Music Interview: Sasha Daniel
We were fortunate enough to catch up with the superb Tel-Aviv-based artist Sasha Daniel for an interview. She has released his stunning single ‘Hold’, in June 2020. Check out our interview below!
Hi Sasha Daniel, tell us about yourself?
I was born in Russia, grew up in Israel and spent most of my adult life in NY. Yes, I’m trilingual. I’ve been on stage since the age of 7 – acting, dancing, singing. Cool facts: I served in the IDF force as the soloist in the air force band. Seventeen years ago I reached the semi-finals on the Israeli version of American Idol. I started writing music when I was 18, and I’m also a translator, an accent coach and a macrame maker.
What is your songwriting process?
It changes from song to song. Sometimes I start with the lyrics, sometimes with the melody and other times with the beat. Recently I found that I get great ideas when I’m driving so I just record everything and then try to grab the best bit and build a song around it. Most importantly, I just try to have fun with it.
Tell us about your latest release?
‘HOLD’ is very dear to my heart. It’s a very personal song about my partner and myself. I believe that balance and compassion are both equally important for a healthy and happy relationship. Sometimes one person is down, so if the other person is not feeling great, it can turn into a sh*t show.
A spiral of negativity and sadness. In my opinion, one must try and be a bit more uplifting even if it’s super hard. Practising selflessness is something I try to do every day. It’s not easy, cause we all tend to think that the world revolves around us. But when you take yourself less seriously and try just to love the person in front of you and make them feel better, I find that usually, both sides gain a lot.
What message do you think your music conveys to your fans?
In my new releases, I try to ask serious questions. I feel like now I’m trying to have a dialogue about the complexity and wonder of life through my music. I guess that the main message is remembering that our lives are not dichotomous. It’s never black and white. I used to write a lot about my pain but vaguely and it was somehow directed inward. But I changed as a person, so my music changed accordingly. I don’t like spiralling into negative emotions anymore and feeding them but rather helping myself redirecting my thoughts and being in the moment.
Who are your musical influences?
Let’s see; when I was growing up, I listened to Ella Fitzgerald, Tori Amos, Sia, Emiliana Torrini, Moloko, Fink, Massive Attack, Radiohead and many more. They definitely shaped my musical taste. These days my playlists change constantly cause there is an endless amount of music, but recent influences are Ásgeir, Emilie Nicolas, Farao, Mac Miller, Sevdaliza and so on. I do find myself drawn to the Scandinavian sound.
Who are your non-musical influences?
I feel like I’m influenced by all the people who chase their dreams and work hard to be happy and creative. People who take risks and are not afraid of being misunderstood. I try to surround myself with inspirational people, and I’m very lucky to call them my friends.
What’s the best gig that you have ever played?
I played a lot of gigs with Sofar Sounds across the United States. Those gigs were always my favourite even though they weren’t in a proper venue or had the best sound. The one I remember particularly happened in Nashville, Tennessee, at a climbing Gym. It was just so cool! There were about 100 people, and everyone was so attentive and nice. I will never forget it.
What is your funniest gig moment?
When my band and I toured in the MidWest, we played a gig in Kent Ohio at a small bar. The audience was into it, but they were also very quiet. Like, no talking at all and it was a bar after all. So I said something to them about being quiet, and one guy yelled from the back “you are just so intense!” Everyone laughed, including us. He was so right 🙂
What do you think are the biggest obstacles for bands/artists today?
I think that the hardest thing is the amount of music out there – it can be very overwhelming. Forty thousand songs are being released on Spotify alone every single day. The challenge is, of course, to just keep writing and putting out your best work without comparing yourself to absolutely anyone.
What advice would you give to other bands/artists starting out?
Nobody will discover you. Just start thinking that way, and you’ll be so much happier and so much more productive. Most important – write A LOT. I mean, A LOT. Don’t try to be viral and make a ‘hit’. Do your thing and really try to enjoy the process of being a creative human instead of being obsessed with being a successful one.
What are your hopes for the next two years?
First – I hope the Coronavirus will be behind us. And I hope to keep on doing what I’m doing and finding my core group of fans around the world with this new music I’m making because I’m pretty damn proud of it and I want to make people feel good by making it.
FV Music Blog June 2020
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