of “You Make Me Feel…” The Cali-based artist started with a group popular in “jerking” circles called The Bangz. Saporta knew about her for a minute – and he actually hoped to collaborate with her on the band’s last album, Hot Mess.


“(The record label) was like, ‘You can get Leighton Meester, but you can’t get Sabi,’” he said. “I tried for a long time, for months. I don’t know why, sometimes its politics, things don’t happen. Then all of the sudden, it just kind of came back around.”

It’s pretty funny how things end up coming full circle, but given his past year, I’m sure that’s something you don’t have to try and tell Saporta either.

Check out Cobra Starship teaming up with Gossip Girl Leighton Meester in the new music video for “Good Girls Go Bad.”


06.04.09 : Cobra Starship f. Leighton Meester – Good Girls Go Bad
Cobra Starship’s Gabe Saporta chats w/ Ralphie about the track: