We chatted with Sasha Alex Sloan after she wrapped her European tour at Islington Assembly Hall in London. Since our first conversation in 2019, Sloan has released three album length projects and collaborated with artists like Charlie Puth and Martin Garrix. F WORD caught up with Sasha to discuss her latest album 'I Blame The World', the tour and how a visit to TK Maxx inspired one of our favourite songs yet.
Amy MacKenzie: Hi Sasha! How are you?
Sasha Sloan: Hi! I’m good thank you!
AM: You’ve just finished your European tour. How did it feel to be back on the road?
SS: It felt great, except for the part where I got a throat infection [laughs] but otherwise I had a blast.
AM: Do you have a favourite moment from the tour?
SS: My favourite moment was playing Paris. I was still in full health and that show was one of my favourite shows I’ve ever played. The energy was amazing and getting to walk around that city will always be special.
AM: Are there any songs that have surprised you in terms of the reaction they get when you play them live? Have any songs taken on a new meaning when connecting with your fans?
SS: I would say Too Sad to Cry always has a strong reaction. Even though it’s an emotional song, for some reason I wasn’t expecting how emotional it would be live.
AM: Since we last spoke (2019, when Thoughts had just been released!) you’ve released a lot of music – Self Portrait, Only Child, I Blame The World and many tracks between! What would you say are the key similarities and differences throughout these projects?
SS: Oh my god, that feels like forever ago! I think some key similarities is the emotion behind what I’m saying and the focus on lyricism. I think the differences are my perspective on the world. It has changed so much, and in return, so have I.
AM: Your most recent album is called I Blame The World – did you know what you wanted this record to be thematically and sonically before starting?
SS: Sort of. It started as a slower, more folk leaning record but it was making me too depressed [laughs]. I decided we needed some tempo and scraped a lot of the project, which then lead to what it became!
AM: My favourite song on the album is Live Laugh Love – can you tell us a bit more about this track?
SS: Thank you! I remember walking through a TK Maxx in an awful mood and seeing a pillow that said “live laugh love” on it. I knew in that moment I had to write a song with that title, and the rest is history.
AM: What was the hardest song to write on the album and why?
SS: I H8 Myself was the hardest. I knew I loved the title but nailing the tone was tough. At first it was too dark, and then it was too corny, but I think we nailed it in the end? I hope [laughs].
AM: Which song came together the quickest/most easily?
SS: Probably New Normal, that one just poured out.
AM: What did the pandemic do, if anything, to your creative process? How has this process developed from project to project?
SS: It definitely stifled it. For me being creative has so much to do with going out to restaurants and being around my friends. I also just became so depressed it was hard for me to find motivation.
AM: You’ve moved to Nashville from LA, have you felt any sort of shift in your songwriting influences since moving? What are the main differences you’ve experienced?
SS: I have! I think for me I’ve learned to focus more on the song and less on the production, which is how I grew up so it feels good to be back to my roots.
AM: What advice would you have for someone experiencing writer's block?
SS: Keep writing until something you like happens! It’s the hardest thing to push through but someone once told me creativity is a muscle that needs to be exercised every day and they were right.
AM: What is the lyric you have written that you are most proud of?
SS: “Boxers are my lingerie, dinners in the microwave”
AM: What have you got coming up in 2023?
SS: Honestly no idea [laughs] working on that now.
AM: What is your favourite F Word?