Interview with Sasha Prendes
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Music has been a part of my life since I was born. My mom put on Disney sing along videos and that is how I learned to read and sing! Barney was also a big inspiration :)
If I wasn't doing music now, I'm not sure what I would be doing? Perhaps photography, videography, or I'd be a news anchor! I loved being a lead anchor for my highschool broadcasting program! Music is life though. Everytime I tried to do something else - music always pulled me back. My favorite quote someone once said to me was "Do what you love and the money will come!" I live by those words + I will never stop doing what I love.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
When I'm not writing songs or recording them or at rehearsals, coaching etc, I love to do hot yoga, relax with my man, smoke a joint, go on long walks around the city, try new restaurants. Fairly normal activities hahaha Taking a break from music helps my creativity because it allows me to live my life. When I am just "living" and in the moment, inspiration hits me like a bus. It's healthy to put down a record, walk away from it and return with fresh ears. It gives me time to reevaluate, reflect, and other memories and realizations enter my mind during these short breaks. My music is about the experiences of my life. They are retrospective.
I'm able to think about how I felt in that moment- were my actions justified? Why did I do that? I can't believe how sad I was over that person? and so on. The internal conversations I have with myself allow me to add more juice to the song. I write my lyrics in a way that it's like ripping a page out of my diary. Unapologetically honest.
How long has music been your career?
I have been doing music full time for several years now! It took ages to be able to truly call myself an artist and after years of non-stop figuring it out- I am proud to say yes, I am a professional artist!
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I am based out of New York City! The greatest city in the world! Biased maybe, but there is nothing like the grind of New York. Things get done here! I love the hustle and the energy. I grew up in a suburban town in Kansas for about 15 years of my life. I'm definitely a Midwest girl! However, I was born in New Jersey, my parents are from Cuba and I have this whole Latina fire mixed with an All-American girl! These places have all influenced who I am, my music is in both English and Spanish, acoustic country-pop records, dark EDM, sad girl power ballads. I just do what I want. The true story of the song controls the direction of the instrumental. It has to fit the vibe. I just so happen to have many different vibes.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played
Ahhh, shows. Such great memories! Shows have gone great for me. There are always hiccups in technology in any live show and I've learned to just roll with it. By laughing, smiling, waving, chatting to the crowd, pretending it's all gucci. And if it's not? Well then, I'll just chat to the audience and talk to the engineers from the stage like. "Hey yall can you turn my mic up a bit please? The people came here to hear me sing! " ;)
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
My favorite venue so far has been Sony Hall! It was so badass having back up dancers, light show, fog, pyro, and about 1000 people! I loved it. It felt right. The venue I am dying to play at is Carnegie Hall, Barclays, and MSG!!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
My ideal line up would include Miley Cyrus, 070 Shake, myself and Topic. That would be fucking epic!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into music?
My advice to someone getting into music is this: Do what you want! Don't worry about trends or going viral on tik tok. It can be mentally draining trying to make cheesy videos that have nothing to do with your artistry for the sole purpose of being heard/seen. Social media is important, as that is the way life is right now. However, just make music that you LOVE. If you love it, others will love it. Stay authentic + true to yourself. You will be figuring out who you are along the way and that person will continue to change and evolve throughout your career. Also- You need a team- it took me 10 years to find mine and even as of recently I have had to remove people who became toxic. For a woman, it is especially hard because it's a male dominated industry which can make it difficult to find people who only want to work and don't want to sleep with you. Trust your gut & leave any situation that makes you uncomfortable. Never fall under pressure to do things you don't want to do in exchange for promises of "big success". It's manipulation and usually bullshit. Don't sign ANYTHING until you have a lawyer read over it!
