Interview by Greling Jackson
When it came to meeting him for the first time, I felt a sense of welcoming like never before. Sacha had an aura that seemed to possess every soul in the room. Never had I met a person who was so talented and bore such a sincere passion for his art. As I gazed into his eyes, I knew that interviewing him would prove to be a pleasurable experience. I had met one the few people in this world that could befriend anyone and bring out the positive light in any situation.
We may say that he's cute, but he's more than just some cover boy. This southern Californian has a sound that'll surpass the expected of any beginning musician. His electronic-alternative album, Alabaster Flesh, has a hypnotic sound that'll please Tori Amos listeners, yet Sacha has proven his skill by creating a sound that has a unique voice of its own. When you're through staring at his pretty eyes, you should check out his website and order his CD.
When did you first become interested in performing music?
I guess it really started right when I went to college. I always actually thought I was going to be an actor through high school. I never thought that music was going to work out for me. It wasn't until I left home that I began to realize that I couldn't suppress my love for music. I love acting and I still do. But music always had more for me, I just never had enough confidence in it. In a way, it was a good thing that I wasn't full of myself musically. It has caused me to work a lot harder at it than most people. I think that the work ethic has given me an edge now. Theater is definitely in my veins. It also helped me with performing in general. I have always had a love of the stage. I love the rush and thrill of it. Anything is possible there.
What might a typical day (need not be in the studio) be like for you?
There is no typical day for me. I definitely do a lot of different things at different periods of my work. If I am touring, my life takes on a whole new shade. At the moment I am working on my next album. So a lot of reading, a lot of writing and listening. I also spend a lot of time in front of the computer now. Everyday I am looking for my most creative self. Everyday is an opportunity for something new. I usually wake up and have a plan to get closer to a song or vision. So if there is one pattern to my life, it's that. I am always looking at where I am emotionally and what I am dealing with.
In your own words, and in best of terms, define music and what it means to you:
Music to me is my life, plain and simple. When it comes down to it, I know that the major accomplishments of my life will amount to the notes and songs I am playing now. There is an amazing amount of sacrifice that goes with that statement, but its also incredibly liberating. I don't know why I care so much for songs. I don't know why my heart has chosen this path. But it's my life. I know it to be true. This is the number one reason to exist for me. I feel too strongly for it. I get emotional just thinking about it. Everyday I am thinking about my art and what I will do next. I am completely obsessed with it. No ifs, ands, or buts.
What music is? I have been thinking about that quite often lately. I think that many people are looking for that emotional experience in music. People need help feeling sometimes. We need an opportunity to vent past experiences and we don't have a therapist. So songs take the place of that. We can feel through someone else's experience.
I think that the song is also a teacher. It can open someone's mind to new experiences and new ideas as well. There is also a spiritual or inspirational experience to music. However you want to word it. I think some people look for certain music to help fuel their own passion and soul.
And lastly, there is the entertainment side of the song. That is what usually gets placed on the radio. It's fun and it's cool and it's new. Those songs are made for mass consumption. They trade depth for accessibility, truth for fun. Song is illusive above all else though. Music can never be defined in words. It's much too powerful for that. We only attempt to find the right adjectives. They don't exist.
What most inspired you in making the Alabaster Flesh album?
I think that Alabaster was an album where I was claiming my voice. It's my first. I was looking to just EXPRESS. I really didn't know how to before. What I have taken from it is incredible. I really have come more into my own than I ever thought I would. It's still incredible to me that I got through it. I really learned how to be honest with myself and with everyone on that album. I gained a lot of confidence with writing those songs. I faced many fears. Above all, I learned to crawl out of my shell and expose my entity. That's an amazing thing for me really. I still can't believe I took that first step.
Is there anyone to whom you wish you could give thanks to?
I don't wish. I DO give thanks to them! My parents are incredibly supportive and it amazes me all the time. I am really lucky to have them behind me. I have a great group of loving friends as well. My sister too. I also have some awesome peers that I work with, people that also inspire me.
There are many times in my life that I am amazed at what I have. It seems to have come out of the ether sometimes. I felt so alone with my music for a very long time and all of a sudden, I have a lot of amazing people rooting for me. There are also some awesome people that continually come and see me play all the time. It's terribly encouraging.
It is said that music is a career in which some parents withdraw their support, did you have these kind of difficulties when starting out?
