“I have no dreams of being ‘famous,’ I just love making music, I always have…If I can just keep writing and releasing music that I’m proud of and I love and there’s still people out there who want to hear it, that’s my dream.”
Sasha Sloan is the real deal. She lives from the truth and passion burning within, she leads a life of growth and discovery, and she creates music that perfectly mirrors the human condition – with its victories, its trials and its tribulations. She is the epitome of an artist, as she does not seek superficial fame, but yearns for a life grounded in artistic veracity and sincerity.
Sasha is a Boston-born, LA-based, singer-songwriter, who has music in her blood. In discussing her upbringing, Sasha expressed the inspirational force that is her mother, who “loved music…and always had a great voice (whether or not she’ll ever admit it).”
Sasha’s musical journey truly began with the piano her mom purchased off of Craig’s List.
“I kind of just started doodling on that, writing and writing. And then I did open mics as a teenager and stuff, just like locally…but I never thought I’d be an artist. I guess I was pretty jaded from the get go. I just loved the writing, I didn’t really have a game plan….”
However, life took a turn for Sasha while she was at the Berklee College of Music. While majoring in the business side of the music industry, as she sought a way to “realistically” earn money, she unexpectedly developed an internet presence through Reddit.
“My parents were painting the outside of our house, and before they finished it, they painted ‘DORK’ in all caps with an arrow pointing to my window. I was like 18 at the time, (too old for them to do that) – anyway – I took a photo and I put it on Reddit and it went viral. And then I woke up the next morning and I was like holy shit, I’m just gonna post my SoundCloud in the comments.
“Two weeks later, I got a call from Warner Chappell to sign me as a songwriter…So i just packed up my bags, moved to LA and dropped out of college.”
From there, Sasha, while initially waiting tables, pursued a path of songwriting for both herself and others. She soon would garner much acclaim, working alongside artists such as Camila Cabello, Idina Menzel, and many more.
“When I’m writing for someone else… I help the song be crafted through their point of view and their eyes. I’m there as more of a therapist/supporter of the song. When it’s for me, I can get a little weirder. It’s all from my world, all from my perspective…my writing is also more personal….It’s kinda like wearing different hats, you know. I enjoy both, but the more that I only write for me, the more creative I get to be.”
Sasha, after achieving much success in songwriting, would then focus on her own career, with the release of her 2018 debut EPs, sad girl and Loser. Subsequently, 2019 would see another, more introspective EP, Self-Portrait, while 2020 is seeing a new exciting wave for Sasha – with today’s release of her new single, “Lie” and the anticipated release of her forthcoming debut album, Only Child.
While chuckling, she shares, “You know, I don’t even know if the album is good anymore. I’ve been sitting with it for so long, I have so many roller coasters with it everyday…but for me, my only goal as a writer [and] artist is to look back on something in a year that I’ve released and be like – man, that was good, but i’m so much better now as a writer and as an artist.
Sasha is being humble…her music is fantastic – especially “Lie.” It possesses a strong duality, carrying both tuneful and somber elements. Upon creating the song, Sasha shared her wish to harness this dual-nature with a song that “if you heard it in the grocery store you would be like – oh, this is fun – but if you take a deeper look you’re like – okay, this is kind of dark. Those are my favorite types of songs. So I think it is a nice gateway into the album, because I have some pretty serious songs on there and I didn’t want to come out of the gate too heavy, I wanted to work my way into that.”
A defining characteristic of Sasha’s artistry is her vulnerability. Her songs tackle a variety of topics, specifically centered around mental health, anxiety, depression, and loss. Her truthful expression from the beginning of her career has set her apart from the rest.
“Yeah, in the beginning, it was super scary because when I released my first EP, I had like zero fans. So I was kinda just throwing darts in the dark and hoping for the best. I think the more confident I’ve become, the easier it is.
“I think it all kinda clicked for me when I released the song “Older” about my parents divorcing. I wrote it and I loved it. And I didn’t think it was gonna be anything and I didn’t think anyone was gonna care, but it ended up being one of my biggest songs. In reading messages from fans who were like – it changed my life for this reason, I was like – okay, well, all these things that I’m experiencing or feeling in terms of anxiety, body image, and how I grew up – I’m definitely not alone.
“The more positive feedback I got from people connecting to it, the more confident I felt being more vulnerable.”
Confidence has been an important measure of growth for Sasha throughout her career. It has taken form in her strengthened ability to say “no” and to avoid succumbing to the pressures of pleasing everyone around her. “It’s my world, my music, and it’s okay not to agree with people on things and to say no…With confidence, the more you grow the better it becomes.”
Her forthcoming album is the accumulation of this confidence. In the writing process, Sasha shares that she had written over forty songs, but followed her intuition in keeping the ones that resonated most with her – not for their poppy sound, but for their meaning and significance. “There’s a lot of moments on the album that are very real to me…It’s a good balance of hope, sadness, and a little quirk in there.”
All artists should look up to Sasha – not only for her brilliant, melodious work – but for her willingness to grow, her desire to bleed truth into her work no matter how dark or somber, and her unwavering devotion to her art.
Sasha is the one you need to look out for – as she is just getting started.
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photo / courtesy of artist
story / Taylor Thompson