Most importantly, dream big, envision your life the way you want it, take care of your body, train your mind, get coaching, and never stop believing in your dream. Thanks for coming to my TED talk :)
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
The advice I'd give to my younger self would be to keep going! I'm grateful for every let down and redirection because it has led me here. Be confident in yourself and in your abilities. When people told me I needed to have a career “plan B" I either laughed or said "there is no plan b" because frankly, there isn't! You cannot give a shit what your neighbor thinks about your goals or your cousin twice removed. You don’t live your life for other people who’s opinions don’t matter. This is what it is. This is the dream. Keep your eyes focused on what you want. That drive leads me to the next destination and I continue to grow as an artist! So block out the haters baby Sasha and keep doing you baby girl! ;)
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why? Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Every single song is about someone. They are letters and stories from my perspective of the many experiences of my life. Love, heartbreak, drugs, death, happiness, growth, shitty friends, coming of age, loneliness and many more. It's my way of getting the last word or sharing my side of the story. A side that many don't know because there is a good chance I didn't say anything to them about it. Music is my love language. So good or bad- I'm going to tell it like it is in my music. My favorite songs are usually whatever I am working on next as once I get to the studio, they tend to change and develop and become even better then when I started! So that's exciting. I love "Stay (Angrier)" , a power ballad I wrote and my very talented friend Chrona produced it. It's everyone's favorite song of mine as of now (it's my dad's favorite lol). Many request my song "Brooklyn" as it's one of my only happy songs! My love song to Brooklyn and the boy who introduced me to that magical place. Brooklyn is where I evolved (like a Pokémon) after moving from Kansas. It made me stronger as a person and I owe so much of that love to BK!
What is the creative process for you, and what inspires you to write your music?
I am inspired by life! Living gives me so many things to write about. People ask me "OMG Sasha! You're out there living your best life! How do you do it?" It's sometimes a weird question to answer without sounding lame like "uh, I don't know. I guess I just do?" Hahaha I'm a romantic, a serial dater, heartbreak bandit, OCD, I love to try anything at least twice, I'm constantly meeting new people and doing new things, I never stop & have to force myself to slow down. There is no real good way to respond to it. So I'm like, "check out my music. It'll tell you all you need to know" hahaha ;)
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
There is a different message in each song. Whoever it's written about will hear the message and know what I'm talking about specifically. I usually send the songs I write about people directly to them. I have no shame- Here are all the things I never said. & the listener can interpret the song however they would like! But the message is clear in each song. You’re gonna get the raw, unfiltered, in the moment replay of how I felt. These are real stories about real people + real situations.
The other message I want people to receive from being a fan of mine is- I do what I want and you can too! Rockin with that Bad bitch energy! I want my fans to feel like they can do anything after they leave my show.
There is a song for any situation in life. I want to be the soundtrack of their lives just like so many artists were the soundtrack to mine. To feel like someone understands you and is there for you through music is so validating for your current emotional state- like YES! Drake, you totally get me. I want to return that to the world.
Do you ever have disagreements when collaborating and how do you get past them?
Disagreements are bound to happen no matter what. It’s all about how you handle them! Communication is key. But sometimes that’s not enough. I have had people hold my music hostage on their computers even after they have been paid, videographers have held my videos hostage and I had to get a lawyer involved. He was also prepaid. I’ve even had my most trusted friends sabotage business deals & “mismanage” funds.
A great quote I heard was this - “Contracts save friendships.” It’s 100% true! Once things are agreed upon and signed - that document is a legal document! They cannot turn around and demand more money, hold your work hostage, sell it, etc. Artists are entrepreneurs. We are starting from the ground and figuring this industry out one experience at a time. Write your own contracts with anyone you work with. If they don’t want to sign a contract between you and them - DO NOT work with them. Walk away + find someone who doesn’t have a hidden agenda.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
New Music of mine will be coming out MONTHLY!! I am so excited to drop the last few songs of my coming of age album!! My new Spanish-English songs called "Me Siento Sola" , "Savage" and "War with me" are the next 3 releases!! You can find all of my music anywhere music lives (literally). Check out my socials all under @SashaPrendes and my website
Here is a link to all of my music, videos + more!