Here's the deal. When I first told my parents that I was going to do music they kind of patted me on the head and said that's nice. They didn't withdraw from me, but there was a kind of mental eye roll. I had been playing piano for like 14 years, but to everyone? that's what I did. I wasn't someone that made albums? It took a good 3 years of consistent work towards my goal before most people began to take notice? it took another 3 years after that for people to actually turn their heads and be impressed.
Music is not about getting approval and being cool. It really has to come from your soul. I meet a lot of people who don't have that and I feel bad. I mean? they are missing out on life. Maybe music isn't their thing or maybe they haven't let go of their need to appease people. Whatever the reason, it has to come from your heart first. You have to know that you will play whether or not people listen. You have to be a musician first. Before you are a good one. You have to dedicate yourself to the art before you make any modicum of fame or money at it. It's a very important process.
There is an incredible depth to art that I think a lot of people miss out on. If people think you suck, that's fine. You love the art first. It hurts but you still have to do it? I definitely have had people tell me I suck. I was incredibly hurt, but I stuck through it. It was fine that I was a bad musician, as long as I was making music! So? yeah. I didn't have much support from anyone in the beginning and it sucked. But you get through it with some faith and some passion? and then you wake up, after what seems a VERY long time, to find that you are actually good at what you are doing.
Do you have any siblings. If so, what are they like?
I have got a younger sister. About 2 and a half years younger. She is the dictator of the family. Very strong willed. I love her to death. She still isn't sure what she is up to yet. Still trying to figure out her life path.
What's your favorite food?
Um. I really like pizza like everyone else. Especially with goat cheese and tomatoes.
What's your favorite word?
I write full songs out of favorite words. I love language. Words stick to me all the time. I kind of roll them around in my hand and feel them through. They create whole moods and worlds for me. Strange maybe? but I think that's what makes me a writer by nature. My love for a really GOOD word.
Where do you most like to hang out?
I have been hiking a lot recently. There is a lot of wilderness where I live, so I kind of go rock climbing up these crazy mountains to find good views. I think it helps me digest my life. I love the ocean at the moment as well. I am constantly going there too. It does something to my brain.
What do you think about being in Los Angeles?
I used to hate it. But I am beginning to really love it again. The last year or so has been good. I am glad to live here. It really is a beautiful city in so many ways. The weather, of course, is amazing. And the whole relaxed attitude completely suits my nature. But I also love the endless possibility of this city.
You really feel like any dream is possible when you live here. And dreams do come true? Of course, people crash and burn? but it's the dream that is important anyway really. I love how people really jump into their greatest fantasy here. I haven't found that optimism anywhere else really.
Have you made any trips overseas in order to tour? If so, where?
Haven't performed overseas really. I've played a piano bars all over when I am traveling just for myself? but I am still attacking the US with my album.
In being gay, do you find your career partly affected because of that?
Sometimes I think it is holding me back. I know some people take a step back from working with me because of it? but in other ways I think it's a real asset. I am glad that I have something to really challenge society with. There is something naturally inherent in my being that disturbs many people. In so many ways? that is so important, and I love that I get to push some buttons. It definitely shapes my voice and for that I am grateful.
Name one place that you would most like to visit some day
I end up visiting many places that I have always wanted to lately. I think I would love to go to Russia and see Moscow and St. Petersburg. Africa sounds tasty. So does South America. I have always wanted to go to China as well?
Are there any albums you are in the process of making?
Yes. I am in the process of the second one at the moment.
If you could give others who are starting in this industry a word of advice, what would it be?
Faith is so important and people don't allow for it. Faith is an absolutely necessary ingredient for happiness. There are many times that you don't see anything positive going your way. So many times I have thought something was impossible only to find that I am living it a few years later. Your greatest dream is spun from your heart, not your ego. Dream your greatest dream and go for it.
Don't stop yourself. Really figure out who you are and what you love. Some people think we all want to be movie stars? but I think when you really get in touch with your SOUL, there is a greater perfection to life lying there. We are all really made to be incredible. Every single one of us. Dream your greatest dream and go for it. I played piano everyday since I was six and I never allowed myself to be a musician.
For years and years, I just played my heart out and couldn't see the writing on the wall. I thought I sucked too much for anyone to care. I believe it's like that for everyone. It's standing right in front of your face, it only takes faith to see it and believe. And it has to be somewhat scary or else it would get boring in two seconds!
I first met Sacha when he performed for my high school's Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA). He has been a great person to work with and is very polite. He informed me that he is interested in performing for GSAs. If you are interested, you can email him through his website.