Sahara was born in Austin in 1988, but did most of her growing up in the hill country where she started performing locally at fourteen. At fifteen she was selected to compete in A Prairie Home Companion's 'Talent from 12-20' contest and took home second place. Since then, she's been pursuing a career as a singer/songwriter, and is currently working on her first album with Executive Producer T-Bone Burnett.
Michael Ventura, Austin Chronicle, March 31, 2006: "My friend Jo Carol Pierce, a superb songwriter, told me (with a strange urgency in her voice) to catch a set by a young unknown at the Saxon Pub on South Congress. There was no cover charge. In the spotlight on stage was 17-year-old (!) Sahara Smith. Her musical sophistication and the uncanny maturity of her lyrics astonished me – gave me chills – and made me realize (a little sadly) that it had been a long time since I'd been enthralled. What a wonder, to be enthralled again. After the show I told her and anyone else who would listen, 'You're the most gifted young performer I've seen in 26 years.' "