When she moved to Nashville 6 years ago, Sasha was intimidated to get up on stage. Today, she is working with a high-powered producer and collaborating with hit writers on her first full-length album project.
“I knew it was going to be a challenge when I got here,” the Miami native told us. “But, I was looking forward to it. When I moved here I had no connections at all, and I worked my way up from being scared to play open mic nights to writing with hit writers. And, it’s just taken a lot time and a lot of networking and just not giving up.”
Sasha hopes to release her new project in November. “We’re trying to decide how we’re going to release it — if we’re going to do singles first then an album, or just drop the album.”
She wrote or co-wrote all the songs on the album. “Most of the songs are written with Bill DiLuigi, one of Nashville’s favorites, plus others,” she said. “We got in a groove writing,” she said of her and DiLuigi’s collaboration.
Sasha also released a self-titled EP in 2013.
Nashville music giant Kent Wells is producing the new album. “He’s Dolly Parton’s producer and band leader and right hand man,” Sasha noted. “And, he just loved what I did. Originally were going to do a five- or six-song EP, but he loved the material; and, he was like, ‘let’s do an album,’ and, I was like, ‘okay,’” she said with a laugh.
“I’m so excited. This is without question the best thing I’ve done so far,” she said. “We’re in the mastering process now. And, we’re getting the photos, getting the artwork done. I am really, really proud of it.
“I think this is the first time I was allowed to just be me,” she said. “I mean, I’ve always been a writer-artist instead of an artist-writer. And, there’s so much pressure to be like somebody else that’s already out there. This time I was just going to be me, and I’m hoping I’m putting the best me out there for everybody to hear.”
Sasha’s style is a mix of California rock, country and R&B. “It’s what I grew up on,” she said. “My parents played Linda Ronstadt, the Eagles, and Fleetwood Mac and all that stuff. (Later) I was also listening to Garth and Trisha and Clint, so it’s what I grew up on. And, it’s what I felt was right musically and that’s just kind of how it grew.”
She said her music has been well received in Music City. “People really love it because it’s something fresh, something different they haven’t heard in a while.”
Her current style is far different from her days of performing while in college. “I grew up in Miami then I went to college at the University of Central Florida in Orlando,” she said. “I was in a band there, and we were doing pretty well. It was more of an indie rock kind of thing. I was a young angsty teenager and that was the music that was coming out at the time,” she laughed.
“When I graduated I knew music was what I wanted to do, and I had to kind of sit down and look and say, ‘Well I’ve got New York. I’ve got LA. And, I’ve got Nashville.’ And, I liked that smaller town community feel, so Nashville is where I landed.”
Sasha’s accolades are just beginning. Recently, she made it to the final four contestants in Clint Black’s Dream Recording Contest. The contest ran in conjunction with the Chideo charity network. Proceeds from the contest benefitted Rett Syndrome research. Watch a clip of Clint working with Sasha.
She has amassed an extensive collection of acoustic covers on YouTube. “All the (cover) songs, I really love and connect with,” she said. “I’ll do things from my favorites, to what’s up and coming on the radio, and stuff that I think people will enjoy hearing me sing.”
Regarding new ways artists are getting exposure, Sasha said, “There are more avenues for us to take our music directly to fans instead of having all the gatekeepers.
“It’s difficult in the sense where — if you’re an artist working with a limited budget — it’s harder to get your stuff out there. But, there are avenues like YouTube where anybody can find you, and things can just kind of blow up from there. It’s great.”
Sasha enjoys the close-knit music community Nashville offers. “It’s such a creative town and, there are so many creative people that it’s easy to get inspired and have plenty of people around you to inspire you,” she said.
On the other hand, “It’s tough to make it, but that’s how it’s always been.”
Given her talent and drive, it is obvious Sasha has a leg up on the competition.
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