Interview: Sasha Sloan

While her solo career might just be hitting its stride, Sasha Sloan’s voice is certainly no stranger to the charts. For the past few years, this young singer-songwriter has been co-penning—and lending vocals to—tracks for the likes of everyone from Idina Menzel to Odesza, Camila Cabello, Kygo, LANY, and more. We met up with her at Bumbershootd to get a download on everything from her songwriting origins to whether or not she still gets starstruck.

SMN: Okay, first question—how did you start writing songs and singing?
Sasha: I mean I’ve just been writing and playing since I was like… god…I can’t even remember when I started. My mom had a piano in our apartment, it was an upright, and I think when I was three I would always just like fuck around on it. And then, I remember writing my first song when I was like ten, it was the worst song of all time, it’s called “Pitter Patter.”

SMN: Oh my god please tell me you still have recordings of it.
Sasha: Oh yeah, but they will never see the light of day haha. I remember playing an original at a talent show when I was ten instead of singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” because my mom was like, “play your original, it’s cool!” and I was like “okay.” And I don’t know, it just felt really cool and I kept doing it.

SMN: Who would you say are your biggest musical inspirations?
Sasha: Probably The Killers, Coldplay, Greenday, Brandi Carlile. I listen to a lot of Janis Joplin, but I also love like Britney Spears, One Direction, and they’re not even like guilty pleasures, they’re just like amazing artists, so like I kind of just listen to everything.

SMN: Have you seen any of your big idols live?
Sasha: Yeah recently I actually just saw Brandi Carlile at the Greek, and I’m not going to lie, I was a little drunk, but I guess when you’re in music, you don’t get as starstruck, you just get more jaded, because like everyone’s just a person. So you don’t get as starstruck, but I definitely cried when she came on stage, like full-on cried, and I was like, “wow, I didn’t realize how much she meant to me as an artist.”

SMN: Have you been around all weekend or just today?
Sasha: Nah, I just flew in this morning.

SMN: Are you going to catch any of the other acts later?
Sasha: No, I don’t have time, I’m flying out. I’m so sad, this festival is really dope, it’s massive, the weather is nice, and the people are chill, so I wish I could spend more time.

SMN: If you’ve had a chance to look at the lineup, who are the big names you’re hyped to share a weekend with.
Sasha: Definitely SZA, I love her. Oh and Portugal. The Man, huge Portugal. The Man fan.

SMN:  What’s one big goal you have? Could be a venue you want to play, a show capacity you want to hit.
Sasha: I mean I kind of just go with the flow, I never really think about it. But I mean if I ever get to play House of Blues in Boston, even if I’m just opening for someone, that would be like really dope for me because I saw a lot of acts there growing up, so it would just be like really iconic for me.

SMN: Awesome, well what future projects do you have coming up?
Sasha: Definitely a full EP release by the end of the year, and then the first song off that is coming out this Thursday, September 6th, so I’m going to start rolling out this week!

SMN: Nice, I’m looking forward to it!
Sasha: Yeah, it’s going to be nice to finally have new music out!

SMN: Okay, last question is one we ask everyone! If you were stranded on a desert island, what’s one movie, book, and album that you’d want with you.
Sasha: Okay album: Back to Black by Amy Winehouse. Book…oh god this is really hard to pick, okay this is really random but I love The Book Thief, I’ve read it a million times, I could read that book forever. And then for movie… probably Forrest Gump, I could watch that forever, I’m a big Tom Hanks fan.

Interview and photos by Lulu Dawson